A customer was looking for an end mil to try on plastics. Plastics come is a wide variety of compositions and hardness, therefore a lot depends on the type of plastic being machined. Here is our advice to get started:
All of our end mills are
designed primarily for metals, but many people use them on plastics, composites
and hardwoods as well. I would start with the basic four flute end mills. If
you have trouble with chip clearance/chip evacuation, you might have to look at
a 2 flute, however, you will get a better finish with the four flute. We have
some customers that have used the end mills for aluminum in harder plastics.
These tools for aluminum have a higher helix angle and more room between the
flutes for chip evacuation. Because the core does not have to be as large and
strong as for other metals, we can grind these deeper for better chip removal.
The aluminum cutting are a high-performance tool that cost a lot more than the
regular end mills though, so you have to take that into account.
Although you may see some
benefit from a coating, I don't think it would justify the expense, so I would
stick with the uncoated tools. Most people cutting plastic seem to be using
uncoated tools. I don't think you see much benefit from the coatings until you
reach higher temperatures, like 900-2200 degrees F.
So here are some links to
some basic ones to consider. Other variables are length, ball end and corner
radius, in addition to the regular length square end end mills that I have linked to
Just let me know if we
can be of any further assistance.