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Trochoidal turning with CAM system for machining ductile materials and difficult to machine metals

Longer tool lives, shorter machining times, greater process security – much is expected of modern turning operations. After all, at the end of the day these qualities translate into greater efficiency and deliver an undoubtedly decisive competitive advantage. With difficult to machine metals and ductile materials in particular, the indexable inserts used in conventional turning soon reach the limits of their capability. And this is precisely where trochoidal turning with CAM software comes into play.

What exactly is trochoidal turning?

Trochoidal milling has been a feature of the metalworking sector for many years. Thanks to the advent of cutting-edge machining centres combined with CAM systems, it is now making something of a comeback. The story with turning, however, is completely different. This dynamic process has barely been used up to now, primarily due to the lack of suitable CAM software. The CAM software company OpenMind has now expanded the proven concept of trochoidal milling to cover rough machining of all turned parts with hyperMILL and MAXX Machining and has developed trochoidal turning with CAM programming. Typical application areas are rough machining during turning as well as radial and axial grooving.

Advantages of trochoidal turning with CAM systems versus conventional turning

The combination of modern CAM software and powerful tools offers clear advantages over conventional turning with difficult to machine and ductile materials, such as: 

  • Shorter cycle times
  • Optimised connection paths
  • Fluid machine movements
  • Longer tool life
  • Increased process security
  • Reduced wear

Shorter cycle times thanks to optimised connection paths and more fluid machine movements

Trochoidal turning with CAM systems allows completely new tool paths. What may be an almost insurmountable challenge for conventional turning solutions is easily remedied with a CAM system. Thanks to the round indexable insert, the tool is no longer restricted to movement in only one direction and is instead able to move around in fluid motion sequences. During rough machining this translates into time savings of up to 50 percent – a figure that rises as far as 70 percent for grooving.

Intelligent programming allows for considerably higher feeds and cutting speeds than with conventional turning, meaning that cycle times for trochoidal turning are drastically shorter.

Greater process security, less wear and longer tool life due to softer entry and exit

One of the biggest problems with conventional turning of ductile and difficult to machine materials is that the tool is frequently subjected to sudden loads that increase wear and reduce tool life. Trochoidal turning with CAM systems allows the tool softer entry and exit of the component. The special plunging action of the cutting insert into the material protects the tool and leads to a significantly longer tool life and less wear, greatly improving the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of the turning process.

For which materials is trochoidal turning a suitable solution?

Due to the softer entry and exit action of the tool during the machining process, trochoidal turning has advantages for every material group. Yet the greatest benefit can be found with materials that are extremely difficult to machine using conventional processes. These include ductile and challenging materials such as stainless steels as well as nickel-based and titanium-based alloys.

Trochoidal turning of difficult to machine materials

Materials such as stainless and heat-resistant steels as well as titanium and nickel-based alloys often represent a particularly difficult challenge for tools. Due to the special properties of these materials, they have an abrasive effect on the tool cutting edge during the machine process and subject it to especially high loads, resulting in significant wear and early burning out of the cutting edge.

Trochoidal turning of ductile materials (e.g. long-chipping forged parts)

Ductile materials are frequently encountered with forged parts, which are difficult to machine due to their soft and tough nature. One of the biggest problems are the long chips that wrap around the tool. Trochoidal turning with hyperMILL MAXX Machining enables considerably shorter strokes, which generates shorter chips and thus greater process security.

Prerequisites for trochoidal turning

The CAM program can theoretically be used on any conventional turning machine and is also an extremely viable option for less-powerful machines. No additional machines need to be purchased to enjoy the benefits of this solution. All you need is the hyperMill MAXX Machining software.

Which tools are needed for trochoidal turning?

For trochoidal turning with CAM, a system with an M3 chip breaker and matching full radius inserts are recommended. We recommend:

  • GX24 system with M3 chip breaker
  • RCMT/RCGT full radius inserts

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