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HIGH SPEED MACHINING

UNIT 6 : HIGH-SPEED MACHINING


6.1 INTRODUCTION

Machining with high speeds (HSM) is one of the modern technologies, which
in comparison with conventional cutting enables to increase efficiency,
accuracy and quality of workpieces and ay the same time to decrease costs
and machining time.

The first definition of HSM was proposed by Carl Salomon in 1931. He has
assumed that at a certain cutting speed which is 5 – 10 times higher then in
conventional machining, the chip tool interface temperature will start
decrease.

Practically, it can be noted that HSM is not simply high cutting speed. It
should be regarded as a process where the operations are performed with
very specific methods and production equipment. HSM is not only machining
with high speed spindle because many applications are performed with
conventional spindle speeds. HSM is often used in finishing in hardened
steels with both high speeds and feeds. HSM can be called rather the High
Productive Machining when machining components in roughing to finishing
and also in finishing to super-finishing in components of all the sizes.

6.2 LEARNING OUTCOMES

After completing the unit, students should be able to:


1. Define High Speed Machining (HSM)
2. Explain the potential of High Speed Machining (HSM)
3. Describe the requirement of High Speed Machining (HSM)
4. Discuss some common applications of High Speed Machining (HSM)
5. Explain the High Speed Machining (HSM) processes
6 Discuss some advantages of High Speed Machining (HSM)

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6.3 WHAT IS HIGH SPEED MACHINING


Definition of high-speed machining (HSM)

means using cutting speeds that are significantly higher than
those used in conventional machining operations.

Some examples of cutting speed values for conventional and HSM are
presented in Table 6.1, according to data compiled by Kennametal Inc.1

TABLE 6.1 Comparison of cutting speeds used in conventional versus high-speed


machining for selected work materials.

With increasing demands for higher productivity and lower production costs,
investigations have been carried out since the late 1950s to increase the
material removal rate in machining, particularly for applications in the
aerospace and automotive industries. One obvious possibility is to increase
the cutting speed.

The term high speed is relative. As a general guide, an approximate range of


cutting speeds may be defined as follows:
1. High speed: 600-1,800 m/min,
2. Very high speed: 1,800-18,000 m/min,
3. Ultrahigh speed: > 18,000 m/min.

Spindle rotational speeds today may range up to 40,000 rpm, although the
automotive industry, for example, generally limits them to 15,000 rpm for
better reliability and less downtime should a failure occur. The spindle power
required in high-speed machining is generally on the order of 0.004 W/rpm
(0.005 hp/rpm), whereas in traditional machining, it is in the range of 0.2 to
0.4 W/rpm (0.25 to 0.5 hp/rpm).

Spindle designs for high speeds generally involve an integral electric motor.
The armature is built onto the shaft and the stator is placed in the wall of the
spindle housing. The bearings may be rolling element or hydrostatic; the latter
requires less space than the former.

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Other definitions of HSM have been developed to deal with the wide variety of
work materials and tool materials used in machining.
 One popular HSM definition is by the DN ratio — the bearing
bore diameter (mm) multiplied by the maximum spindle speed
(rev/min).
 For high-speed machining, the typical DN ratio is between
500,000 and 1,000,000.
 This definition allows larger diameter bearings to fall within the
HSM range, even though they operate at lower rotational
speeds than smaller bearings.

Typical HSM spindle velocities range between 8,000 and 35,000 rpm,
although some spindles today are designed to rotate at 100,000 rpm.
 Another HSM definition is based on the ratio of horsepower to
maximum spindle speed, or hp/rpm ratio. Conventional
machine tools usually have a higher hp/rpm ratio than
machines equipped for high-speed machining. By this metric,
the dividing line between conventional machining and HSM is
around 0.005 hp/rpm. Thus, high-speed machining includes 50
hp spindles capable of 10,000 rpm (0.005 hp/rpm) and 15 hp
spindles that can relate at 30,000 rpm (0.0005 hp/rpm).
 Other definitions emphasize higher production rates and
shorter lead times. In this case, important noncutting factors
come into play, such as high rapid traverse speeds and quick
automatic tool changes ("chip-to-chip" times of 7 s and less).

Requirements for high-speed machining include the following:


 high-speed spindles using special bearings designed for high
rpm operation,
 high feed rate capability, typically around 50 m/min,
 CNC motion controls with "look-ahead" features that allow the
controller to see upcoming directional changes and to make
adjustments to avoid "undershooting" or "overshooting" the
desired tool path,
 balanced cutting tools, toolholders, and spindles to minimize
vibration effects,
 coolant delivery systems that provide pressures an order of
magnitude greater than in conventional machining, and
 chip control and removal systems to cope with the much larger
metal removal rates in HSM.

Also important are the cutting tool materials. As listed in Table 6.1, various
tool materials are used for high-speed machining, and these materials are
discussed in the following chapter.

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6.4 APPLICATION OF HIGH SPEED MACHINING


Much research and development work has been carried out in the area of
high-speed machining (turning, milling, boring, and drilling) of aluminum
alloys, titanium alloys, steels, and superalloys. Much data have been
collected regarding the effect of high cutting speeds on
(a) the type of chips produced,
(b) cutting forces and power,
(c) temperatures generated,
(d) tool wear,
(e) surface finish, and
(f) the economics of the process.

These studies have indicated that high-speed machining can be economical


for certain applications. Consequently, it is now implemented for the
machining of aircraft-turbine components and automotive engines with five to
ten times the productivity of traditional machining. High-speed machining of
complex 3- and 5-axis contours has been made possible only recently by
advances in CNC control technology.

A major factor in the adoption of high-speed machining has been the desire to
improve tolerances in cutting operations. With high-speed machining, most of
the heat generated in cutting is removed by the chip, so the tool and (more
importantly) the work-piece remain close to ambient temperature. This is
beneficial because there is no thermal expansion or warping of the workpiece
during machining.

Applications of HSM seem to divide into three categories.


 One is in the aircraft industry, by companies such as Boeing, in
which long airframe structural components are machined from large
aluminum blocks. Much metal removal is required, mostly by milling.
The resulting pieces are characterized by thin walls and large surface-
to-volume ratios, but they can be produced more quickly and are more
reliable than assemblies involving multiple components and riveted
joints.
 A second category involves the machining of aluminum by multiple
operations to produce a variety of components for industries such as
automotive, computer, and medical. Multiple cutting operations mean
many tool changes as well as many accelerations and decelerations
of the tooling. Thus, quick cool changes and tool path control are
important in these applications.
 The third application category for HSM is in the die and mold
industry, which fabricates complex geometries from hard materials.
In this case, high-speed machining involves much metal removal to
create the mold or die cavity and finishing operations to achieve fine
surface finishes.

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Much research and development work has been carried out on high-speed
machining (turning, as well as milling, boring, and drilling) of aluminum alloys,
titanium alloys, steels, and superalloys. Considerable data have been
collected regarding the effect of high speeds on the type of chips produced,
cutting forces, temperatures generated, tool wear, surface finish, and the
economics of the process. These studies have indicated that high-speed
machining can be economical for certain applications, and consequently, it is
now implemented for machining aircraft turbine components and automotive
engines with five to ten times the productivity of traditional machining.
Important factors in these operations are the selection of an appropriate
cutting tool, the power of the machine tools and their stiffness, the stiffness of
toolholders and the workholding devices, spindle design for high power and
high rotational speeds, the inertia of the machine-tool components, fast feed
drives, and the level of automation.

It is important to note, however, that high-speed machining should be


considered basically for situations in which cutting time is a significant portion
of the floor-to-floor time of the operation. Other factors such as noncutting
time and labor costs are important considerations in the overall assessment
of the benefits of high-speed machining for a particular application.

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6.5 THE HIGH SPEED MACHINING PROCESSES

The following are important machine factors in high-speed operations:


1. Power and stiffness of the machine tools,
2. Stiffness of tool holders and workholding devices,
3. Spindle design for high power and high rotational speeds,
4. Inertia of the machine-tool components,
5. Fast feed drives,
6. Level of automation, and
7. Selection of an appropriate cutting tool.

It is important to note, however, that high-speed machining should be


considered almost exclusively for situations in which cutting time is a
significant portion of the floor-to-floor time of the operation. Other factors—
such as noncutting time and labor costs—are also important considerations
in the overall assessment of the benefits of high-speed machining for a
particular application.

6.5.1 MACHINING PROCESS CAPABILITIES

Relative production rates in turning, as well as other cutting operations


that are discussed in the rest of this chapter, are shown in Table 6.1.
These rates have an important bearing on productivity in machining
operations. Note that there are major differences in the production rate
among these processes. These differences are not only due to the
inherent characteristics of the processes and machine tools, but are
also due to various other factors such as setup times and the types
and sizes of the workpieces involved. The proper selection of a
process and the machine tool for a particular product is essential for
minimizing production costs.

As stated above, the ratings in Table 6.1 are relative and there can be
significant variations in specialized applications. For example, heat-
treated high-carbon cast steel rolls (for rolling mills) can be machined
on special lathes at material removal rates as high as 6000 cm3/min
(370 in3/min) using multiple cermet tools. The important factor in this
operation (also called high removal rate machining) is the very high
rigidity of the machine tool (to avoid tool breakage due to chatter) and
its high power, which can be up to 450kW.

The surface finish and dimensional accuracy obtained in turning and


related operations depend on factors such as the characteristics and
condition of the machine tool, stiffness, vibration and chatter, process
parameters, tool geometry and wear, cutting fluids, machinability of
the workpiece material, and operator skill. As a result, a wide range of
surface finishes can be obtained.

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Following are special features for HSM

FIGURE 6.1 Cusps produced by ball nose end mill

The smoothness of the machined surface is determined in large part


by the height of the cusps between adjacent passes with a ballnose
tool. Take a small step over and cusp height goes down. In this way,
lighter depth-of-cut can contribute to drastically reduced polishing
time.

FIGURE 6.2 Headlamp reflector mold

The smooth surface of a headlamp reflector was milled in the


hardened state at depth on the order of 0.004 inch axial and 0.002
inch radial. Machining at 22,000 rpm and 600 ipm made this fine
cutting productive. Smoothness was also affected by the machining
technique. For the best finish, milling followed parallel passes that all
went in the same direction.

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FIGURE 6.3 Copper electrode for EDM

Here is an extreme example of repeatability in electrode machining.


Each of the 192 identical, 0.0449 inch diameter dome in this copper
electrode were machined to a tolerance of ± 0.0002 inch. The dome
were finished using a 0.079 inch diameter tool at 25,000 rpm. Total
machining time including roughing was 1 hour, 44 minutes. Photo
Courtesy: Mikron Bostomatic.

FIGURE 6.4 Dies for forging operation

HSM can let milling serve as an alternative to EDM for making dies or
molds from the hardest material (50 + rc). HSM allows a forging
supplier to produce die like this one in a single setup on a machining
center, where once a combination of milling and EDM was required.
HSM produces the dies faster. HSM is also more accurate, because
fewer steps results in reduced error stacking. Tolerance band of 0.005
inch have been reduced to 0.001 inch.

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FIGURE 6.5 Typical workpieces for HSM forging die for an


automotive component, moulds for a plastic bottle and a
headphone.

FIGURE 6.6 Thin wall EDM electrode

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Electrode with thin walls, ribs or other delicate features can be


machined in one piece in HSM, because the light cuts so little
pressure between the cutter and the workpiece.

FIGURE 6.7 Landing gear bulk head for a C-17 cargo plane.
Photo courtesy Boeing.

This landing gear bulk head for a C-17 cargo plane used to be
assembled from extrusions and sheet metal component. HSM allowed
it to be produced complete at the machine tool. Total machining time
was about 12 hours. Doing away with casting can cut production lead
time in half. It can also make the process more flexible for design
changes. Changing the design of a casting requires hard tooling to be
changed. With a machined part, many changes require only that the
program be changed.

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FIGURE 6.8 Aluminum fuel control housing

HSM enable to eliminate the process of casting and machining for


aluminium internal part such as the above fuel control housing in a
single step starting from a solid block.

FIGURE 6.9 Spindle tradeoff

A high speed present a tradeoff between cutting force and cutting


speed. First, the size of the motor is limited. High-speed spindles
generally have direct-drive motor, meaning the motor must fit inside
the spindles housing. Another limiting factor is the bearing. High
speed spindle bearings trade stiffness for speed. This is one more
reason why high speed machining generally employed light depth of
cut.

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6.5.2 HYBRID BALL BEARINGS

• Hybrid ball bearings take the place of all-steel ball bearings in


most high speed spindles.
• In a hybrid ball bearing, the race is still steel but the balls are
ceramic.
• Ceramic balls deliver more stability at high speeds.
• The balls are lighter and stiffer, so they deflect less from
centrifugal force.
• This improves efficiency and quiets vibrations.
• Ceramic balls also deliver longer life.
• The reduced deflection reduces stresses.
• Plus the harder ceramic balls interact less with the surface of
the steel raceway.
• The longer life is particularly important.
• In any high speed spindle using ball bearings, the bearing is
generally the component that fails first.
• Some machine tool and spindle makers offer spindles with
non-contact bearings that overcome some of the limitations of
traditional bearings.
• Many of these non-contact spindle designs are still being
proven.
• There are three non-contact bearing types:
• Hydrostatic Bearings
• Definition: A fluid such as water supports the spindle
shaft.
• Strength: Stiffness and low runout— Fluid pressure
holds the shaft on centerline.
• Limitation: Inefficiency from viscosity— A large
fraction of the motor’s power is lost just to overcome
this resistance.
• Air Bearings
• Definition: Air pressure supports the spindle shaft.
• Strength: Use delicate tools more effectively—
• An air bearing spindle's superior runout characteristics
make it possible to machine very effectively with
delicate tools.
• Tiny holes can be drilled to an L/D ratio of well over 10
without breaking the tool.
• Combining the low runout with high speeds can make
milling with small tools an effective alternative to EDM
even for very narrow or intricate features.
• Limitation: Low stiffness—
• An air bearing is a low stiffness bearing best suited for
the lightest cuts.
• Where high speed drilling generally implies light cuts
taken quickly, effective milling with an air bearing is
limited to very light cuts.

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• Magnetic Bearing
• Definition: The spindle shaft is supported by a
dynamic magnetic field.
• Strengths:
• Speed and low runout— The ability to use delicate
drilling and milling tools at high speed is comparable to
that of air bearings.
• Stiffness—
The stiffness of a magnetic bearing can be digitally
controlled. The magnetic field can be modeled to offer
stiffness comparable to that of a ball bearing for
example.
• Simplicity—
Electrical power creates the force supporting the shaft.
Therefore, magnetic bearings have no need for a
separate system to deliver air or hydraulic fluid.

FIGURE 6.10 Hybrid bearing photo courtesy Fadal Machining Centers.

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6.6 ADVANTAGES OF HIGH SPEED MACHINING


One persistent trend throughout the history of metal machining has been the
use of higher and higher cutting speeds. In recent years, there has been
renewed interest in this area due to its potential for
 faster production rates,
 shorter lead times,
 reduced costs, and
 improved part quality.
 Taking the weight out of some parts by machining them with thinner
walls is not a new idea. But the thinnest walls require light cuts that
may be too time-consuming at lower speeds. HSM changes the
equation by combining light cuts with high feed rates, HSM permits
thin-wall machining with a more attractive metal removal rate.

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6.7 SUMMARY
In this unit we have studied that
1. Hard competition causes rapid development of the machining
technology and design of new solutions. High Speed Machining is
proposed as an example.
2. HSM ensures high metal removal rates, boost productivity, improve
surface finish and eliminates the need of coolant.
3. In spite of high requirements of machining tools, HSM gives numerous
benefits. It allows shortening the production time and eliminates some
treatment (e.g. manual finishing) besides simultaneously retaining the
accuracy.
4. These advantages are decisive for the use of HSM for machining the
press dies.
5. Even though HSM has been known for a long time, the research is still
being developed for further improvement of quality and minimization of
costs.

6.8 SELF TEST

1. List three common application of HSM.


2. Important machine factors in high speed machining.
3. List three types of non-contact bearing.
4. What are the advantages of high speed machining?

6.9 REFERENCES
Serope Kalpakjian, Steven R. Schmidt (2001). Manufacturing Engineering
and Technology, (4th Edition), state: Prentice Hall.
Mikell P. Groover (2002). Fundamentals of Modern Manufacturing Materials,
Processes, and Systems, (2nd Edition), state: John Wiley & Son, Inc.
John A. Schey, (year). Introduction to Manufacturing Processes, (3rd Edition),
state: Mc Graw Hill.
E. Paul Degarmo, J T. Black, Ronald A. Kohser (2003). Materials and
Processes in Manufacturing, (9th Edition), state: John Wiley & Son, Inc.

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6.10 ANSWER

1. List three common application of HSM.


 Aircraft industries
 Mold and dies industries
 Machining of aluminium by multiple operations

2. Important machine factors in high speed machining.


 Power and stiffness of the machine tools,
 Stiffness of tool holders and workholding devices,
 Spindle design for high power and high rotational speeds,
 Inertia of the machine-tool components,
 Fast feed drives,
 Level of automation, and
 Selection of an appropriate cutting tool.

3. List three types of non-contact bearing.


 Hydrostatic bearing
 Air bearing
 Magnetic bearing

4. What are the advantages of high speed machining?


 faster production rates,
 shorter lead times,
 reduced costs, and
 improved part quality.
 HSM permits thin-wall machining with a more attractive
metal removal rate.

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