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How the Chip Load Affects a Tool


"Chip load" is a term that is commonly used in the world of tool manufacturers. The values that are given by tool providers for each tool have certain chip loads. In general terms, chip load refers to the thickness of the chip after it has been machined. In order to target the proper chip load, workers can use a certain formula that involves speeds and rotations per minute: Surface Feet per Minute = RPM x 262 x Tool Diameter RPM = Surface Feet per Minute x 3.82/ Tool Diameter Feed Rate (inches per minute) = RPM x Chip Load per Tooth x Number of Flutes Chip Load per Tooth = inches per minute / RPM x Number of Flutes

Another thing to consider is that the chip load is a measure of how much heat is taken away from the cut, and as a consequence, from the cutting tool. If not enough heat is taken away, the tool will overheat and will not last as long as one might expect. Manufacturers must consider other factors that are responsible for heating, as well. Consider, for example, plunging versus ramping into a cut. Plunging will create a lot of heat, and tools with a proper feed rate will die prematurely. Deceleration at the corners is also important. Cutting small parts from a board, for example, creates a bigger heating problem than cutting larger parts from the board. So, a smaller chip load will lead to heat buildup. So, the lesson to be learned is that running a router at the maximum feed rate and RPM should be avoided, in order to prevent the chip load from getting too small and overheating the tool.


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