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OPEN MIND Improves multi-blade aerospace milling

OPEN MIND Improves multi-blade aerospace milling

Added to MTDCNC by OPEN MIND on 07 July 2015

Complex aerospace multi-blade geometries such as blisks and impellers place special demands on milling technology. Collision-free tool paths are extremely difficult to program; and they are only the starting point for efficient machining.

OPEN MIND Technology and its industry leading hyperMILL CAM package is ideal for this type of machining. hyperMILL realises that the spaces between the blades have to be exploited optimally, whereby only the most rigid tools will be suitable. Technology parameters such as feed-rates and approach angles have to be adapted on a job-by-job basis. The multi-blade package provided with hyperMILL® integrates strategies and automation strategies that address these special requirements and make for simple programming.

For a recent OEM aerospace customer, hyperMILL worked in conjunction with an ALZMETALL GS 650/5-T machining centre to machine a 300mm diameter by 80mm deep aluminium blisk. Running at a spindle speed of 18,000rpm and utilising the 60m/min rapid rates of the machine, hyperMILL drastically reduced machining times.

This was achieved by using the Multi-Blade Plunge Roughing feature that proved a useful alternative when horizontal feed rates do not permit effective machining due to poor machining dynamics with long narrow tools. In addition, the Point Finishing machining strategy enabled the continuous spiral machining of the blades. By using this, the tool maintains point contact at all times. Point finishing produces flawless transitions between contiguous areas.

By combining these two strategies with the Hub Finishing cycle, hyperMILL reduced machining time, improved surface finishes and extended tool life and consistency. The hub finishing cycle permits tool paths to be accurately adapted to the aerodynamic requirements and visual appearance of the hub area with just a few mouse clicks. The implementation of these feature reduced programming times by more than 50% for the globally renowned aerospace OEM.

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