nplus coating on helical solutions end mills

The Advantageous Qualities of Helical Solutions’ Nplus Coating

When it comes to machining difficult materials like high-silicon aluminums, abrasive copper alloys, and other non-ferrous and aluminum alloys, finding a coating that improves performance and increases tool life can be difficult. When machining in aluminum-based materials, machinists often opt for an uncoated tool due to the sharp cutting edge needed. Uncoated tools may give you the sharpest edge possible, but Helical’s Nplus coating helps combat wear and keep your edge sharp for longer, allowing you to win at the spindle and gain a competitive edge.  

What is Helical Solutions’ Nplus Coating?

Helical’s Nplus coating is applied by a Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) process. This method of coating takes place in a near-vacuum and distributes micron-thick layers evenly onto a properly prepared tool.

For more information on the PVD coating process, read PVD Coating vs. CVD: Two Common Coating Application Methods.

Nplus is a premium coating, specially engineered to extend tool life when machining non-ferrous and aluminum alloys. 

nplus coating chart
The above image was taken from Helical Solutions’ Coating Chart.

When Should a Machinist Use Nplus Coating?

When Machining Non-ferrous and Aluminum Alloys

Helical’s Nplus coating is optimized for machining difficult aluminum alloys and other abrasive non-ferrous materials, as its composition doesn’t react with aluminum as some other coatings do. This coating possesses many advantageous qualities, including its high hardness (40 GPa), which provides excellent edge retention to ensure that your tool stays sharp for longer. Also, its high working temperatures (2,012°) and its thickness (1-4 µm) provide further wear resistance when tackling these difficult-to-machine materials.

Nplus coated Helical end mills

When Working in High Temperature Non-Ferrous Applications

When machining in many non-ferrous and aluminum alloys, high temperatures can become an issue. Nplus is specially designed to withstand temperatures up to 2,012°, allowing tooling to run at the high temperatures these abrasive materials require, without degrading them.

When Machining Large Production Runs

Machining materials like wrought aluminum, cast aluminum, graphite, and other non-ferrous alloys can quickly end the life of your tool, costing time and money. Nplus coating is specially engineered to extend tool life in these materials, allowing your tool to stay in the spindle for longer. This calls for less tool changes, creating a more efficient process flow in your large production runs.

Helical’s Nplus Coated Tooling

Helical’s 5 Flute End Mills for Aluminum

Introduced in Helical’s Spring 2022 Catalog, Helical’s 5 Flute End Mills for Aluminum are specially engineered for optimal performance in High Efficiency Milling (HEM) of aerospace aluminum alloys and other non-ferrous alloys. They’re offered in two unique styles, both fully stocked in Helical’s Nplus coating:

5 Flute – Corner Radius  – Variable Pitch – Chipbreaker Rougher

5 Flute – Corner Radius – Variable Pitch – End Mill

Helical’s Multi-Axis Finishers for Aluminum

Also introduced in Helical’s Spring 2022 catalog, this offering of Multi-Axis Finishers feature a specially defined profile for massive reductions in cycle times and vastly improved surface finish when machining aluminum.  They’re offered in 3 styles, all fully stocked in Helical’s Nplus coating to ensure excellent finish in abrasive aluminums and extended tool life in a wide variety of non-ferrous materials.

Multi-Axis Finishers – 3 Flute – Lens Form

Multi-Axis Finishers – 4 Flute – Taper Form

Multi-Axis Finishers – 4 Flute – Oval Form

For more information on Helical Solutions’ coatings, visit https://www.helicaltool.com/resources/tool-coatings.

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