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Titanium Machining Center: Right-Sizing Your Small Titanium Aerospace Manufacturing

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Published on Mar 5, 2012

The titanium machining performance of Makino's a61nx horizontal machining center challenges the perception that high-performance, high-productivity titanium machining of aerospace parts requires larger 50-taper machines. In this video, you can see three tools from a Ti-6Al-4V aerospace engine bracket process. The a61nx horizontal machining center is configured with a 14,000-rpm, 40-hp/302-Nm integral-drive spindle with HSK63 interface and standard direct-drive B-axis. This horizontal machining center's standard coolant system has been upgraded to provide 1,000-psi through-spindle coolant at 15.8 gpm.




Makino's titanium machining strategy is to maximize the average metal removal rate (MRR). This approach puts the high-performance titanium machining focus on both roughing and finishing applications. In the case of this aerospace engine bracket, the total cycle time is 87.5 minutes. Average MRR (including roughing and finishing) for this part is an impressive 1.41 cubic inches per minute. Key operations contributing to this result are highlighted below:
• stable high-performance roughing -- 50mm (5) flute inserted end mill with a peak MRR rate of 6.1 cubic inches per minute.
• full slot roughing -- 32mm (3) flute inserted end mill with a peak MRR rate of 5.44 cubic inches per minute.
• one-shot wall finishing -- 20mm (3) flute solid carbide end mill with axial engagement of up to 3.15" for finishing part walls in a single pass.

Notice that the 8"-by-6"-by-3.5" block has been positioned in the upper right corner of the machine's work envelope. The top of the block is 23.6" above the pallet top. This workpiece position challenges the table torque and pallet-to-table clamping mechanism. Despite the undesirable workpiece location, the a61nx design provides the rigidity required for stable roughing.

For more information on the Makino a61nx horizontal machining center, aerospace manufacturing and titanium machining, please visit http://bit.ly/w35sXW.

This video is property of Makino.

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