Flexible Dovetail Grooving System from Horn Cutting Tools
A new grooving system (Series 231) developed specifically for machining radial, axial and internal dovetail grooves is now available from Horn Cutting Tools Ltd. The tooling was initially developed to meet the needs of oil and gas equipment manufacturers but has already attracted interest from other sectors where high integrity O-ring sealing is valued.
The system is fully engineered to Horn standards. In trials, comparing it with alternative products it offered up to five times the tool life, halved the machining cycle time and significantly enhanced accuracy and repeatability.
The solution as offered requires three machining steps, beginning with a standard plunge grooving operation. This is followed by separate operations using left- and right-handed ‘half dovetail’ profile cutting inserts to produce identical dovetail angles to the required angle. A radius on the bottom angle of the dovetail eliminates the possibility of internal burrs. Left or right-handed standard 221/228 style tool holders can be used and Horn’s AS45 coated micrograin carbide inserts are standard.
Series 231 tooling was largely designed and developed by Horn Northern area applications engineer Stuart Gill. He comments. “Horn has an expanding customer base within the offshore and sub-sea systems community where the requirement for dovetail grooving is growing. Although we had some experience of producing the tools as ‘specials’ it became apparent that there was sufficient market interest for us to develop a ‘standard’ range.”
A key aspect of the insert development was to maximise toughness and rigidity. To that end the cutting ‘blade’ is precision ground in such a way as to maximise its thickness and eliminate stress points. This helps to optimise cutting performance and minimises wear
Horn offers tooling for entry grooves between 1.4 mm and 8.5 mm width (in six steps) to cover the most common industry sizes, whilst for axial grooving applications a minimum outer groove diameter between 25mm and 40 mm applies. A toolholder has also been developed for internal grooving within a cylinder of 80 mm minimum internal diameter.