Engineering Transactions, 61, 1, pp. 3-13, 2013

New Advances in the Machining of Hard Metals using Physics-Based Modeling

Third Wave Systems, Inc.

Shuji USUI
Third Wave Systems, Inc.

Third Wave Systems, Inc.

Third Wave Systems, Inc.

Third Wave Systems, Inc.

The machining of hard metals historically has been understood to be challenging and
costly due to its material properties (such as titanium’s low thermal conductivity and high
hardness, and nickel’s rapid work-hardening and high strength at elevated temperatures) and
limited understanding in industry of the physics behind chip formation and material removal.
The achievement of meaningful cycle time reductions while maintaining part quality depends
on a capability to model the physics of hard metal machining operations. With the help of a
validated toolpath analysis model that can predict forces at each cutter location, cycle times
and scrap can be reduced and machine breakdown can be avoided, all through off-line analysis.
Productivity and process efficiency can be improved through simulation, drastically reducing
testing setup and machining time. Physics-based modeling technology has been identified as a
cost-effective solution for identifying optimum cutting speeds, enabling researchers and man-
ufacturers to increase material removal rates, reduce machining costs, and enhance industry
expertise in hard metal machining best practices. This paper presents new advances to physics-
based modeling that have been validated using experimental tests and comparisons with finite
element milling simulations, used to compare different process parameters and resulting mate-
rial removal rates, and successfully advance hard metal machining processes.
Keywords: machining, process improvement, CAE software, aircraft, metal, titanium
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