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Scientific research of VNIIINSTRUMENT


Design and introduction of new tools

By 1948 the specialists of VNIIINSTRUMENT had developed a wide range of cutters, boring tools, reams and multiflute drills. All those tools had brazed carbide plates which at that time were widely introduced in the national manufacturing. By 1950, the total production of carbide tools had increased 22 times that of 1949.

The next step was to improve carbide tools with a new design of assembled tools which had replaceable throw-away blades.

The breakthrough inventions of Akimov A. V. and Samoylov B. I. helped solve this task better in the Institute. After successful research and development activities, the institute had a whole range of replaceable throw-away blades of different designs as well as a range of assembled cutters, boring tools, face-milling cutters and borers, all equipped with replaceable throw-away blades. These blades ensured stable performance of the tools during cutting of most of the common engineering materials that were used in machine-building industry. These inventions brought about a radical change in tool design and its use in the metal cutting.

During the aforementioned period the Laboratory for Hard Alloys made a large contribution to the development and introduction of assembled tools with carbide replaceable throw-away blades.

From 1984 to 1990 the Institute was engaged in designing and testing assembled tools of the third generation completely new tools which conformed fully to international standards. The main characteristic of these tools was the possibility to use carbide replaceable throw-away blades (including blades with one or multi-layer ceramic coating) of both national and foreign origin for tools with standard fixation units.

In addition to the above, the following kinds of tools and tool sets were designed: turning tools, boring tools, flute-grinding tools, thread-cutting tools, tools for cutting oil pipes and joints etc. The specialists of the Institute and the engineers from the tool manufacturing industry worked together to carry out tests on these tools, the results of which were fruitful.

The market thereafter grew less dependent on import of tools and the national tooling industry started growing rapidly - it provided tools for both national and international markets.

As industrial enterprises were taking recourse to increased automation to enhance performance of station-type machines they required brand new kind of tools. This lead to the design of cutting and auxiliary tools with built-in actuators to control performance of the tool in the course of deterioration, special devices to adjust the tools to the given dimensions, devices to take the cutting waste away to ensure non-stop automated cutting operations, etc.

Many engineers working at the Institute were awarded the State Award of the USSR for their achievements: they developed principles for integrated automation of machine-building process and designed and started an automated piston production plant. The engineers of the Institute also designed cutting tools and accessories for the automated production of roller-bearings at The First State Bearing Plant (GPZ-1) automated motor shaft and gear wheel product lines etc.

The Institute made a substantial contribution to the setting up of the automobile production at Volzhsky Automobile Plant (VAZ). The engineers worked for the plants that manufactured cutting and auxiliary tools for VAZ, developed an integrated technology for manufacturing various tools with the use of home equipment, designed technologies and tool materials for the high-quality efficient tools of the automated lines of VAZ.

Similar work was done by engineers of the Institute for Kamsky Automobile Plant (KamAZ) at the initial stages of its functioning.

The Institute designed a tooling system for big, heavy-duty and specific machines, which produced heavy items (over 20 tons) and made cutting threads 30-50 mm deep. This was a solution to a very important problem for the National Economy enhancing the quality of processing of large-sized items like huge iron parts, parts for marine engines, parts of heavy-duty equipment etc. The work was done in cooperation with Kramatorsky Polytechnic Institute, Ukrainian Special Steel Research Institute, Sestroretsky Tool Production Plant and various other machine-building plants.

In 1978 1986 VNIIINSTRUMENT carried out significant engineering and technological research in tooling systems design for automated equipment and started using them at tool production plants of the new generation. The systems included cutting and auxiliary tools, separate auxiliary tool systems, a range of assembled cutters, face- and end-milling cutters, borers, multiflute drills, counterboring tools etc. All tools were equipped with new kinds of replaceable throw-away carbide blades where a few of these had central tapered holes and multi-layered wear-resistant coating. After these kinds of tools appeared in the industry, the realm of application of assembled tools increased considerably and thereby gave a major fillip to the quality of cutting operations in machine building industry.

From 1968 to 1990 VNIIINSTRUMENT worked closely with machine-tool manufacturing plants and tool producing factories. Together they developed various complexes of high-quality cutting and auxiliary tools to be used at NC machine-tools of over 100 standard sizes, at flexible automated lines based on such machine-tools and in processing centres. It was during this time that the first national modular tooling systems for the NC machine-tools were developed. Such systems allowed significant optimization of the tool stock of many industries. The technology of using presses to manufacture new carbide plates as well as its control systems were also designed during the same period.

The national professional equipment and watch industries were growing fast during the 1960s and 70s, so the Institute developed new kinds of small high-precision cutting tools and a new technology of their production (borers, counterbores, thread cutters, milling cutters etc).

In 1970, VNIIINSTRUMENT, together with some Ukrainian Research Institutes, started research work on Synthetic Super Hard Materials (SSHM) cubic boron nitride (CBN), synthetic diamond and cutting ceramic. A range of tools with parts made of these materials was designed too: turning and counterboring tools, boring heads, face-milling cutters, thread cutters and other tools. The technology to re-sharpen tools made of such materials was also developed. Subsequently, a few plants started serial production of these tools.

VNIIINSTRUMENT has developed and started manufacturing tools for processing deep holes. Together with various production plants and scientific institutions it designed ejection drills, single-ended carbide borers and counterbores.

Among the fundamentally new tools and technologies designed by VNIIINSTRUMENT in the sixties, the high-efficiency cutter sharpening technology for cutting cylinder gear wheels deserves special attention. It was developed by professor Tsvis Yu. V., Doctor of Engineering. His team elaborated the theory and methods of constructional design of the cutting tools and sharpening machine-tools.

Since VNIIINSTRUMENT has become the leading institution of the tooling industry, the results of its research work have been used in many branches of the machine-building industry. Moreover, VNIIINSTRUMENT is engaged in research and development work on bench-work and installation tools and wood-cutting machine-tools.

In 1965 there was established a special department for wood-cutting tool-machines in the Institute. At the same time the woodwork and timber industry started the wide use of new wooden materials and plastics, which rapidly blunted the cutting edges. Therefore, the main objective of this department was to create wear-resistant carbide tools.

The staff of the Institute worked very closely with the enterprises of the tooling industry all over the country. Together they rapidly increased production of wood-cutting tools (doubled each 5-7 years up to 1992) and enhanced the quality of the tools. The production volume of tools with carbide parts reached that of other developed foreign countries. Serial production was initiated for new log-cutting tools for chipper-edgers and chipper-canters, modern end-cutting tools, various tools for the furniture industry, efficient carbide tooling systems for block and plated parquet manufacturing.

During the recent years the specialists in wood-processing have appreciably contributed towards replacement of the imported tools used in furniture and construction industry by local ones. These tools included tools for window works, form milling cutters for furniture industry, disc saws for cutting hollow plastic forms and pipes, tools for cutting flame-proof heat insulation, cutters for plastic window works. Concurrently they carried out research on manufacture of saws with soldered-on two-layer blades made of CBN.

These days the Institute is also engaged in designing and manufacturing pilot tools and assists in setting up production lines for wood-cutting tools at different plants (in Tomsk, Belgorod, Sverdlovsk, Serpukhov, Perm, Volgograd, Saint-Petersburg, Yoshkar-Ola etc). It also carries out safety tests for certification of tools.

Tool materials

The Institute has received wide acknowledgment for developing, testing and setting up production of high-speed steels of tungsten-molibdenum group. This work was done in cooperation with Ukrainian Special Steel Research Institute, Central Research Institute for Ferrous Metallurgy, Moscow State Technological University Stankin and some other Institutes. The research allowed to start manufacture of steel of grades 94, 65 (apart form the existing 18 and 9), high-speed steels of enhanced efficiency grades 182, 144, 95, 95, 9.10, and later on 945 and 6.5 too. These institutes developed a series of steel grades with 6% chrome content for manufacture of tools used in cold plastic forming (grades 66, 6, 6) and in high-temperature plastic forming (50X6 )

Considerable research work was done to test the environment for use of martensite non-ageing alloys as a tool material. These alloys are characterized by inter-metallic toughness with enhanced hardness of Rockwell 66c-68c. These alloys are used for cutting hard materials in aircraft industry.

The Institute has also achieved positive results in optimizing the technology for thermal treatment of high-speed steel. This assumes significance since tool manufacturers and machine-building plants have technological norms and standards to be adhered to for thermal treatment of various tools made of different grade steels.

New technologies were elaborated for bath de-oxidation as well as methods for improved heating of blank parts during thermal treatment.

Together with Central Research Institute for Ferrous Metallurgy, the Institute has conducted extensive research in plastic properties of high-speed steel and discovered the effect of sub-critical temperature on super-plasticity. This effect was thereafter widely used by tool manufacturers during plastic forming of borers, thread-cutters and end-milling cutters.

One of the areas for research work is metal-cutting with new tool materials and kinds of tools. The tests were carried out on hard tungsten and tungsten free alloys, cutting ceramics, high-speed steels of various content and lubri-coolants of different manufacturers. The results of such work laid the basis for recommendations for new material applications and for proposals for standards of cutting.

Just after the Institute was founded, it started providing scientific and technological assistance to tool manufacturers, analyzed their performance and advised them on their specialization. The largest projects were made for newly built and growing plants. Among these the most interesting are the projects of Orhshansky Tooling Plant, Khrapunovsky Tooling Plant and Kulyabsky Plant for Experimental Tools.


Tooling plants managed to start manufacture of carbide tools with soldered-on parts in a very short time due to the soldering technology, developed by the Institute, which used induction heating with RF current.

In the fifties and sixties the Institute elaborated new solder alloy, which unlike the foreign had no silver in content and ensured high quality soldering and durable fixation. Apart from that a technology was elaborated to reduce internal stress developed in hard alloys during soldering.

The Institute has developed over 40 kinds of solder powder for tools with parts of high-speed steel, hard alloys and super-hard materials based on CBN and diamond. The most widely applied were solder alloys of grades 8; 12; 25; 26 they ensured high cutting performance and enhanced overall performance of tools by a factor of 1.5 2.

The new solder powder 60 ensures durable seals on high-speed and constructional steels and reduces the amount of high-speed steel required when compared to solid tools.

The technology of manufacturing soldered assembled tools proved to be very efficient. This technology is based on the use of the new solder powder and is applied in tooling and other similar industries.

Among the latest achievements are designs of new fluxing materials, package units for electrical soldering of tools and other products, technologies of soldering tools to be applied in different industries, methods and equipment for plastic forming of borers (from rolling to technology and machine-tools for borer production), the methods of flash-free molding of blank parts for inserts: facing cutters, milling cutters etc (the method ensures a 25% to 55% reduction in the consumption of high-speed steel). The aforementioned technologies and methods are widely used by manufacturers nationwide.

The Institute, in cooperation with the Research Institute for Press-and Forging Machines, developed new type of machine-tools for hot extrusion of large-size borers (diameter up to 70 mm), which lead to a 30% reduction in consumption of high-speed steel.

From the fifties to the seventies the Institute focused on optimizing technology for the production of rasps. The specialists developed a new method of induction heating of blank parts for rasps which replaced the old method of furnace heating. They also designed a range of semi-automated machines to harden rasps of all basic types and sizes and a method of manufacturing rasps with durable teeth surfaces.

A lot of work was carried out to find ways of material (mainly high-speed steel) saving during the manufacture of tools. The Institute developed several designs of welding tools, various methods of butt welding of parts with preliminary heating (which reduced the area used for welding by a factor of 3 to 4), friction welding technology etc.

The Institute was the first in Russia to have developed technologies for mechanical operations on NC machine tools which is used to manufacture assembled tools, borers, face and end-milling cutters. These findings are taken as basic fundamental concepts in many of the plants in this country.

A lot was done to develop equipment and elaborate the technology for producing carbide precision and high-speed cutting tools by fluting the solid blank parts. As a result, we have special fluting units and technologies for manufacturing such tools that are widely applied at tool production. This work was done by the department of new technologies for tool production.

The Institute has been working continuously to improve the performance characteristics of cutting tools. In this field it worked in close cooperation with research institutes of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, national Universities, machine-building plants and tool manufacturers. From 1975 to 1980, these organisations working hand in glove set up serial production of tools units and ensured wide use of technologies for applying wear-resistant coating on tools (both the units and technologies were developed by VNIIINSTRUMENT). The technologies were elaborated to apply the coating by condensation with ionic bombardment (C.IB) in vacuum of single, multi-layer or complex coatings composed of nitrides of the 4th and 6th column of the periodic table. These technologies ensure enhancement of quality and performance characteristics of the tools produced locally. The licenses for use of these technologies have been sold to a few manufacturers abroad too.

The specialists of the Institute were awarded the State Award of the USSR for the aforementioned achievements. .

From 1985 to 1988 the Institute was engaged in preparation of licence agreements for technical re-equipping of tool producing plants. On its completion, the Minsk Tool Producing Plant started manufacturing bimetallic band saw blades and Belgorod Plant of Milling Cutters began producing large-size cutters.

The Institute was the first in our country to research, develop and put into practice the technology of vacuum heat treatment of high-speed and chisel steel tools in vacuum electric furnaces. This technology ensures reduction of the tool deformation, stable quality of heat treatment, defect-free surface of the tool and ecologically harmless production. It is also very effective when applied in combination with technologies of wear-resistant coatings.

The Institute has distinguished itself in the field of quality control for cutting tools. VNIIINSTRUMENT, in cooperation with Agency for Compatibility and tool manufacturers developed and systematized different types of measuring devices and gages and put them into operation at tool production plants.

Recent Achievements

During the recent years the research and development activity at the Institute has been focussing on multi-purpose tools for high-speed metal cutting where super-hard materials with ultramicrodisperse coatings and modern auxiliary tools are used.

To ensure high speed of metal cutting, a whole range of carbide precision tools, as well as tools with parts made of super-hard materials (based on CNB) were designed. These tools assure best quality cutting at high speed (exceeding the standard speed by a factor of 5 to 10).

During high-speed cutting operations the most important factor is that of reducing the weight of the tool and consequently reducing its imbalance. Therefore the Institute designed face-milling cutters made of lightweight alloys with special coatings to prevent deformation (the cutting blade being made of super-hard materials). As a consequence, the weight of the tools is halved and the imbalance brought down by a factor of 2 to 4. Therefore these tools can demonstrate high performance when used in high-speed NC machine-tools.

Under the government contract a new machine was designed to apply ultramicrodisperse coatings using vacuum-plasma technology. The machine is equipped with a new kind of switched mode power supply which allows the application of high-quality wear-resistant coatings of numerous types and compositions on tools of various sizes in different thermal environments. Use of this machine generates new opportunities in the field of enhancement of the durability of tools and widens the scope of application of these tools.

A range of new carbide end-cutting tools was designed to manufacture high-quality wooden products at high-speed NC machine tools. These tools are used for facing and other parts of furniture and have totally replaced imported tools which were hitherto in use.

For works on doors and windows, sets of new disc tools with carbide throw-away cutting blades were designed which ensured a very high quality cutting and led to the replacement of similar tools of foreign origin.

Moscow pilot tooling plant has been of great assistance to scientists and engineers in the course of the whole process from generation of a scientific idea to manufacture of tools and machines. The plant is a pilot engineering base of VNIIINSTRUMENT. For 50 years it has manufactured samples of most of the new tools and also various machine tools for high-frequency hardening of rasps, finishing fronts of carbide plates, adjustments of blank parts for tools, polishing and sharpening tools, heating units for borer manufacturing machine tools, measuring units etc.

Engineers of VNIIINSTRUMENT have been very successful in creating brand-new designs and technologies. To date over 600 inventors certificates and over 180 patents for inventions have been issued. Further, about 180 inventors certificates and patents were issued abroad and 15 licence agreements have been signed with the USA, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic etc.

VNIIINSTRUMENT has also been engaged in publishing activity: books on scientific and technical subjects, collections of its works and articles, advertising brochures, directories and books on various classifications. Many a time, achievements of the tooling engineers were presented at exhibitions in this country and abroad.

After many years of hard work of the management and directors of the Institute, a new complex was constructed for VNIIINSTRUMENT. In 1975, the first part was commissioned for laboratories and the engineering department of the Institute. In 1988, the whole complex was commissioned. The premises with a total area of 30000 square meters houses laboratories and departments of the Institute, pilot tooling plant, a library with scientific and technical literature, a conference hall for 400 people and a cafe for the employees.

Even after privatization the Institute is still controlled by the State which helps it to retain its staff and fixed assets.

A lot of attention is given to social aspects. During the recent years the premises and facilities of the recreation camp for children Solnishko (The Sun) have been renovated and kept in good condition thereafter.

The Institute has modern research and production facilities. Its departments carry out pioneering work to find new breakthroughs in the fields of wear-resistant coatings, soldering technologies, designs of cutting, bench-work, installation and auxiliary tools, new technologies of mechanical treatment of tool etc. The Institute plays a leading role in the process of standardization of tools as it monitors the activity of the Technical Committee on Standards TK-95 Instrument. The committee includes eight sub-committees to cover the entire range of tools. The Institute has a Certification Centre for all kinds of cutting, bench-work and installation tools.

VNIIINSTRUMENT has prepared and published:

- Reference system T/lnfo National and International manufacturers of metal-cutting, wood-cutting, bench-work, installation, abrasive-diamond and auxiliary tools;

- Reference book Tools produced by manufacturers in Russia, countries of CIS and the Baltic;

- Reference book Comparison of norms and standards of GOST and DIN for metal-cutting wood-cutting, bench-work, installation, abrasive-diamond and auxiliary tools .


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© VNIIINSTRUMENT,  2006-2010