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Delcam programs used for turbo milling demonstrations

Delcam’s PowerMILL software for five-axis machining is being used to program a novel machining method for the creation of "fir-tree” profiles in components for turbo machinery. The new process, which provides an alternative to broaching, will be demonstrated during a "Turbo Milling Process Chain” event to be held by INIRAM Precision, a New England-based importer and distributor of five-axis milling machines, in Peabody, Massachusetts, on 5th and 6th December.

The milling approach, which is based on the trochoidal machining strategies in PowerMILL, has been patented by Iruba, a German provider of engineered solutions. It allows complex "fir-tree” profiles to be produced on five-axis milling machines, rather than having to use specialist broaching equipment. For the Massachusetts event, the demonstrations will be carried out on a Hermle C60 five-axis machining centre, which will be used to machine a complex fan disk.

The use of trochoidal strategies gives a number of benefits, in particular giving high material removal rates with lower, and more consistent, cutting forces. The more consistent cutting forces also ensure higher accuracy in the position and in the shape of the slots, with minimal thermal effects on the surface of the profiles. The process also reduces the number of specialist cutting tools that are required, and cuts the machining time in steel alloys by between 30 and 40 per cent, compared to alternative standard milling solutions, giving a time almost equal to broaching.

Commenting on the event, Brett Hopkins, Manager of Delcam Professional Services North America, said, "We are pleased to be working with other leaders in manufacturing technology like Hermle and Iruba to develop this innovative technology. The collective collaboration began several months ago and was received with great enthusiasm when we presented the process at IMTS earlier this year.”

Mattias Rutschinski, Managing Director of Iruba added, "At IMTS, we presented, with Hermle and Delcam, a world premiere by milling small fir-tree geometries in IN718, a typical material for aero engine parts. The presentation impressed our visitors and made it very clear that milling is the more effective technology, since we could mill even curved slots, deburr them and measure them in one process on Hermle’s smallest five-axis machine, the C22.”

"At the INIRAM event, we want to step up to the green agenda by using CO2 coolant for fir-tree milling, and blisk and blade machining. We are creating and developing not only smart high-tech tools but, in cooperation with Delcam, also offering complete solutions from the best available technologies for a better environment. Water should be kept as a resource for mankind and, whenever possible, not used for cutting operations. Iruba’s technology applied to energy components will be the best solution to combine "green” turbine technology with "green” manufacturing technology.”

"Broaching is a technology developed at the end of the 19th century and many applications can be completed today with much lesser power consumption and oil waste, by much more integrated and flexible solutions, fitting the production demands of the 21st century. We are ready for the change!”

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