The Reach and ROHS directives, as they are currently being developed, foresee the prohibition of the use of certain harmful or dangerous substances, including lead, even as an alloying element.
This will lead either to its elimination or to a significant reduction in its content in metal alloys with improved machinability. To anticipate these changes, companies of Cetim's professional commission "Serial machining" have ordered a study on the machinability of lead-free alloys in order to have recommendations on the cutting conditions for some steel and brass alloys.
After a literature search highlighting the results of a Swedish study showing a 77% increase in production cost when switching to "lead-free" and, above all, the absence of a universal solution, sinking tests were carried out on steel and brass grades, supplemented by drilling tests. A document was produced describing the conditions under which the best results are achieved according to cutting angles and edge sharpness as a function of different lead and material rates.
Access to the full report (in French) is provided below: