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Virtual Five-Axis Flank Milling of Jet Engine Impellers: Part 1 — Mechanics of Five-Axis Flank Milling

[+] Author Affiliations
W. Ferry, Y. Altintas

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Paper No. IMECE2007-41351, pp. 339-353; 15 pages
  • ASME 2007 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Design and Manufacturing
  • Seattle, Washington, USA, November 11–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4297-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-3812-9
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


Jet engine impeller blades are flank-milled with tapered, helical, ball-end mills on five-axis machining centers. The impellers are made from difficult-to-cut titanium or nickel alloys, and the blades must be machined within tight tolerances. As a consequence, deflections of the tool and flexible workpiece can jeopardize the precision of the impellers during milling. This work is the first of a two part paper on cutting force prediction and feed optimization for the five-axis flank milling of an impeller. In Part I, a mathematical model for predicting cutting forces is presented for five-axis machining with tapered, helical, ball-end mills with variable pitch and serrated flutes. The cutter is divided axially into a number of differential elements, each with its own feed coordinate system due to five-axis motion. At each element, the total velocity due to translation and rotation is split into horizontal and vertical feed components, which are used to calculate total chip thickness along the cutting edge. The cutting forces for each element are calculated by transforming friction angle, shear stress and shear angle from an orthogonal cutting database to the oblique cutting plane. The distributed cutting load is digitally summed to obtain the total forces acting on the cutter and blade. The model can be used for general five-axis flank milling processes, and supports a variety of cutting tools. Predicted cutting force measurements are shown to be in reasonable agreement with those collected during a roughing operation on a prototype integrally bladed rotor (IBR).

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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