Canadian industry requires utmost precision in the manufacture of its components and the requirements can only be satisfactorily provided through CNC machining. Through the CNC enabled machines and equipment, parts like flanges, couplings, seat frames, clamshells and many other parts can be mass produced without compromising on accuracy and quality. CNC turning lathes, spindles and milling machines are used in the production of various components with high levels of perfection.
Importance of CNC machining
CNC machining is critical in the production of aircraft components to ensure high levels of safety. Various components are machined to meet strict criteria and standards; an enormous responsibility for aerospace machining particularly since there is no room for human error. Precision in industry can be achieved through CNC machining that has the capability to deliver airplane parts with very tight tolerances. The job of CNC machining is to ensure that the following criteria are present: narrow tolerances, compressed lead times, ability to machine exotic materials like Inconel, titanium or hastelloy and presence of traceability through a well detailed paper trail. Aerospace machining must have impressive equipment that can create samples based on the specifications provided in the CAD design. Ensuring precision and tight tolerances can be very challenging but with CNC turning centers and lathes, even the most complex component can be machined perfectly.
Tight tolerances in aerospace CNC machining
Industry demands tight tolerances from machining to ensure that parts and components can be assembled easily and efficiently. After the components have been assembled, they should be able to perform their functions with very minimal adjustments. If the components are properly designed and specifications are strictly followed by machining, production time will be reduced as well as the costs involved in the process. To ensure that parts and components are machined with tight tolerances, advanced CNC machines must be utilized for precision machining operations. CNC milling and turning can produce parts with different complexities from thin walled bushings to large valves according to the project’s needs.
Precision machining of exotic materials
Inconel alloys are frequently used for high temperature applications and extreme environments. Inconel retains its strength over a wide range of operating temperatures but it is a challenge to machine. For this reasons, machining Inconel requires a CNC lathe that can perform aggressive cuts while minimizing the number of passes. External threads are machined using the CNC lathe’s to “single point” the thread or by thread milling on a machining center.
Hastelloy is an exotic material that is often referred to as a super alloy or high performance alloy. It is known for its extremely high corrosion resistance and survival under high temperature. Hastealloy can be machined using conventional machining processes but alloy tends to harden rapidly and generates heat during the cutting which requires aerospace CNC machining using carbide-tipped tools.
Titanium is recognized for its high strength-to-weight ratio but it is quite ductile. The aerospace industry has great applications for titanium but before it can be used for parts and components it has to undergo aerospace CNC machining processes.