Fabrication of detailed parts Machining Process

R. I. Sujith Dept. of Aerospace Engineering IIT Madras There are two broad groups of processes for fabricating detail parts of an a/c
metal cutting or machining process
desired shape is obtained by removal of metal from the work piece

metal forming process
metal is conserved, shape is obtained by plastic deformation of the material

Metal Cutting Operations
Also referred to as machining operations include
turning reaming boring milling Broaching Grinding Honing Lapping drilling

Machining is resorted to depending on the shape of the component and when close dimensional tolerances/surface finishes are required

By the shearing action caused by relative motion between the work piece and a cutting tool with sharp edge. The work piece is generally held in a fixture or clamped on to the machine tool chuck/table The relative motion can be controlled by an operator or in the case of CNC machines, by computer control

Other process for metal removal
Electric discharge machining (EDM) for eroding hard material Electro Chemical Milling (ECM) for fabricating complex profiles as in turbine blades Electrochemical finishing (ECF) for superior surface finish Chemical milling for making pockets or grooves in sheet metal panels/bulkheads. Laser drilling for drilling holes Water jet machining for cutting of composite material


Machinability & Parameters Affecting Machining
A measure of machinability is “specific cutting energy” which is equal to F/BT energy”
F is the horizontal cutting force B is the width of the chip T is the thickness of the chip

Factors affecting cutting energy
Specific cutting energy depends on
the work-piece mechanical properties, workthe tool material & tool geometry, cutting speeds and feeds, type of cutting
continuous as in turning, or intermittent as in milling),

The chip is the layer of metal which is removed from the work-piece just in front of the tool workcutting edge (due to shearing action)

types of cutting fluid, rigidity of machine tool machining fixture or device
in which the work piece is clamped.

Speed & Feed
Speed is the surface velocity of relative motion between the tool and the workworkpiece, measured in metres/minute metres/minute Feed or depth of cut is the advancement of the tool per revolution (of the workworkpiece/tool), measured in mm

Typical Speeds and Feeds
Al alloy using HSS tool
Speed 300-500 m/min, 300Feed 0.3 mm for rough cut, 0.05 mm for finish cut

Al alloy with carbide tool
Speed 800-1200 m/min 800Feed 0.2 mm for rough cut, 0.07 mm for finish cut

Speed & Feed for Steel
Steel with HSS tool
Speed 12-17 m/min 12Feed 0.15 mm for rough cut and 0.05 mm for finish cut

Al Vs. Steel
Material removal rate for Al is much higher than for steel Metal removal rates for both materials are higher when machining with carbide tools in comparison with HSS tool.

Steel with carbide tool
Speed 70-100 m/min 70Feed 0.15 mm for rough cut & 0.05 mm for finish cut


Cutting Fluids
Heat is generated during cutting and the tool tip temperature rises, Amount of heat generated is a function of rate of metal removal Use of cutting fluid helps to
conduct heat away from the tool tip & also reduces the friction of the chip with the tool face, and hence reduces tool wear which weakens the tool materials and shortens the tool life

Striking a Balance
Machining cost, in general, reduces with increasing cutting speeds However, with increasing speeds, the tool life is reduced and the tool has to be removed for re-sharpening/replacement rewhich adds to the cost A balance has to be struck between these two opposing factors.

Typical Tolerances & Surface Finishes
Turning/boring Tolerance +20-30 µm, Surface Finish 0.4-0.6 µm 200.4Drilling Tolerance +50-75 µm, Surface Finish 1.6-3.2 µm 501.6Reaming Tolerance +8-12 µm, Surface Finish 0.8-3.2 µm 0.8Milling Tolerance +30-50 µm, Surface Finish 0.8-6 µm 300.8Broaching Tolerance +5-8 µm, Surface Finish 0.8-3.2 µm 0.8Grinding Tolerance +4-5 µm, Surface Finish 0.1-0.2 µm 0.1Lapping/Honing Tolerance +4-5 µm, Surface Finish 0.05-0.4 µm 0.05-

Machining Operations

Turning operations generate external surfaces of revolution on rotating workworkpieces using a traversing tool. Turning machines -> lathes. Lathes are versatile machines and can be adapted for drilling and boring operations also.

Typical parts which are machined by turning
shafts, axles, housings, conical parts, and as a first operation prior to boring

Turning is more economical than milling and a better tolerance and finish is achieved. Single point cutting tools are used for turning.


Is a process of producing holes, countersinking and spot facing The cutting tool, called drill is usually held in the machine rotating spindle and the drill is forced into the work-piece. work-

Reaming is a finishing operation for enlarging a drilled hole as to obtain close tolerance and good surface finish The cutting tool is called a reamer

Boring is a process in which the internal surfaces of revolution are generated using a traversing tool. If boring is done in a lathe, the work-piece is held in the workrotating chuck. Where higher accuracy is required, machines specially designed for boring are used
In such machines, the work-piece is clamped to a table and the workcutting tool rotates and traverses the depth of the bore

Jig Boring
Jig boring machine is a vertical boring machine
designed for precision boring of components,
mainly used for tooling applications and for certain aero-engine components such as aerocasings

Internal bores of undercarriage struts and hydraulic system jacks are examples of components bored in horizontal boring machines.

In this metal is removed by rotating a multiple tool cutter. The cutting action is INTERMITTANT unlike in turning or boring. The work-piece is clamped to the table of the workmachine and the milling cutter is fixed to the rotating spindle. Milling operations are used for machining
flat surfaces or “cubic components” components” curved surfaces of complex shapes.

Metal is removed by a rotating multiple tool cutter called a broach, against the work-piece surface workThe cutter is pushed through or pulled through a hole or across a surface


Close dimensional tolerances and good surface finish are achieved by broaching Slots, keyways and serrations in levers, shafts are usually broached

Metal is removed by mechanical action of abrasive particles bonded together in a grinding wheel. Grinding is essentially a finishing process for obtaining close tolerances and good surface finish

Honing & Lapping
These are finishing processes which are used to The peaks and valleys on a machined component are smoothed out in the honing/lapping process By the action of an abrasive medium suspended in a fluid or paste form which is caused to scrub the surface of the component by relative motion of the honing/lapping tool called a ‘stone’ over stone’ the surface of the component.
obtain very good surface finish, even better than what can be achieved by grinding.

Computer Numerical Control Machines

NC Machines
Numerical Control (NC) machine tools were developed in the early 1950s in the USA to meet the critical developments for machining aerospace components which call for
close dimensional tolerances, repeatable accuracy and require considerable removal of stock and several hundred positioning movements of the machine tool slides.

Why NC?
Manual operation under these conditions is tedious and are prone to error. NC was developed to automate machine tools using electronic digital technology. The information to actuate and control the machine tool slides was coded numerically and hence the name ‘numerical control’ control’ machine.


CNC Machines
With further development of NC technology, mini computers and microprocessors were incorporated in NC machine tools
much of the control logic was realized through computer hardware and software.

Driving the tool
In CNC machine, the machine tool slides are driven by AC or DC servomotors

Such improved machines are called Computer Numerical Machines (CNC).

Software driven
A CNC program (software) provides instructions to the CNC controller, which sends signals to the servomotors driving the machine tool slides. The machine tool slides move in accordance with the positioning information contained in the CNC program.

Feedback Control
Feedback devices mounted in the machine tool slides
measure the linear/angular displacement of the slides this information is sent to the CNC controller which in turn sends the requisite signals to the servomotors to ensure the desired positions of the machine tool slides are not overshot

CNC Control & Accuracy
Following the servomechanism principles, the machine tool slides are caused to move to the exact positions as per the instructions set in the CNC programme. programme. The positioning accuracy and repeatability is of the order of 5 to 10 µm.

CNC Control
The selection of spindle speeds, feeds, coolant, fitment of required cutting tools in the machine tool spindle are under CNC control. The majority of CNC machines used for machining are either machining centers or turning centers.
Machining centre: essentially a milling machine, but can also undertake boring, drilling & tapping operations Turning centre: A lathe, but can also undertake drilling, tapping and milling operations.


Tool Magazine
A number of tools are stored in a tool magazine, attached to the CNC machine. The required cutting tools can be
selected & fitted into the spindle after removing the cutting tool used for the previous operation in a few seconds automatically as per the instructions given in the program.

Automation of machine tools
The CNC principle of automation of machine tools have been extended to
Jig boring Grinding Coordinate measuring (inspection) machines Drilling & routing Blanking Pipe bending Electron beam welding Electric discharge machining

All these features ensure that setup time is reduced to a very great extent.

Programming for CNC Machines
Essentially consists of giving a set of instructions to the CNC control which will cause the machine tool slides to move in such a manner that the cutting tool is suitably
positioned, oriented, and moves in the path required to machine the component as per drawing dimensions.

Where to cut?
To do this, it is necessary, in the first instance, to define the location and path of the cutting tool in relation to the surface of the component to be machined throughout the process of machining. Thereafter, it is necessary to arrange to coordinate the
movement of the machine tool slides with the cutter location/path, taking due account of the
cutting tool shape, its dimensions, method of clamping the component to the machine table and limits of travel of the machine tool slides.

Machining Parameters
CNC parameters also take into account various machining parameters, such as spindle speeds, feeds, coolant usage, tool wear compensation etc.
1. 2. 3.

Manually With the assistance of computers Following the CAD/CAM route using a workstation with interactive graphic simulation and other facilities (such as FEM) for design analyses.


Manual Programming
Useful for very simple jobs, in which machining is required in 2 axis only. Most aerospace components require control over 3 or 4 or 5 axis and it will not be practical to do manual programming for such components

Machine Operator – does whaaat? whaaat?
Load the components on to the machine before commencing the CNC operations and unload the component after CNC operations are over Switch on the machine after loading the component and switch off the machine after CNC operations are over Supervise operations carried out automatically under CNC control to ensure that no untoward damage occurs, such as tool breakage in which the operator can override the control and stop the machine.

Skills of the operator
CNC operator does not have to have the high manual skills required of machine operators of conventional machines (with manual tool slide controls). However, he needs to be suitably trained to understand the principles of programming and operation of CNC machines and be alert while machining is going on.

Advantages and Disadvantages of CNC Machining

Improved quality
Repeatable accuracy as human error is reduced

Significant reduction in requirement of expensive jigs and fixtures
Simple holding fixtures are sufficient

Manufacturing flexibility
To accommodate frequent job changes
as set-up times are short set-

Manufacturing lead time cut down drastically
Due to reduction in scale of jigs and fixtures and due to short setup times Consequently, reduced inventory of tools and raw material Satisfying customer demand in a short period

design changes
CNC programs can easily be modified.


Reduction in number of machine operators
One CNC machine can do the work of more than one type of conventional machine
E.g., one machine centre can replace 3 conventional machines, a milling machine, a drilling machine and a boring machine

High initial (capital) costs of acquisition of CNC machines Associated capital costs of CNC programming aids, precision tool setting equipment and CNC regrinding machines Cutting tools have to be re-sharpened accurately reHigher overheads costs
Due to costlier maintenance and requirement for air conditioning for the CNC shop

Which way to go?
The advantages offset the disadvantages. Use of CNC machines results in overall economy
If one can raise the capital funds for purchasing the CNC machines


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