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Titanium and Titanium Alloys - Cutting, Grinding and Machining of Titanium Alloys

Cutting of Titanium Alloys
Titanium alloys can be cut cold by conventional power hacksaws, circular saws, band saws, shears, nibblers or water jet. Hot cutting using oxy-acetylene torch, plasma or laser will result in oxidation of the adjacent metal and for many applications this will require to be removed by grinding or machining before further processing is undertaken.

Alpha Case
Titanium components which have been hot worked, heat treated or otherwise exposed to air at elevated temperatures will have both a substantially thick oxide film and frequently a thin underlying oxygen enriched metallic layer known as the alpha case.

The ‘case’ is hard and brittle and must be removed before components are put into service. Normal methods of removal include shot blasting and pickling, hot salt bath descaling and machining, grinding and the like.

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The Artistry of the Grinding Universe Event

United Grinding North America Inc., Miamisburg, Ohio, will host "The Artistry of the Grinding Universe Event" April 18-19 at its new 110,000-sq.-ft. headquarters. The free 2-day educational event will give attendees an opportunity to explore the latest grinding technologies, automation and measurement systems that provide the turnkey solutions required to keep pace in today's evolving manufacturing landscape.

During the event, application engineers will perform machine demonstrations on a wide variety of WALTER, STUDER, EWAG and BLOHM machines. Attendees will learn how ID/OD, creep feed, centerless, radius, universal – with an emphasis on bearing grinding in shoes – thread grinding and other modern grinding techniques can improve productivity and boost part quality. Industry experts from all of UNITED GRINDING’s brands will be on hand to discuss the latest technologies and address specific grinding challenges.

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Applying Automotive Machining Lessons to Aerospace

Even before 12-year-old Brian Ickler first climbed into the driver’s seat of his father’s custom buggy in the southern California desert, he knew he’d have a future in racing. More than 20 years later, however, Mr. Ickler spends more time in front of a machine tool CNC than behind the wheel of a racecar. It’s been that way since 2014, when he began making engine components that his former NASCAR competitors regularly push to the breaking point (and beyond) in their perpetual quest to shave fractions of a second from each lap.

Changing focus hasn’t meant compromising ambition. Beginning as a hobbyist before going into the manufacturing business full-time, this driver-turned-shop-owner has watched Ickler Manufacturing grow from 4,500 square feet to 14,000 square feet and from one CNC machine tool to seven in less than four years. Production revolves mostly around two five-axis models that perform both angled 3+2 operations and full simultaneous contouring, while the five-person staff helps keep all equipment (and the business in general) running as efficiently as possible.

Rapid growth has prompted the shop to set its sights even higher. More than 90 percent of the work now consists of components that propel people not around a track, but through the clouds. These quick-turnaround aerospace and defense prototypes are similar in many ways to the motorsports parts that have driven most of the Mooresville, North Carolina, company’s growth. Similar enough, in fact, that if there’s a “preflight checklist” for an effective aerospace machining process, Ickler Manufacturing looks to have checked off all necessary elements before even entering that market. “They’re jewels, too,” Mr. Ickler says about the kinds of motorsports parts that have fueled most of the shop’s success. “They not only have to function; they have to be beautiful. Doing what we’re doing now, I’m glad we didn’t start off making anything crude. It would’ve been a lot harder.”

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High Demand Creates Growth in Aerospace Industry

Multiple market forces are working to the advantage of the aviation market, representing a significant and sustainable growth opportunity for machine tool builders. These forces include the strong global growth of both passenger and freight air transport demand followed by strong demand for new aircraft and increasing competition between aircraft manufacturers. The combined results of these factors should point to a robust aerospace market for years to come that may present opportunities for machine tool builders to make long-term investments and grow their businesses.

Backlog orders across the industry are robust with the combined backlogs of Airbus and Boeing exceeding 12,000 aircraft. This backlog is split evenly between the two rivals. The value of all these planes is likely in excess of $2 trillion, as Airbus stated in mid-2017 that its backlog value alone exceeds $1 trillion. To clear the total backlog using recent annual delivery data from both firms would take more than 8 years. This estimate does not account for future expected orders, cancellations or expanded manufacturing operations. Lastly, these figures do not account for aircraft orders and deliveries by other firms such as Mitsubishi, Bombardier or Embraer.

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What’s Next in Grinding?

Many precision grinding machines on the market already offer their users near-perfect tolerances, leaving one to wonder: What’s next in grinding? But tool builders still have plenty of room to add valuable new improvements, machine shop owners say. Aside from adding complementary manufacturing functions, such as milling or turning, there is still an appetite for new and improved automation, as well as software solutions that make grinders easier to use and allow them to use less space, labor and energy. And, of course, there’s always room to come down on price.

The Strausak U-Grind five-axis Universal CNC tool and cutter grinder, shown at IMTS 2014, is about 35% less expensive than a comparable Rollomatic five-axis CNC tool grinder, said Henry Ecker, president, Strausak Inc. (Mundelein, IL) and a former regional sales manager at Rollomatic.

“With the return of Strausak to the US market, the Rollomatic Group now has a machine to offer where the Rollomatic product line did not historically sell well, such as resharpening applications, manufacturing of small-batch specials and price-conscious consumer installations,” Ecker said.

Although it has an easier entry point, the Strausak brand has plenty of credibility in tool grinding, being one of the first to market with a five-axis grinding machine in 1991, called the Fleximat 91, which was popular in Europe.

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Precision CNC Machining of Medical Implants

Machining parts with complex geometries and fine surface finishes is common in the aerospace and automotive markets, but medical implant manufacturing takes it to a whole other level. A common saying in manufacturing for space applications is, “there is no repair shop in space.” The quality, precision and reliability of each part must be perfect because once it leaves this world, it just has to work since millions of dollars are on the line. Arguably, the same holds true in medical machining. If an orthopaedic implant doesn’t work correctly, the health and well-being of a patient is affected. When the surgery is complete, it just has to work.

Global demographic trends indicate that the need for medical implants will grow, and so will competition in the market. According to Seco Tools, approximately five major suppliers claim 85 percent of the orthopaedic component manufacturing market, with more than 200 companies fighting for the remaining 15 percent share.

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CNC vs. NC: What’s the Difference?

Computer numerical control (CNC) is an advanced form of computerized production and manufacturing. However, CNC was not the first form of producing parts based on programming techniques. It was actually preceded by NC, or numerical control.

What is Numerical Control (NC)?

The concept of numerical control (NC) started when the automation of machine tools originally incorporated specific concepts of programmable logic in motors. The first NC machines were built in the 1940s. More advanced NC machines came along in the 1950s.

These manufacturing machines were constructed based on existing tools that were modified with motors intended to move the controls of the machine. These controls followed specific points that were fed directly into the machine on punched tape. These early mechanisms were later improved with both analog and digital computers. The introduction of computer technology into the concept of numerical control led to what we now know as computer numerical control (CNC).

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http://www.cnc.com/cnc-vs-nc-whats-the-difference/
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How CNC is Used in the Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry encompasses all types of air traffic, from massive Boeing 747 jets that carry hundreds of passengers to spacecraft rockets designed to travel to the International Space Station, the moon, and even Mars for exploration purposes. Aerospace technology is made with some of the most incredible precision imaginable. As such, computer numerical control (CNC) fits quite well into this field where such amazing pieces of transportation are developed.

CNC in Aviation

Aircraft carriers, from two-person private jets to commercial airplanes that carry a few hundred passengers around the globe, must be constructed with the utmost precision. This precision includes all facets of production, from the engine of the aircraft to the outer body of the jet. A CNC machine can play a critical role in quickly and precisely manufacturing specific tools that aid in the operations of each plane component.

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The Future of Computer Numerical Control (CNC)

Computer numerical control (CNC) has transformed the industrial manufacturing and homemade design fields tremendously over the past few decades. With automation and precision being the two key components of CNC, it’s truly amazing what can be designed today compared to just one generation ago. So, imagine what the future of CNC technology may hold.

Some leaders in manufacturing have posed the question about whether current forms of CNC programming developed by humans will even be necessary in the future. With knowledge-based machining processes, adaptive and closed loop machining, along with automated feature recognition becoming more advanced each day, many experts predict that human CNC programmers will be in much less demand in the near future. This means a programmer-oriented field could endure a very drastic change over the next several years.

Looking Into The Near Future of CNC

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4 Important Tips for First-Time CNC Machinists
It can be incredibly exciting to either purchase or build a new CNC machine. You might have all kinds of amazing ideas running through your mind on what you want to create from scratch with this powerful machine. But it is not quite as easy – and safe – as it may sound to dive right in.

Here are 4 important tips for first-time CNC machinists to ensure you take full advantage of your CNC machine while also staying safe and approaching each process wisely:

Buy high-quality cutters for your CNC machine.
Cutting materials is a cornerstone of the CNC machining process. So, it’s critical to obtain high-quality cutters that can easily and efficiently cut through any types of materials you plan to manipulate. Hardware stores often carry reliable cutters that work well for many CNC machines. It’s important to get a variety of dimensions, such as quarter-inch and half-inch sizes. Also, avoid getting the smaller types of cutters until you are completely comfortable with the cutting process. Keep in mind that some cutters may not hold up, so purchase several in case one breaks.

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http://www.cnc.com/4-important-tips-for-first-time-cnc-machinists/
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