Advanced abrasive solutions can outperform traditional machining processes for operational savings.
The aerospace industry is known for using materials that defy machining with conventional tools and processes. The properties of these materials – high-strength at high temperature that allows the components to survive in the hostile environment of an aerospace engine – are the same attributes that make them difficult to machine.
Whether the parts are cast, forged, or made from sintered powdered metal, most have 50% or more of their original volume removed before turning, milling, and broaching. Because of the properties of these materials and the high value of the parts, these operations are usually run at conservative feeds and speeds to ensure the tools don’t fail or damage the part.
Regardless of the parameters used in machining, part tolerances and surface quality degrade as the tool wears, which can reduce the component’s life in the engine. In contrast, a grinding wheel is easily dressed – keeping the cutting edges of the abrasive sharp and the wheel shape constant, which in turn results in consistent finishes and close tolerances.