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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited
High speed milling
High speed milling
Keywords: Aerospace, Materials, Milling
In order to secure future development strategies for the high speed milling of aerospace materials, the University of the West of England (UWE) based in Bristol supported by Airbus UK, Agusta Westland, AIM Ltd and the West of England Aerospace Forum, has entered into a working technological collaboration agreement with StarragHeckert UK of Brackley and StarragHeckert of Chemnitz in Germany.
Central to the project is a purpose-built laboratory, currently under construction at UWE's Frenchay campus, which will house a state-of-the-art Heckert CWK 400D Dynamic high speed horizontal machining centre purchased from StarragHeckert UK.
Alan Jocelyn, Director of the Aerospace Manufacturing Research Centre Said, "We spent some 18 months thoroughly investigating the high speed machining centres available and selected the Heckert machine through StarragHeckert UK because it best suited the development of our strategies. It has an outstanding acceleration and deceleration characteristics and an important suitability for deep rectangular pocket machining is highly suitable to negotiate numerous corners at high speed on a component while maintaining highly effective metal removal rates".
One of the major objectives of the research is to explore the theory that the more aggressive metal is removed, tool life is improved along with productivity and component quality. However, according to Alan, to investigate these aspects of the technology, a very rigid design of machine tool is required. He said, "Here the Heckert CWK 400D not only meets the criteria laid down, it has the added advantage of a simple column design giving very easy loading and unloading of typical aerospace parts".
Also involved in the initiative, with the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences of UWE is Bristol, Cranfield and Sheffield Hallam Universities which have laid down a target date to start trials at the turn of the year.
The Heckert CWK 400D Dynamic is one of the latest machining centres from the Heckert stable developed with a rapid traverse capability of 100 m/min with acceleration of 1.5 g or 15 m/s2. The 24,000 revs/min spindle is powered by a massive 31 kW direct drive motor which is able to develop 335 Nm of torque. The heavy duty T-type bed and column structure provides a working volume of 650mm through the X, Y and Z axes.
Details available from: StarragHeckert UK Ltd. Tel: +44 (0)1280 705482; Web site: www.starragheckert.co.uk
Alan Jocelyn, Association of Aerospace Universities. Tel: +44 (0)117 344 3500; Web site: www.aau.ac.uk