Case Studies: Hard Metal Matrix Composites

Cryogenic Machining of Carbide Die (88 HRa)


Part:  Carbide Die

Work Material:  WC-13%Co

Operation(s):  ID Boring, Facing

Tooling:  CNGA 433 (QRD06) PCD

Depth of Cut:  0.020”

Feed:  0.003” /rev.     Speed:  150 SFM

Cut Time:  11 min.

Surface Roughness:  12 micro-inches

Tool Wear:  Minor edge wear




  • ICEFLY reduced machining time for large dies from 4 hrs (grinding) to 15 min (hard turning)
  • Customer used to stock a large inventory with varying sizes and approach angles.  With ICEFLY, significant inventory reduction was  possible.
  • Customer was also able to accept jobs with significantly high material removal and deliver  faster turnaround times.



Machining of Carbide Punches

Part: Carbide Shaft (80 HRc)

Work Material: WC-10%Co

Operation(s): ID turning, profiling


Current rough grind time on the ID is 100 min. With ICEFLY, the ID was turned in 20 minutes.


Operation(s): ID Turning (Roughing, Finishing)

Tooling: DCMT 32.52, CNMA 433, RCMA 32 (QRD06) PCD

Depth of Cut: 0.003 – 0.016”    Feed: 0.002 – 0.006”    Speed: 80 SFM

Surface Roughness: 16-24 micro-inches

Total Cut Time: 20 min.


Machining of Unfused Carbide Thermal Spray Coating

Machine: Fortune V-turn VT 2 C.N.C. lathe

Tool/Insert: RCMA042 QRD06

Cut. Cond.: Speed: 80 SFM   

                   Feed: 0.005”  

                   Doc: 0.010”

Tool life: >15 pcs. (Insert still usable after 15 pcs,               flank wear 0.039 mm)

Cycle time: 75 min.  (60 min. grinding + 15 min. polishing)  (current)

Cycle time: 8.5 min.  (3.5 min. hard turning + 5 min. polishing)  (ICEFLY)


Machining of SS Thermal Spray Coating

Machining of SS Thermal Spray CoatingPart: 29” diameter part with four slots (SS          thermal spray coating)

Operation: Turn O.D. (Grinding is customer’s                   current process)

Machine: King boring mill (72 inch table)

Tool/Insert: Sandvik RNGN CB5 (PCBN)   

Cut. Cond.: Speed: 260 SFM (29 rpm)   

                   Feed:  0.012”  

                   Doc:   0.010”

Tool life: >30 min. (Insert still usable after 30 min. with minimal flank wear)


Machining of Stellite Coatings (55-58 HRc)

Machining of Stellite Coatings


Part: Ring

Work Material: Stellite

Operation(s): OD Turning (Roughing, Finishing)

Tooling: RNGN 43T (WG300) Whisker Ceramic

Depth of Cut: ~0.040” (Rough)    0.013” (Finish)

Feed: 0.007” /rev. (Rough)    0.005” (Finish)    

Speed: 400 SFM

Surface Roughness: 6 micro-inches

Total cut time: 2.5 min.



  • Current machining time is 20 min./part. With ICEFLY, the entire machining was completed in 2.5 min.
  • With ICEFLY, the part was machined with whisker reinforced ceramics, with significant reduction in tooling cost/part, over conventional PCBN tooling.


Machining of Stellite Coatings (55-58 HRc)

ICEFLY vs. Conventional Machining

  • Surface finish improvement by 75%, to eliminate superfinishing.
  • 6–10% improvement in substrate hardness.
  • Higher compressive residual stress and deeper hardness profile through spring-pass cryo-burnishing.

Machining of Hybrid Laser-Clad Bushings








Temperature Comparison Between LIN and Dry Cutting

Material: WC/15%Ni (74 HRc)

Insert: RNG 32 (PCD)

Depth of Cut: 0.008”     Feed: 0.004”     Cutting Speed: 250 SFM

Matrix temperature comparison dry
Matrix temperature comparison LIN