As any skilled toolroom manager knows, regular maintenance is the key to toolholder performance. However, in some environments, even the most careful scheduled maintenance is often unable to stave off wear due to corrosion. From humid air and muggy weather to moisture-heavy applications and electrical discharge machining (EDM), there are many causes of corrosion, but the results are the same – subpar toolholder performance and thus suboptimal processes and unstable machining. It is for these reasons that toolholding OEMs like REGO-FIX work to develop toolholding solutions that can withstand the rigors of the world’s toughest manufacturing environments.
Testing collet materials for corrosion resistance generally involves exposing the toolholder to varying degrees of temperature, humidity and water salinity. The conventional spring steel used in standard ER collets will become affected relatively quickly in corrosive environments. After 360 hours of continuous exposure, the collet is almost fully covered by rust. Solutions exist for the use of standard steel materials in toolholding, such as plasma nickel plating or other surface treatments, but these will generally fail to provide sufficient protection over the long term, which necessitates looking at alternative materials.
Traditionally, stainless steel is used for corrosion-resistant parts; when it comes to withstanding basic or acidic solutions, seawater, and other corrosive environments, stainless steel’s material properties make it ideal. However, over a 360-hour test, stainless steel ER collets often still exhibit corrosion. This is likely due to the quality of the material itself; 1.4034 (X46Cr13) stainless steel’s hardness, for instance, reduces its corrosion resistance.
The ER collet design itself originated with REGO-FIX, and today, the company has also pioneered a truly corrosion-resistant toolholding solution. New REGO-FIX stainless steel ER holders offer super-precise clamping – with a total system runout of ≤6 µm – while ensuring that the toolholder will continue to perform even in the toughest environments. The solution? Better materials.
The new stainless steel ER collets from REGO-FIX feature 1.4122 (X39CrMo17-1) stainless, which has a higher concentration of chromium and additional molybdenum for a far greater degree of corrosion resistance. After the same 360-hour test performed on the 1.4034 ER collet, the new REGO-FIX collets show virtually no evidence of corrosion. Currently, these new ER 11 and 16 INOX collets are available in four micro-bore collet sizes from Ø0.25 mm to Ø1.00 mm and 10 collet sizes from Ø1.50 mm to Ø6.00 mm. For stainless steel toolholding solutions with additional diameters and collet styles, contact your local REGO-FIX distributor for more information.