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Published by hiren_1980

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Published by: hiren_1980 on Sep 11, 2008
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H. Wang, U. RoyDept. of Mech., Aerospace, Manufacturing EngineeringSyracuse University
Syracuse, NY 13244R. Sudarsan, R. D. Sriram, K. W. Lyons
Design and Process Group, Systems Integration DivisionNational Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899
This paper proposes a scheme for the tolerancespecification that uses the features’ functioninformation and mating condition attributes in theassembly to derive an appropriate tolerancespecification as per the design intents. Theproposed mirror method provides a way tolocate the critical components. It helps the user identify functional features and group them intoclusters. Temporary DRF (Datum ReferenceFrame) is first generated for each cluster of features on critical components by selectingspecific features as datum features. Other features (that are not datum features) present inthe same cluster are then toleranced withrespect to those datum features. The temporaryDRFs as well as the tolerancing scheme arethen copied (a mirror image of the criticalcomponent) to the other mating components(which are mating with the particular criticalcomponent). The final DRFs on the criticalcomponents are then decided by analyzing thetemporary DRFs and the given functionalrequirements of each component. Appropriategeometric tolerance types and materialconditions for toleranced features are generatedfollowing the standards and the industrialpractices.
Traditionally tolerances for manufactured partsare specified using symbolic schemes of GD&Tas per ASME or ISO standards. Usedappropriately, the symbols can give geometricdefinitions of components that represent designintents. GD&T describes the variationalinformation related to the size, form, orientation,and location of part features. It has a design-dimensioning philosophy that encouragesdesigners to define a part based on how itfunctions in the final product.Tolerancing a component as per standardsincludes 1) datum feature selection, 2)dimensioning between datum features andtoleranced features, 3) assignment of geometrictolerance type, value, material condition (for feature of size), and DRF in the feature controlframe.Functional surfaces (edges or points) arenormally chosen as datum features. The mostimportant quality of a datum feature is that itmust define the orientation and/or location of apart precisely in the assembly. This isparticularly true for a primary datum feature. Ingeneral, the datum features need to be [MEA98]: 1) functional (serving a purpose for thepart’s operation); 2) representative of mating or sitting features and/or alignment edges (toassure that if they are inspected and acceptedwhile oriented to, or located from datumsconstructed from those features, the controlledfeatures will, indeed, mate and/or sit); 3)repeatable in manufacturing; 4) accessibleduring manufacturing and inspection operations.
Conditions 1) and 2) are more important thanconditions 3) and 4), because conditions 1) and2) establish direct relationships betweenfunctions of the feature to the datum feature. Wemay add form or orientation tolerance to controldatum feature so that they are repeatable inmanufacturing and inspection. Some times, afunctional feature may not be a good candidatefor a datum feature if it has any accessibilityproblem during manufacturing, assembly andinspection. In that situation, we need to find outother feature that is accessible and whoseorientation to the other functional features canbe controlled by applying orientation tolerances.Functions and mating conditions must guide thedatum selection process. Other practical needsshould also be considered in selecting datumfeatures. It should be noted that planar andcylindrical features are the most commonfeatures in any component. With sufficientlylarge surfaces, they are able to control themaximum number of DOFs (degree of freedom)of the orientation of any surface. They are easyto be simulated by surfaces of instruments usedin manufacturing and inspection, such asworking table of machine tool and inspectionmachine or surfaces of gages and fixers. Beforeintroducing the proposed mirror method, it isimportant that we define the function and matingcondition attributes of features that will guideclustering of features, selection of tolerancetype, and selection of datum features.
 In this paper, we differentiated mating conditionattributes from function attributes because theyserve differently in the tolerance selectionprocess. Details of both attributes are providedin the following.Functional attributes serve some specificpurposes in a part’s operation, such as seal,rotate, balance, gearing, fastening, press fit,clearance fit, and sliding etc. They should beused to guide the selection of tolerance types,tolerance values, and material conditions(Maximum Material Condition, Least MaterialCondition, Regardless of Feature Size - MMC,LMC and RFS).Let us investigate some of the function attributesand examine how their requirements affect thetolerancing process.
Seal: arrests any leakage between twocomponents. It requires tight form and sizecontrol (assuming no flexible sealing partsused).
Rotate: preserves the rotation between twocomponents. The feature for “rotate”, such ascylindrical features that mate with bearings,requires tight location and form control.
Balance: preserves balance (symmetry)between two components. The feature for “balance”, such as a center hole or a boss tocontrol the relative position of two components,doesn’t allow MMC referenced to it if it is chosenas a datum feature.
Gearing: preserves gear mesh between twocomponents. Requires profile control of the gear mesh.
Fastening: connects two components.Requires projected tolerance zone considerationand MMC control for interchangeability.
Sliding: preserves sliding between twocomponents (such as piston assembly).Requires form control on the contactingsurfaces.
Press fit: does not allow any relativemovement; The components after press fittedare considered as one single component. RFS isrecommended.
Clearance fit: relative movement allowed.MMC is recommended.Mating condition attributes serve purposes inpart’s location and orientation in the assembly.They can be categorized as: locate, sit, contact,align, etc. They can be used in guiding selectionof datum features.
Locate: preserves the relative location of twocomponents, such as a pin interface. Thefeatures that are used to locate, such as pin or pinholes, are normally short enough so that theywill not control the orientation of component inthe assembly but only location. They are notgood candidates for primary datum features.However, as they control the position of component in the assembly, they are goodcandidates for secondary datum features.
Sit: preserves 3-points contact between twoplanes, controls 3 DOFs (Degrees Of Freedom):2 rotations and 1 translation. If the two planesare large enough (for stability purpose), they canbe best candidates for primary datum features.
Contact: preserves 1-point contact betweentwo surfaces, controls 1 DOF: 1 translation. The
surfaces are perfect candidate for tertiary datumfeature.
Align: preserves 2-points contact betweentwo surfaces, controls 2 DOFs: 1 rotation and 1translation. The surfaces are perfect candidatefor secondary datum features.
The mirror method is based on the observationsthat: 1) most components in assembly haveplanar surfaces so that they can sit on eachother or just align or contact with each other.Those mating planes that have at least 3-pointof contacts (in between them) are called the“strong mirror” in this method; and others thatwill have less than 3-point of contacts (i.e. 1-point or 2-point case) are called the “weakmirror”. 2) Mating features on two matingcomponents in an assembly are mirrored atthose strong interfaces. 3) There are alwayssome important components that sit on or comein contact with more than one component (notincluding fasteners) in the assembly. 4)Generally the relative position betweencomponents is not defined if there is no mirror (strong or weak) between them. 5) Weak mirrorscan also be used to locate datum features. 6)Important components have always themaximum number of mirrors on them.The tolerancing methodology in this work usesthese mirrors to locate important component(s)and develop the required DRF(s) on thecomponent(s) first. The mating component’s(which mates with the important component)features are next toleranced. The DRF systemof the important component is ”duplicated” (as itis) to the mating components. The commonmating features of both important componentand its mating components will be then selectedas the datum features and their configurationswill be same. Tolerancing functional features tothis DRF preserves assembliabity andfunctionality of components. Tolerance types,values and material conditions are decided byindustrial practices. Figure 1 shows therecommendations for tolerance type selection inASME and ISO standards that are normallypracticed in industries.The followings are the steps of the proposedmethodology for tolerancing by mirror method:1. Generate assembly graph of functionalfeatures where patterns of features areconsidered as one feature, and the press fittedcomponents are considered as one component.The function and mating condition attributes of every feature need to be detailed on theassembly graph.2. Based on the assembly graph, identifycomponent(s) that has/have the maximumnumber of mirrors (strong or weak). They are the“important” component(s).3. Functional features in each importantcomponent are grouped into one cluster if theyare physically connected to the mirrors. Datumfeatures are selected in each cluster based onfunction and mating condition attributes of features. One DRF is generated from thosedatum features for each cluster. Validity of theDRFs is important and the establishment of theDRF must conform to the ASME standard (refer to tables 4-2, 4-3 and 4-4 in ASME Y14.5.1[ASME94b]). Other features in the cluster thatare not datum features are the features to betoleranced to the DRF. If there exist any featuresthat belong to more than one cluster, then, thosefeatures should be toleranced only once withrespect to a DRF of either one of those clusters.Functional features that do not belong to anycluster will be toleranced to any DRF asselected by user.4. Any important component may havemore that one cluster and thus more than oneDRF. However, if any two clusters have contactswith the same mating component, those twoclusters need to be merged into one so that theywill have only one DRF.5. If repeatability is a necessity, form andorientation tolerance must be considered for thedatum features.6. Select appropriate tolerance types of other features’ (which are not datum features)location with respect to the established DRF asper figure 1. If necessary, additional orientationor form or both tolerances need to be added to afeature for a stricter control as per its functionalrequirements. Tolerance values are inferredfrom size tolerance and fitting requirements (if there is no specific requirements about sizetolerance of features, tolerance value isinitialized to zero in order to have a maximumsize tolerance). Material conditions aredetermined as MMCs or LMCs based onfunctional requirements.

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