High Performance Machining of Titanium 2000-01-1738
As the performance and capabilities of the next generations of Military Aircraft structures are developed to higher levels, the manufacturing processes required to produce the airframe components are faced with increasing challenges such as increased component complexity and difficult raw materials for machining. The machining costs on materials such as Titanium have traditionally demanded high cutting tool consumable costs and slow machining cycle times. Similarly, the high wear of the cutting tools restricts the cutting process capabilities and as such produces a high requirement for manual finishing operations. This paper highlights the business drivers and the route that BAE SYSTEMS took in developing a consistent and reliable machining process for Titanium. Through focussing upon the aspects that have the greatest impact upon process costs, the development programme has delivered savings in excess of 60% in terms of both consumable costs and machining cycle time reductions. This contributes significantly to strengthening our position as a leading manufacturer of complex aircraft components.