Improved clamping technology for large carbon-fibre parts enables the aerospace sector to machine more quickly and this development is something that cutting tool manufacturer Mapal supports with new tools and with its diamond coating and optimised geometry, it says the OptiMill-Composite-Speed-Plus guarantees process reliability.
Aerospace manufacturers are reluctant to change functioning processes that have been audited due to the large effort involved.
However, growing cost pressures are also forcing companies to make its production as efficient as possible. Aircraft manufacturers have so far identified the clamping technology as an obstacle on their path to higher performance.
Large carbon-fibre parts are usually fixed using vacuum clamping technology. The limited holding forces of the suction cups require relatively low cutting speeds in order to prevent rising vibration. This can lead to a loss of quality and deviations in shape and position tolerances. New clamping technologies now enable manufacturers to increase the cutting values.
But with this came a new problem: under the changed process conditions, there was an increased risk of breakage due to the increased load on milling cutters that had previously worked perfectly.
“Even very large manufacturers were affected by tool breakages after using the tools to their limits,” explains Tim Rohmer, product manager for solid carbide milling tools at Mapal.
The tool manufacturer saw a need to act and developed the OptiMill-Composite-Speed-Plus in response to market demands.