Innovative cutting materials for finish shoulder milling Ti-6A1-4V aero-engine alloys

Oosthuizen, G. A. (2009-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Industrial Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.


The titanium alloys have found wide application in the aerospace, biomedical and automotive industries. Soaring fuel prices and environmental concerns are the fundamental drivers that intensify the demand situation for titanium. From a machining viewpoint, one of the challenges companies face, is achieving high material removal rates while maintaining the form and function of the part. The ultimate aim for a machining business remains to make parts quickly. Conventional cutting speeds range from 30 to 100 m/min in the machining of Ti-6Al-4V. Milling this alloy faster however is challenging. Although titanium is becoming a material of choice, many of the same qualities that enhance titanium‟s appeal for most applications also contribute to its being one of the most difficult materials to machine. The author explored the potential for Polycrystalline diamond (PCD) inserts in high speed milling of Ti-6Al-4V, by trying to understand the fundamental causes of tool failure. The objective was to achieve an order of magnitude increase in tool life, while machining at high speed, simply by reducing some of the failure mechanisms through different cutting strategies. Tool wear is described as a thermo-mechanical high-cycle fatigue phenomenon. The capability of a higher material removal per tool life is achieved in the case of PCD inserts compared to Tungsten carbide (WC). The average surface roughness produced was relatively low. The collected chips were also analyzed. The work demonstrated progress over the performance reported in current literature. The work confirms that there is a region where a sufficiently high temperature in the cutting zone may contribute to extended tool life, provided that the tool material can withstand these extreme conditions.

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