Western Tool & Supply Logo

WAM & WAMR End Mills for Aluminum


WAM and WAMR Tools are Designed for HEM Techniques

Conventional Tool Path

HEM Tool Path

High Efficient Milling (sometimes referred to as High-Efficiency Machining or HEM) tool pathing strategies offer dramatic improvements in Material Removal Rates (MRR). They also can reduce roughing cycle times by as much as 70% over traditional roughing tool paths.

Using WAM and WAMR tools with these HEM roughing tool path strategies will significantly reduce cycle time. Tool life will increase by several times due to low stress on the tool.

The HEM tool path is a sophisticated algorithm that is designed to maintain a constant tool radial engagement with the material. This constant radial engagement prevents the tool from becoming overloaded in transitional moments such pushing the tool into a corner. In a conventional tool path, these transitional moments can severely overload the tool. These moments cause premature wear and tool failure.

WAM and WAMR tool operation parameters can be adjusted to take advantage of the constant loads that HEM techniques offer.

  1. Deep Axial Depths: WAM and WAMR can be programmed for up to 4X diameters DOC. This means that it can do deep cavity or contour tool paths in one pass. It only needs to go through the tool path once at depth and not stepping down for each pass.
  2. Light Radial Engagement: On deep axial depths, a light radial engagement evens out the pressure and wear over the entire tool. This helps to increase tool life. Typically, light radial engagements are from 5 to 12% of the tool diameter.
  3. Heavy Radial Engagement with HEM: WAM and WAMR tools have deep chip gullets designed for chip evacuation. In shallow depths, the radial engagement can be increased to 33% or more of the tool diameter. This vastly improves MRR in these shallower depths. The secret to high radial engagement success is in the constant radial load of the HEM tool path.
  4. Higher Spindle Speeds: Because the end mill is only engaged with the material for a small percentage of the spindle rotation, the spindle rpm is increased. This will maintain the necessary heat for proper chip plasticization and preventing built up edge.
  5. Higher Feed Rates: The light radial engagement allows the use of chip thinning calculations to help maintain the correct chip load. Typically, a radial engagement of 7% of tool diameter will allow for a doubling of the normal feed rate used for slotting. Feed rates can be higher in good stable conditions.

Combining WAM and WAMR tools with HEM programming techniques is a winning strategy for reducing cycle time, improving tool life and improving profitability. HEM programming techniques have a clear advantage over traditional tool paths by increasing MRR to the highest degree possible with today's modern CNC machine tool.

WAM Features & Benefits

Optimized flute geometry provides excellent chip evacuation for high efficiency machining and traditional tool paths

Available in square, corner radius and ball nose

Wiper flat provides superior floor finish

Extra fine grain carbide with high transverse rupture strength for higher feed rates

Optional ZrN Coating for High Wear Resistance

WAM Diverse Machining Techniques

HEM and Conventional Pocketing

Wall Finishing

HEM Roughing, Finishing & Countouring


Face Milling

WAMR Features & Benefits

Chipbreaker flute design allows for increased cutting speeds and material removal rates

Smaller chip creation during machining eliminates long stringy chips

Each rougher is coated with extremely low friction ONX coating

WAMR Diverse Machining Techniques

Deep HEM Pocketing

Light Plunging

Light and Heavy HEM Contouring


Heavy Slotting

Programmer's Perspective on WAMR

One of the unintended consequences of 2 to 4 times diameter deep axial High Efficient Milling (HEM) is the creation of "long, stringy chips." These chips do not flush away easily and tend to remain on the work holding and machine tables requiring machine operators to expend extra time clearing them during part change outs.

An aerospace facility that aggressively uses HEM roughing tool path strategies was experiencing this issue on their vertical milling machines and the time saved from HEM milling was being lost clearing matted together chip piles on the work holding and machine table.

This shop was introduced to the WAM Rougher to help increase their metal removal rates, while also eliminating these longer chips. The WAM Rougher is designed to take aggressive feed rates, while also breaking up the chips into shorter segments that can be easily flushed away from the part. The coolant stream carries them to the chip conveyer for quick removal.

The WAM Rougher proved to be a great solution. By design, the WAM Rougher allows light duty vertical and horizontal mills to be more efficient at aggressively cutting material, while solving the chip evacuation and piling problems.