How can you mill ceramics?

Burnt ceramic is a hard material, but it can be quite fragile. Sometimes it is necessary to cut parts out of the ceramic or to cut a workpiece. For this, the use of a milling cutter with a special cutting disc is often recommended. How does the milling of ceramics work?

What type of ceramic is it?

There are many different types of ceramics that differ in composition. Some contain, for example, alumina, other magnesia, or both. Mohs hardness is an important factor that determines the choice of the milling process.

You can also mill unfired ceramics. In this condition, the material is relatively soft (about as chalk, sometimes a little harder). The engineer needs less force but much care.

Milling unbranded ceramics

Unburned material can be milled with a tungsten carbide tool. Choose a speed between about 2,500 and 3,000 rpm and cool with an emulsion. Always move the cutting edge in the direction of the material to avoid spalling.

Milling burnt ceramic

Burnt ceramics are much harder, here the milling is more like a grinding. For this you need a diamond tool, for example a PCD milling cutter, which has a polycrystalline diamond. The PCD mill also cuts graphite and aluminum.

Tips and tricks for milling ceramics

If you are cooling with an emulsion, you should occasionally replace the coolant as the ceramic dust settles in it. Also, think carefully about where to start your work and how to continue working to avoid chipping and breakouts.

In case of uncertainties, also consult the cutting data tables of your tool manufacturer to find out how and what you can do best with this material. There is no magic recipe for milling ceramics.

Tips & Tricks

Be sure to use a sharp cutter to mill ceramics. Because with blunt tools increases the risk of outbreaks!

Video Board: NTK Solid Ceramic End Mill