Overcoming the Tooling Challenges of Superalloys for Metal Machined Parts

Jul 9, 2024


Superalloys are some of the best materials for aerospace manufacturing, offering unmatched strength, heat and corrosion resistance, and high hardness. Their properties have made them excellent for use in both metal machined parts as well as in the tooling used to shape other materials.

Parpas Active 5-4000

However, the same physical and mechanical properties that make them useful in the industry are also what make superalloys so difficult to machine and shape. Their hardness and high melting points cause tooling to deform and wear down much more quickly. This can make it much more challenging for typical machine shops to work with superalloys, because the costs of constantly repairing or replacing tooling just isn’t worth it. 

As a partner for several Aerospace manufacturers across the country, Prospect Group regularly machines superalloys into quality, durable tooling. High-Nickel Cast Forming dies are one of the major types of tooling that we provide, and we have invested significantly in the right equipment to machine superalloys like IN100, HN13C, Esco 49C, and Supermax alloys.

The most common challenge in machining superalloys is that cutting them tends to generate excessive heat compared to the fabrication of other materials. This heat can cause significant deformation of the tool if not properly managed, even a tool that is able to accommodate the hardness of the superalloy. To better mitigate this issue, we use high-pressure coolant systems during the machining process in order to protect the tooling that we’re using to shape the metals. 

Another strategy that we use is maintaining stable cutting conditions during the machining process. Vibration is a common occurrence in machining, especially with high-strength materials, so using equipment that keeps the workpiece stable is important for protecting tooling and ensuring high precision for the finished product. 

Prospect Group has extensive experience in working with a wide variety of materials for metal machined parts and quality custom tooling and dies, and we are well equipped to handle any of the challenges of the Aerospace and related industries. If you’re interested in working with us, check out our website to learn more about what we can do for you and contact us today!