SUNConferences, Southern African Institute of Industrial Engineering 2013

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Cutting Strategy Selection for Titanium Machining - a Key for Cost Savings
Pieter Conradie, Dimitri Dimitrov, Mike Saxer

Last modified: 2013-06-18


Titanium plays a key role in the competitiveness of the aerospace industry due to its advantageous properties and weight saving attributes. Research show that since 1970 the air traffic has doubled every fifteen years and it is expected that this growth trend will continue for the next fifteen years. This growth along with the highly competitive environment of aerospace companies creates the need for improved productivity and material saving, requiring a high efficiency for machining of titanium alloys.

Titanium is classified as a difficult-to-machine metal and therefore large costs are associated with the removal of material during machining operations. For this reason much research has been done improving the machinability of titanium and literature reveals many studies on cooling techniques, tooling design, coatings, wear mechanisms and thermal behaviour. However, not many have looked at the potential of cutting strategy selection for component manufacture. Every part has unique features and these require different strategies to remove the material efficiently. Certain strategies are better suited for specific features and therefore the challenge lies in making the best combination of choices. This paper presents results that illustrate the cost savings possible with implementation of the right strategies with a focus on aerospace applications.

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