HARVI™ I TE: The Multi-purpose Superhero

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August 31, 2020

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by Wojciech Tukan

Hand holding HARVI I TE solid carbide end mill

Imagine one tool that can easily handle slotting, ramping, plunging, and finishing applications in materials like steel, stainless steel, titanium, Inconel, and more It’s possible with Kennametal’s award-winning HARVI I TE solid end mill! Let’s discover the super-versatile powers of the HARVI I TE with Kennametal engineers Steve George and Danny Davis!

Q: What does a "versatile tool" mean in metal cutting?

Steve George: It’s a tool that can work in a variety of materials and types of cut while maintaining the high-performance of application-specific tools. Often, it’s confused with so called “general purpose tools”, which are designed to work in many applications, but will not come even close to application-specific tools in terms of feeds and speeds. That’s what is special about the HARVI I TE – it’s versatile in the best way possible. In fact, the Edison Awards recognized it with a gold award as a game-changing innovation in metal cutting. 

Q: How did you make the HARVI I TE versatile across different materials?

Steve George: Each metal demands certain characteristics from a tool. For example, an end mill for titanium should have sharp edges and a lot of relief to decrease the cutting forces. As for steel, vibration reduction and damping properties are crucial. In Inconel, the overall strength of the tool and efficient heat evacuation are important. So, we had to engineer the HARVI I TE with “superpowers” to meet the demands of multiple metals. That was a true challenge!

HARVI I TE advantages diagram

Multiple superpowers combined

Q: As for the applications: HARVI I TE ramps up to 45° and has exceptional plunging capabilities. How did you get there?

Danny Davis: There are three main features which we have applied to achieve these capabilities. One of them is the revolutionary design of the twisted end face, which distributes the forces equally, spreading them out as opposed to being one directional. Secondly, the HARVI I TE has deep gashes, which help pull the chips down into the flutes and effectively evacuate them, which is crucial in plunging. The third feature is the unique shape of the dish. Standard tools have a flat dish, which is the limiting factor in ramping and plunging. So, we've made a variable-angle dish: we have a curve going across the end face, which helps protect the tool's center. This allows 45° ramping capabilities. 

How does the twisted end face work? Check it out!

Q: Speaking of ramping: is it really possible to achieve a 45 degree angle in everyday work?

Danny Davis: Yes! We wanted to ensure that the HARVI I TE could ramp high angles not only for demonstration purposes but also in everyday applications. So, we repeated the 45° ramp cut more than one thousand times with a single HARVI I TE and got great results each time. 

Q: HARVI I TE performs exceptionally well in slotting. What’s the secret?

Danny Davis: The biggest challenge was to create a tool rigid enough to take the massive forces generated while slotting and still have room for chip formation and ejection. This is because slotting generates lots of chips very quickly. That’s where the HARVI I TE’s patented parabolic core and “W” flute shape come in. Along with the gashes I’ve already mentioned, they provide extraordinary chip evacuation capabilities, allowing full width slotting.

The way slotting should be done

Q: And how does it perform in other applications?

Danny Davis: Roughing, slotting, semi-finishing, finishing, helical interpolation... We tested  the HARVI I TE on all those applications and with different parameters, so we made sure it can do the job from the very first cut until the part is finished. It’s not a gimmick; see for yourself, it’s all on video.

Q: And what about tests in different materials?

Steve George: HARVI I TE gets the job done in titanium, different types of steel, Inconel, cast iron. Take your pick. But to push our tool to the limits, we ran a test that was totally out of the box. We cut four different materials simultaneously with a single HARVI I TE end mill. You can watch it in the video below!

Four materials - single cut

Q: What kind of a team do you need to achieve such results?

Steve George: We listened to our customers. They told us they needed one tool for multiple applications and materials. From there, we assembled a team of Kennametal experts to the create the HARVI I TE solid end mill, including specialists in geometry design, grinding, CNC programming, machining and coating. There were also specialists who field tested the tool with customers before its official release. It took a massive, cross-functional effort, but that’s how innovations are made.

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