Super Abrasive Machining of Integral Rotary Components Using Grinding Flank Tools
Lopez de Lacalle N.
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Manufacturing techniques that are applied to turbomachinery components represent a challenge in the aeronautic sector. These components require high resistant super-alloys in order to satisfy the extreme working conditions they have to support during their useful life. Besides, in the particular case of Integrally Bladed Rotors (IBR), usually present complex geometries that need to be roughed and finished by milling and grinding processes, respectively. In order to improve their manufacturing processes, Super Abrasive Machining (SAM) is presented as a solution because it combines the advantages of the use of grinding tools with milling feed rates. However, this innovative technique usually needed high tool rotary speed and pure cutting oils cooling. These issues implied that SAM technique was not feasible in conventional machining centers. In this work, these matters were tackled and the possibility of using SAM in these five-axis centers with emulsion coolants was achieved. To verify this approach, Inconel 718 single blades with non-ruled surfaces were manufactured with Flank-SAM technique and conventional milling process, analyzing cutting forces, surface roughness, and dimension accuracy in both cases. The results show that SAM implies a suitable, controllable, and predictable process to improve the manufacture of aeronautical critical components, such as IBR.