Repeatedly pronounced dead, HSS tools nevertheless always experience a revival and are also able to hold their own against competition from outside the EU. The development of powder-metallurgical HSS steels in particular has brought a leap in tool performance.

David Hawel


Repeatedly pronounced dead, HSS tools nevertheless always experience a revival and are also able to hold their own against competition from outside the EU. The development of powder-metallurgical HSS steels in particular has brought a leap in tool performance.


New cutting edge geometries, often extensively developed with 3D simulations, enable previously unattainable cutting performance. Large, profiled flutes ensure friction-free chip removal in the truest sense of the word, which significantly increases the process reliability of these tools. New coatings provide long tool life and reduce built-up edges or scour damage. For HSS, innovation not only increases performance, but also significantly extends the life cycle of the tool systems.


A few years ago, TYROLIT provided manufacturers of these tools with the innovative STARTEC ICE grinding wheels, a high-performance tool for grinding HSS that has set a new benchmark in the market with its cool grinding and high stock removal rates. It brings out the full capabilities and performance of modern grinding machines and ensures high productivity and economy, enabling HSS tool manufacturers to survive in a fiercely competitive environment.


However, the manufacturing companies do not only have high-performance machines, but often have less powerful but reliable and durable grinding machines with medium feed rates and grinding capacities in use. As a rule, though, these cannot optimally utilise the high performance capacity of modern tools. Continuous improvement of the production processes with the existing machinery is, nevertheless, a key factor for sustainable competitiveness of the grinding companies.


Thanks to intensive customer contact and the close interaction between application technology and development at TYROLIT, this customer requirement was quickly recognised. These requirements became the guideline for the continuous further development and optimisation of TYROLIT’s grinding tools and initiated an innovative new development internally. Accordingly, all those involved, right up to the production department, have attempted to apply the strengths of the STARTEC ICE tools to the standard grinding tools. With the inclusion of all individual components of a grinding wheel, new approaches were sought with the aim of developing a new, innovative performance level also for use on standard machines.

Spin-off effects enable new performance standard


A very important element of the grinding wheel is, of course, the cutting grain. In several series of tests, all types of abrasives were tested in use by the customer. In the end, a combination of different fused alumina and sintered alumina, some of which also have new grain shapes, showed clear application advantages. A sophisticated mixture of different grain qualities results in a very cutting-friendly grinding wheel that requires significantly reduced grinding forces and thus also less energy for material removal.


At the same time, however, the new grain mixture required an adjustment of the bonding system in order to bind the individual grains more firmly and thus increase the service life of the grinding wheels. With optimised manufacturing processes, it was possible to improve the compaction behaviour of the bond components during the wheel forming processes, which in turn benefits the performance and service life of the new wheels. This specially adapted, innovative bond system now enables a very dense specification and keeps the abrasive grain in use for a long time. This results in very gentle grinding and high material removal with simultaneously high wear resistance but low grinding forces.


“Field trials have confirmed the expectations of the new specification,” reports TYROLIT Business Development Manager Tooling Industry, Martin Pilz. “Trials at a well-known customer in Germany, for example, showed clear advantages of the new STARTEC PRO flute grinding wheels over the established competitor. The currently somewhat reduced utilisation of the production capacities required an adjustment of the production parameters used. While the machines were running at full capacity with the highest feed rates in order to achieve the required output, a reduced feed rate is currently being used due to capacity. However, the grinding tools designed for high performance (STARTEC ICE) are too expensive for this and do not show the desired results at reduced load. The new STARTEC PRO is designed to reliably deliver the best results in terms of material removal and wear resistance at the standard parameters now used. And at an attractive price!”


Like all grinding wheels from TYROLIT, the new STARTEC PRO grinding tools also exceed all the relevant safety regulations. They have been safety-tested many times and are certified for grinding speeds of up to 80 m/sec.

One innovation for all


It is not only the powder-metallurgical HSS tools that enable the upswing of new HSS tools. New industrial sectors such as medical technology or the electrical industry also use HSS and report positive market developments. For HSS tool manufacturers, cost-effective production with high-performance tools has become the key factor, also and especially on the existing, proven machines.


This is a wide field for innovative grinding tools that further optimise the manufacturing process and help reduce production costs thanks to better cutting performance and longer tool life. In the case of the new STARTEC PRO grinding wheels from TYROLIT, this goes hand in hand with increased process reliability, significantly longer dressing cycles and increased productivity with lower cutting forces. TYROLIT is thus once again defining a new standard in grinding and raising users’ existing machinery to a new level in terms of productivity and economy. This makes users’ tools more cost-effective and therefore more competitive. Reason enough to put these new wheels into use as soon as possible.

STARTEC PRO for a cool cut

Resin bonded grinding wheels for HSS tool manufacturing

In the development of the new generation of flute grinding wheels for HSS tools, our product specialists particularly focused on the use of new grain mixtures. In combination with a revised resin-based bonding system, a high-performance tool for standard machines with limited feed rates was developed. An optimal price-performance ratio is a special feature of the new STARTEC PRO.