Aerospace Manufacturing

New Aerospace Materials Require New Cutting Tools

Source: AdvancedManufacturing.org

In aerospace manufacturing, where high strength, light weight, and corrosion resistance are key material traits, those same qualities make materials hard to machine. In response, Greenleaf offers a new ceramic for cutting tools, Sandvik Coromant’s advice for machining new, complex titaniums is to go slow, and RobbJack has designed a drill specifically for CFRP composites.

On the cutting tool side, Greenleaf Corp. (Saegertown, PA) has a new phase-toughened ceramic, XSYTIN-1, for use with difficult-to-machine nickel-based and cobalt-based materials.

“It’s a different kind of ceramic altogether, and the first of its kind in the industry,” said Jan Andersson, global director of Greenleaf’s TechTeam and marketing. “The advantage is it’s incredibly strong. The transverse-rupture strength is much higher than whisker ceramics, and whisker ceramics are commonly known as the strongest ceramics in the market.”

XSYTIN-1 is particularly useful in aerospace because materials used to make jet engines have a high tensile strength that exert a high degree of stress on the microgeometry of the material they’re machined with. The new material is also thermally stable, which prevents thermal cycling and subsequent cracking during milling, Andersson said.

“Because XSYTIN-1 is so strong, it allows us to use a significantly higher feed rate than traditionally we would use with other ceramics,” he said. “That, in turn, means we can better manage our temperature and get a more predictable tool life that way.”

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