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Int J Mech Mater Des (2008) 4:113121

DOI 10.1007/s10999-007-9033-3

Design and manufacture of hybrid polymer concrete bed


for high-speed CNC milling machine
Jung Do Suh Dai Gil Lee

Received: 22 September 2006 / Accepted: 11 June 2007 / Published online: 23 January 2008
Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Abstract To maximize the productivity of precision


products such as molds and dies, machine tools should
be operated at high speeds without vibration. As the
operation speeds of machine tools are increased, the
vibration problem has become a major constraint of
manufacturing of precision products. The two important functional requirements of machine tool bed for
precision machine tools are high structural stiffness
and high damping, which cannot be satisfied simultaneously if conventional metallic materials are used
for bed structure because conventional high stiffness
metals have low damping and vice versa. This paper
presents the application of hybrid polymer concrete
for precision machine tool beds. The hybrid polymer
concrete bed composed of welded steel structure faces
and polymer concrete core was designed and

J. D. Suh
Fuel Cell Vehicle Team1, Advanced Technology Center,
Hyundai Motor Company, 104, Mabuk-Dong,
Giheung-Gu, Yongin-Si, Gyeonggi-Do 446-912,
Republic of Korea
D. G. Lee (&)
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology,
ME3261, Guseong-dong, Yuseong-gu,
Daejeon-shi 305-701, Republic of Korea
e-mail: dglee@kaist.ac.kr

manufactured for a high-speed gantry type milling


machine through static and dynamic analyses using
finite element method. The developed hybrid machine
tool bed showed good damping characteristics over
wide range of frequency (g = 2.935.69%) and was
stable during high speed machining process when the
spindle angular speed and acceleration of slide were
35,000 rpm and 30 m/s2, respectively.
Keywords Polymer concrete  Machine tool 
Damping  Precision machining

1 Introduction
Modern precision machine tools are required to
produce precise products at high machining speeds.
To achieve the requirement, machine tools must have
high damping as well as high structural stiffness.
Modern machine tools are usually equipped with high
speed spindle systems rotating up to 35,000 rpm and
moving frames operating up to 30 m/s2 acceleration
and deceleration (Suh and Lee 2002). At these high
operation speeds, machine tool structures are vulnerable to vibration, which results in poor surface finish
and inaccurate dimensions of products (Suh and Lee
2004). Besides, chatter, a kind of self-induced
vibration, adversely affects tool life (Clancy and
Shin 2002). The vibration of a machine tool is
frequently caused by the low damping: if the

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damping of machine tool structures is too low, self


induced or regenerative vibrations are bound to occur
during high speed operation because the natural
frequencies of machine tool structures can not be
increased indefinitely. Machine tool structures made
of metallic materials cannot have both high stiffness
and damping characteristics because conventional
metallic materials are inferior in damping characteristics. Therefore, auxiliary dampers such as a damped
dynamic absorber, Lanchester vibration damper, and
hydraulic damper have been used to increase damping. However, their effects are confined in predetermined modes and frequencies (Ema and Marui
2000). Although the stiffness of machine tool structures can be increased either by employing higher
stiffness materials or by increasing the sectional
modulus of structures, the damping and stiffness of
metallic structures cannot be increased simultaneously. The best way to obtain both high damping
and high structural stiffness is to employ sandwich
structures composed of high stiffness faces and high
damping cores such as polymer concrete. The polymer concrete is a high potential material for machine
tool bed structures due to its high damping characteristics with moderate stiffness and low cost (Kim
et al. 1995; Cortes and Castillo 2007): Although the
polymer concrete is more expensive (depending on
resin binder systems, their prices range from $300/m3
to $2,000/m3), if it is compared with conventional
cement concrete ($50/m3$80/m3), the conventional
cement concrete is not suitable for the machine tool
application due to its inferior strength and impact
resistance (Cortes and Castillo 2007).
This paper presents the design and manufacture of
a hybrid polymer concrete machine tool bed that
consists of sandwich structures of welded steel faces
and polymer concrete core. The static and dynamic
analyses of the hybrid bed were performed after the
basic properties of polymer concrete were measured.
The developed hybrid polymer concrete bed has
been incorporated in high-speed gantry-type milling machine (FV400, Daewoo Heavy Industries &
Machinery Ltd., Korea). The dynamic characteristics
of the structure were measured by impulse dynamic
tests. Compared with damping factors of steel or case
iron bed structure (g = 0.20.3%), the hybrid polymer
concrete exhibits superior damping characteristics
(g = 2.935.69%).

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J. D. Suh, D. G. Lee

2 Characteristics of polymer concrete


The polymer concrete is composed of aggregates
bound with polymer matrix which is usually epoxy or
unsaturated polyester. Although epoxy resin has
better material properties, unsaturated polyester resin
YJ-100 K (Aekyung chemical Ltd., Korea) was
employed as a binding material, in this work, because
the polyester is less expensive and suitable for large
structures such as machine tool bed due to its diverse
curing rate. Moreover, the material properties of
polymer concrete is determined not by the binding
material but by the volume fraction of aggregate,
independently of binding material; the higher volume
fraction of aggregate may result in the higher
stiffness of polymer concrete.
The aggregates were grouped by their mesh
numbers such as #1.01.5, #1.53.2, #3.26.4,
#6.412.0 and larger than #12 that is classified as
sand. To determine the approximate mixing ratio of
aggregates, it was assumed that the smaller aggregates occupy the void formed by the larger
aggregates, which is general concept of linear
packing theory. For example, gravels #1.0#1.5 form
void about 40 % of the apparent volume, and this
void may be filled with gravels #1.5#3.2 and so
forth. The tentative mixing ratio was determined by
the linear packing theory and the optimal mixing ratio
for the dense packing of polymer concrete was
determined by several trial and error experiments as
shown in Table 1.
Figure 1 shows the measured damping factors of
polyester and granite as raw materials for polymer
concrete by impulse dynamic test depicted in Fig. 2.
The measured damping factors range from 2% to 4%
over wide range of frequencies and the values are
much higher than those of conventional metallic
materials. Also, properties of polymer concrete were
measured by impulse dynamic test (ASTM C215-91).

Table 1 Composition of polymer concrete


Gravel (Mesh #)

Sand Polyester

1.01.5 1.53.2 3.26.4 6.412.0


Wt.%

30.3

15.4

7.1

7.1

30.0

10.0

Vol.% 26.7

13.6

6.3

6.3

26.4

21.8

Design and manufacture of hybrid polymer concrete bed

115
0.10

Polyester
Granite

0.06

Damping factor

Damping factor

0.08

0.04

0.06
0.04

0.02

0.02

0.00

0.00
100

50

100

150
200
Frequency [Hz]

250

300

Fig. 1 Damping factors g of raw materials for polymer


concrete under flexural vibration w.r.t. frequencies

PC
String
Specimen

Impact hammer
FFT Analyzer

Accelerometer
Amp

Polymer concrete

0.08

Steel

1000
Frequency [Hz]

10000

Fig. 3 Damping factors g of polymer concrete under flexural


vibration w.r.t. frequencies

speed of 0.1 mm/min. Specimens were composed of


polymer concrete and steel rod embedded in polymer
concrete shown in Fig. 4b. The surfaces of steel rods
were treated using abrasive papers of various mesh
numbers followed by co-curing with polymer concrete. From the experimental result in Fig. 5, it was
found that the shear strength increases as the surface
roughness increases.

Amp

Fig. 2 Impulse dynamic test to measure the mechanical


properties of polyester and granite

Tables 2 and 3 list the sizes of specimens and


mechanical properties, respectively. Figure 3 depicts
measured damping factors with respect to frequencies. In addition, shear strength between polymer
concrete and steel with respect to the surface
roughness of steel was measured as shown in Fig. 4a
using Instron4206 (Instron Co., USA) at a crosshead

Table 2 Size of concrete specimens for impulse dynamic tests


Specimen

Length (mm)

Height (mm)

Width (mm)

240

97

97

360

97

97

480

97

97

Table 3 Properties of polymer concrete


Density (kg/m3)

E (GPa)

G (GPa)

2260

25.2

10.5

0.2

Fig. 4 Measurement of the shear strength between polymer


concrete and steel: (a) Photograph of test using instron, and (b)
Photograph of specimen (mm)

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J. D. Suh, D. G. Lee

Shear strength [MPa ]

25
20
15
10
5
0
0.40

0.60

0.80
1.00
Ra [m]

1.20

1.40

Fig. 5 Shear strength between steel and polymer concrete


w.r.t. surface roughness of steel

3 Design and manufacturing process


3.1 Design of hybrid bed from the perspective of
axiomatic design
The functional requirements (FRs) of the machine tool
bed are as follows (Tobias 1965; Kim et al. 1995).
FR1: Increase structural stiffness
FR2: Increase structural damping
Since outer dimensions of the bed were pre-determined considering assembly with other parts, basic
design concept was determined as a sandwich
structure composed of steel faces and polymer
concrete core. The damping of a sandwich structure
comes largely from the damping of core material.
Therefore, design can be decoupled by following
design parameters (DPs) (Suh 2001).
DP1: Thickness of steel plates composing the steel
base (Face of sandwich structure)
characteristics
 DP2:Damping


 of polymer concrete
DP1
FR1
X 0

1
FR2
DP2
x X
Additional advantage of the sandwich structure is that
the steel faces not only increase structural stiffness
but also work as a mold for polymer concrete during
manufacturing.
Figure 6 shows the high-speed gantry-type milling
machine tool structure investigated in this work,
whose specifications are shown in Table 4. The
machine tool bed is a hybrid structure composed of
welded steel base in Fig. 7 and polymer concrete core
filled its inside cavity. The machine tool bed of this
type has two functions, i.e., the linear motor

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Fig. 6 Machine tool structure (FV400, Daewoo Heavy


Industries & Machinery Ltd., Korea)
Table 4 Specifications of the machine tool (FV400, Daewoo
Heavy Industries & Machinery Ltd., Korea)
Specification

Value

Size (X 9 Y 9 Z, mm)

1830 9 600 9 1850

Transfer range (X 9 Y 9 Z, mm)

600 9 400 9 400

Transfer acceleration (X, Y, Z-slide, m/ 14, 14, 20


s2)
Mass (X, Y, Z-slide, kg)

550, 1100, 290

Clearance of linear motor (mm)

0.9 0.3

LM-guide deformation limit (lm)

30

Attraction force of linear motor (kN)

21

Maximum spindle speed (rpm)

35,000

mounting and the LM-guide mounting. A moving


frame, Y-slide, is guided by the LM-guide and driven
by the linear motors mounted on the vertical columns
of the machine tool bed as shown in Fig. 6. Therefore, the vertical columns should resist inertia force
of the moving frame and pulling force of 21 kN of
the linear motors which bends the vertical columns
inward. Consequently, the vertical columns are major
sources of large deformation during operation, and
were selected for the main design part. Furthermore,
their displacement during vibration is relatively
larger than other parts because the vertical columns
are the weakest parts of the structure.

Design and manufacture of hybrid polymer concrete bed

117

Fig. 7 Welded steel base


for the machine tool bed (Xi
and Yi represent the
thickness of the steel
plates): (a) Top view, and
(b) Bottom view

Figure 7 shows the welded steel base and DPs


related to DP1. X1X3, Y1Y6 and Z1Z3 represent
thicknesses of steel plates. To determine the DPs, the
static and dynamic characteristics were calculated by
FEM using ANSYS 6.0 (USA). Also, damping
factors were estimated using the energy relation
during vibration. To simulate the actual static loading
and deformation, the six supporting points on the
bottom surface were fixed while the pulling and
inertia forces were applied to the LM-guides and the
linear motors respectively as shown in Fig. 8 and
Table 5. The inertia forces Fx and Fz were applied to
the two points on each LM-guide while the inertia
force Fy and pulling force Fp were applied to the parts
on which linear motors are mounted. Additionally,
the vertical columns are resisted by the LM-blocks
and the LM-rails of 2.0 9 109 N/m elastic stiffness in
the X-direction, and 2.5 9 109 N/m elastic stiffness
in the Z-direction.
Figure 8 and Table 6 show the results of deformations when the boundary conditions and DPs in
Tables 5 and 7 were applied. From the results in
Table 6, it was found that the stiffness of structure is
largely dependant on the plate thicknesses in the
X-direction but not on plate thicknesses in the
Y-direction. Figure 9 and Table 8 show the results
of dynamic analyses from which it was found that
major deformation during vibration occurred in the
vertical columns and the 1st vibration mode shape of
the vertical column was similar to the deflection shape
of a cantilever beam by concentrated loads on a free
end. The higher natural frequencies were obtained as

Fig. 8 Static deflection of the machine tool bed by the


attraction force and the inertia force
Table 5 Boundary conditions for static analysis
Location

B. C.

Source

6 points on the bottom surface

Fixed

Linear motor

15.1 kN

Inertia force Fy

LM-guide

21 kN
7.6 kN

Pulling force Fp
Inertia force Fx

-5.7 kN

Inertia force Fz

the thicknesses of steel faces in the X-direction


increase but the increases were not remarkable. It is
due to that the increase in thicknesses of steel faces in
the X-direction not only increases the structural

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J. D. Suh, D. G. Lee

Table 6 Deformation of the machine tool bed under inertia


and attraction forces (lm)
Case

Linear motor

LM-guide

Max dm

Min dm

D dm

Max dg

Min dg

D dg

48.8

6.5

42.3

14.5

6.5

8.0

51.2

6.5

44.7

15.0

6.5

8.5

55.6

6.5

49.1

15.5

6.6

8.9

48.8

6.8

42.0

14.5

6.8

7.7

51.5

6.8

44.7

15.0

6.8

8.2

55.7

6.9

48.8

15.5

6.9

8.6

Table 7 Dimensions (mm) of the steel plates composing the


steel base
Case X1 X2 X3 Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Y5 Y6 Z1 Z2 Z3
1

20 20 20 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 50 20

15 20 15 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 50 20

10 20 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 50 20

20 20 20 10

5 10 10 50 20

15 20 15 10

5 10 10 50 20

10 20 10 10

5 10 10 50 20

Fig. 9 Mode shapes of


vibration of the machine
tool bed : (a) 1st, (b) 2nd,
(c) 3rd, and (d) 4th

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stiffness but also increases its mass which impedes the


increase of natural frequency.
However, it is well known that the 1st mode has
large portion of vibration energy due to its large
deformation amplitude than other higher modes.
Therefore, damping of the 1st mode was estimated
using strain energy approach in which the damping of
a sandwich beam corresponding to the vertical column
was calculated from damping properties and strain
energies stored in steel faces and polymer concrete
core, respectively. To estimate damping of the bed
structure, the vertical column was assumed to be a
sandwich cantilever beam composed of X-direction
steel faces and polymer concrete core as shown in
Fig. 10. As shown in Fig. 11, when concentrated
loads P1 and P2 in Fig. 10 are adjusted properly, i.e.
P1/P2 is 1249, the corresponding static deflection is
similar to the amplitude of the 1st mode of vibration.
In this work, it was postulated that the total strain
energy is the sum of the strain energies stored in steel
faces and polymer concrete core and dissipated
energies are proportional to their damping factors
and strain energies; The total strain energy U in unit
width of beam is calculated from strain energies in the
steel faces US and the concrete core UC.

Design and manufacture of hybrid polymer concrete bed

119

Table 8 Natural frequencies obtained from FE-analysis (Hz)


Case

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

104

108

185

203

103

107

179

199

3
4

99
104

104
106

172
185

191
203

102

105

179

198

99

102

172

190

424
P2

128

tC

X1

X3

X2

Fig. 10 Schematic drawing of the vertical column to estimate


the damping factor of the 1st vibration mode

U US UC
2 !
ZZ  2 
rz;S
rzx;S

dz dx
2ES
2GS
AS
2 
2 !
ZZ 
rz;C
rzx;C

dz dx
2EC
2GC

where S and C represent steel and concrete while AS


and AC designate areas occupied by steel and polymer
concrete, respectively. The stress in the steel faces
and polymer concrete core are calculated as follows.

N o rm alized d isp lacem en t


[ X / X ma x]

Amplitude of
the 1st mode shape

0.8
Static deflection
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0

0.2

0.4
0.6
0.8
Normalized position [Z / Z max]

rzx;S

rz;C

EC  M  x
D

Fig. 11 Comparison between the 1st vibration mode amplitude and static deflection of the vertical column by
concentrated loads in Fig. 10

V

Rx
0

EC  X dX
D

where x and TC represent distance from its neutral


axis to the point under concern and to the steel face,
respectively. M, V and D represent bending moment,
shear force and flexural rigidity, respectively. Once
thicknesses of steel faces and polymer concrete core
are defined, the ratio of strain energies in the steel
faces and the core concrete is determined. In that
case, damping factor g of the vertical column is
calculated by the following (Rao 1978; Sun and Lu
1995).
g

AC

1.0

rxz;C

283

P1

674

Steel
Polymer concrete

ES  M  x
D
Rx
R T
V  EC  0 C X dX V  ES  TC X dX

D
D

rz;S

WD
WD;S WD;C
g  US gC  UC

S
US UC
2pU 2pUS UC
7

where WD represents the energy dissipation per


cycle of vibration. Since the 1st vibration frequency
is close for all cases in Table 8, the damping factor
of concrete gC was assumed to be 8.8% by
extrapolation at 100 Hz from Fig. 3, while the
damping factor of steel gS was assumed to be
0.2%. For Case 1Case 3 in Table 7, the calculated
values of g were 3.3%, 3.4% and 3.7%, respectively. For Case 4Case 6, the calculated value of g
were also 3.3%, 3.4% and 3.7% because the
corresponding plate thicknesses in the X-direction
were the same as Case 13 while the plate
thicknesses in the Y-direction were neglected. From
the damping estimation, the calculated damping
factors increased as the thicknesses of steel faces in
the X-direction decreased. Consequently, Case 4 in
Table 7 was determined as the design values for
manufacturing because the machine tool structure
should have high stiffness and the damping factor
of 3.3% is large enough for machine tool bed
structure.

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J. D. Suh, D. G. Lee

3.2 Manufacture of polymer concrete machine


tool bed
The polymer concrete bed was manufactured by
pouring polymer concrete into the steel base in
Fig. 12, followed by room temperature curing. The
steel base composed of welded steel plates was
positioned up side down for the pouring process and
thus void space in Fig. 12a was easily filled with the
polymer concrete. Detailed manufacturing processes
for polymer concrete are as follows.
(a)

Cleaning aggregates with water to remove salt


contained in aggregates.
(b) Mixing of aggregates and polyester resin with
the pre-determined weight or volume ratio.
(c) Packing with vibrator to induce self packing by
gravity and to obtain homogeneity of concrete.
(d) Curing of polymer concrete at room
temperature.
(e) Assembling and mounting other parts such as
the LM-guide and the linear motor.

Fig. 13 Photograph of the polymer concrete machine tool bed

Figure 13 shows the photograph of the polymer


concrete bed manufactured in this work.

4 Dynamic characteristics of the polymer


concrete machine tool bed
The dynamic characteristics of the polymer concrete
bed were measured by the impulse dynamic test using
FFT analyzer (B&K, Denmark) where six points of
the bed were fixed as shown in Fig. 9a. For the
measurements, a dual channel FFT analyzer (B&K
2032), a charge amplifier (B&K 2626), an impulse
hammer (B&K 8202), an accelerometer (B&K 4374),
and a force transducer (B&K 8200) were used. Then
the test results were compared with those calculated
by FE-analysis. Figure 14 and Table 9 show the
measured FRF (frequency response function) and
damping factor with respect to frequency where the
damping factor g was calculated by the half power

0.025

FR F

0.020
0.015
0.010
0.005
0.000
50

Fig. 12 Photograph of the welded steel base for the machine


tool bed: (a) Bottom view, and (b) Top view

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100

150
Frequency [Hz]

200

Fig. 14 FRF of the polymer concrete machine tool bed

250

Design and manufacture of hybrid polymer concrete bed

121

Table 9 Dynamic characteristics of the machine tool bed


obtained by impulse dynamic test
Mode

Natural frequency (Hz)

Damping factor g (%)

93

4.13

130

3.15

155

5.69

200

2.93

bandwidth method using the FRF obtained from the


impulse dynamic test (Nashif et al. 1985).
g

f2  f1
fr

where (f2 - f1) and fr represent the half power band


width and the corresponding natural frequency,
respectively. From the impulse dynamic test, it was
found that the hybrid machine tool bed had large
damping factors over the wide range of frequency;
The damping factors g were 2.935.69% depending
on natural frequencies. Compared with steel or case
iron bed structure (0.20.3%), those are superior
values.
In case of the 1st mode, the calculated and
measured damping factors were 3.30 and 4.13,
respectively. The difference may be attributed to
the neglect of damping occurring in the interface
between the steel and the polymer concrete layer
during the calculation.

5 Conclusion
In this study, a polymer concrete bed combined with
welded steel structure, i.e. a hybrid structure, was
designed and manufactured for a high-speed gantrytype milling machine. The optimal mixing ratio of
aggregates for polymer concrete considering packing
was obtained experimentally. Then the mechanical
properties of polymer concrete as well as adhesion
properties to steel adherand with respect to its surface
roughness were measured. The dynamic characteristics of the hybrid polymer concrete bed were
measured by impulse dynamic test. From the impact
dynamic test, it was found that the hybrid machine

tool bed had large damping factors over the wide


range of frequency. The damping factors were 2.93
5.69% depending on natural frequencies, which were
larger than those of steel structure or case iron bed
structure (0.20.3%). The hybrid polymer concrete
bed has been incorporated in a gantry type high-speed
milling machine (FV400, Daewoo Heavy Industries
& Machinery Ltd., Korea).
Acknowledgement This work was supported by the Korea
Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean
Government (MOEHRD) (M01-2004-000-10374-0) and the
Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy of the Korean
Government. The authors wish to thank Daewoo Heavy
Industries & Machinery Ltd., Korea for the cooperation
during manufacturing and test of the hybrid polymer concrete
bed.

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