Mitsubishi Materials applications for tools used in the manufacture of medical equipment

The difficult-to-cut and uniquely shaped parts found in medical equipment are a challenge to machine efficiently. Improving machining efficiency and product life requires total applications, from CAD/CAM programmes through to the final cutting tools.

Cobalt-Chromium alloy
Of the materials used in the manufacture of medical equipment, cobalt-chromium alloy is the most difficult to cut. However, compared with titanium alloys, it exhibits better abrasion resistance and contributes to extended product life; and this makes the manufacture of thin products such as sliding surfaces in artificial joints and small items such as spines implants and screws possible. On the other hand, however, it also has high tensile strength and welds easily. This makes it important to select machining tools with high abrasion resistance.

Titanium alloy
Due to the excellent biocompatibility, titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V is the most commonly used material for medical equipment parts. Titanium has low thermal conductivity and produces high cutting heat temperature therefore it is essential to have tools with high heat-resistance and forms that ensure low heat generation.

Stainless steels
Stainless steel materials are often used for small parts. Austenitic stainless steels (SUS315L/SUS317L) and precipitation hardening stainless steels (SUS630) have completely different cutting characteristics. Deep-hole drilling into austenitic stainless steels is very difficult because of the need to remove the chips produced.

Mitsubishi Materials offers a huge variety of cemented carbide products (such as cutting tools), with some 30,000 items listed in its catalogue. The Advanced Materials & Tools Business of Mitsubishi Materials conducts its business in two primary categories; cemented carbide products and sintered parts.

The cemented carbide products department provides an extensive lineup of cutting tools used in processes including lathe turning, milling, and drilling, as well as abrasion-resistant tools targeting the general engineering, energy, automotive, oil and gas, aerospace and medical industries.

The range of tooling manufactured by Mitsubishi Materials includes turning inserts, CBN & PCD inserts, external turning, small tools, grooving, boring bars, threading, HSK-T tools, rotating tools, solid end mills, exchangeable head end mills, milling inserts, drilling and gear cutters.

In the late 1980s when TiN coating was at the height of its popularity, aluminium-rich Al-TiN coating appeared and took the spotlight by completely changing existing conventions. Impact Miracle, a joint project between Mitsubishi Materials and Kobe Tools Corporation, is a coating with high heat resistance enabling long tool life, high efficiency machining and prevents vibration and makes it possible to machine complex geometries previously difficult to machine.

Faster cutting speeds and longer tool life for high hardness materials and heat resistant alloys
In comparison with conventional coatings, single-phase nano crystal coating technology offers higher coating hardness and heat resistance. When machining hardened steels Impact Miracle coating offers a lower coefficient of friction and helps prevent abnormal damage such as chipping.

In the 28 years since Miracle Coating was first introduced, performance requirements for PVD coatings have become ever more demanding. Development and technology will continue moving forward so that products that exceed customers expectations can be delivered.

MP/MT9000 series for the aircraft and medical industries
Designed for turning difficult-to-cut materials the Mitsubishi Materials MP/MT9000 series is ideal for turning difficult-to-cut materials such as titanium, heat resistant and corrosion resistant alloys typically used in the aircraft and medical industries. To expand the application options available, new positive inserts have been added to the range for boring and small parts machining.

The high Al-(Al,Ti)N single layer coating containing a high aluminium content has succeeded to stabilise high hardness layer and deliver overwhelmingly high wear, crater and welding resistance for the MP/MT9000 series.

The new chip breakers within the range also help prevent problems such as continuous chip wrapping and chipping of the cutting edge. The 9000 series has a good reputation from customers by providing superior wear, fracture and welding resistance and for also enabling longer tool life.

For further information contact Multitrade Distributors on TEL: 087 803 2377 or visit