Last updated: July 24, 2017

What Does Milling Mean?

Milling is a machining process that involves the use of cutting tools that are rotated at a set speed and then brought into contact with a work piece. The work piece is typically held in place by some sort of clamping device. The cutting tools begin to remove material when they touch the work piece.

Some materials may require milling to be performed on their surfaces to ensure that there are no crevices that could be subject to corrosion. Milling may also be performed to properly prepare surfaces for corrosion prevention coatings.


Corrosionpedia Explains Milling

Milling can be performed either manually or automatically. Vertical and horizontal milling machines are commonly used manually for maintenance and small job shop purposes. When complex parts with large volumes need to be milled they are typically milled by a CNC machine.

There are several different types of milling cutting tools available:

  • End mill - Possibly the most common type. An end mill can be used to cut laterally. Some end mills can cut both laterally and axially.
  • Face mill - While a face mill is used to make lateral cuts similar to an end mill, a face mill is also used to cut the entire surface of a material instead of just a portion.
  • Other milling cutting tools include thread mills, side and face mills, and thread mills.

Milling can be performed on many different materials. Commonly available machinability ratings are a good place to start to determine if a material can be easily milled. Special milling tools and processes may be required for materials that are difficult to machine.


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