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New tool for turning titanium can be monitored with sensors

A new insert geometry for grooving and parting off titanium has been introduced by German tool manufacturer, Horn.

It is said to ensure reliable chip-breaking and a soft cut, leading to high feed rates and fast machining times. Additionally, tool longevity is increased by up to 60%. Type 224 inserts with the new WT geometry are available in increments of 2, 2.5 and 3mm in carbide grade IG35 and are designed for Horn’s H224 tool holders.

Coupled with this development, the Swiss group Kistler, working closely with Paul Horn, has developed a novel system for real-time monitoring of tools used in micro turning applications. The Piezo Tool System (PTS) consists of a force sensor inserted into the turning tool holder that provides information on the condition of the tool during cutting.

The small piezoelectric sensor, which can be replaced easily and quickly, can measure even the tiniest of cutting forces to a high resolution. A machine operator is immediately able to identify a defect in the material being cut or a tool breakage, resulting in minimum scrap, maximum quality, lower production costs and increased productivity.

In micro turning applications, alternative measuring systems are not practical. Monitoring the drive power of the spindle motor is not able to detect the minute variations. Measuring acoustic emissions does not deliver satisfactory results consistently when small workpieces are being machined. Visual monitoring also has to be ruled out, as coolant together with the high rotational speeds would obscure the view of the machining process.

The new PTS solution is compatible with selected standard turning tool holders from Horn, does not require any adjustment to be made at the control and can be used on any lathe.


  • New St, Ringwood BH24 3AD, UK
  • Horn