Research Papers

Generation of Tool-Life-Prolonging and Chatter-Free Efficient Toolpath for Five-Axis Milling of Freeform Surfaces

[+] Author and Article Information
Jiarui Wang

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
Hong Kong University of
Science and Technology,
Clear Water Bay,
China, Hong Kong

Ming Luo

Key Laboratory of Contemporary Design and
Integrated Manufacturing Technology,
Ministry of Education,
Northwestern Polytechnical University,
Xi'an 710072, China

Ke Xu

College of Mechanical and
Electronic Engineering,
Nanjing University of
Aeronautics and Astronautics,
Nanjing 210016, China

Kai Tang

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
Hong Kong University of
Science and Technology,
Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong
e-mail: mektang@ust.hk

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received November 23, 2017; final manuscript received October 31, 2018; published online January 17, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Satish Bukkapatnam.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 141(3), 031001 (Jan 17, 2019) (15 pages) Paper No: MANU-17-1730; doi: 10.1115/1.4041949 History: Received November 23, 2017; Revised October 31, 2018

Short tool service life is always a major concern when milling hard materials, such as Ni-based superalloy. In the current research of tool life optimization in multi-axis machining of freeform surfaces, the focus is mostly on choosing suitable cutting parameters and better application of coolant. In this paper, aiming at averaging the tool wear on the entire cutting edge and hence prolonging the tool service life, we report a study on how to generate a multilayer toolpath with a varying tool lead angle for multi-axis milling of an arbitrary freeform surface from an initial raw stock. The generated toolpath is guaranteed to be free of chatter, which is well known for its detrimental effect on the cutting edge. In this study, we first experimentally construct the chatter stability lobe diagram, which reveals the relationship between the lead angle and the cutting depth. With the chatter stability lobe diagram as the major constraint, we then generate the machining toolpath by selecting a proper pair of the best lead angle and cutting depth along the toolpath. While the proposed algorithm currently is restricted to the iso-planar type of toolpath, it can be adapted to other types of milling. The physical cutting experiments performed by us have convincingly confirmed the advantage of the proposed machining strategy as compared to the conventional constant lead angle and constant cutting depth strategy—in our tests the maximum wear on the cutting edge is reduced by as much as 39%.

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Fig. 1

Configuration of the experiments for getting the chatter stability lobe: (a) setting of experiments for getting the chatter stability lobe and (b) determination of the maximum lead angle θmax

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Fig. 2

The noise graph of θ = 51 deg

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Fig. 3

The PSD chart of lead angle θ = 51 deg

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Fig. 4

(a) The PSD magnitude of the tool passing frequency and (b) the PSD magnitude of the chatter frequency

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Fig. 5

The chatter stability lobe

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Fig. 6

(a) CWE in milling and (b) the ACSs on CWE

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Fig. 7

The wear on the flute of ball-end tool after milling with a constant lead angle

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Fig. 9

The raw stock, design surface and the top flat surface

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Fig. 10

The IPW in the form of ZDVs

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Fig. 12

The simulated ACS at a CC point when the cutting depth is 0.213 mm and lead angle is 51 deg

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Fig. 13

Lh as a function of h for a specific CWE (cutting depth = 0.213 mm, lead angle = 51 deg, flat top surface)

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Fig. 14

The iso-planar toolpath generation method

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Fig. 15

The iso-planar toolpath generation: (a) generation of the CC curves within a section plane, (b) grouping of the layers of CC curves, and (c) CC curves of the toolpath: R = 2 mm, c (step over) = 1 mm, da = 0.213 mm

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Fig. 16

The chatter-free lead angle set Ω(0.17 mm)

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Fig. 17

The average chatter-free tool wear rate versus height h for different lead angles (da = 0.213 mm)

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Fig. 18

The total tool wear function for da = 0.213 mm

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Fig. 19

The interpolated MinMax function W(da)

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Fig. 20

Allocation of the lead angles on CC curves

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Fig. 21

The toolpath with a nominal cutting depth of da = 0.213 mm and a constant lead angle of 15 deg

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Fig. 22

The tool wear rate versus height h for the 15 deg lead angle (da=0.213mm)

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Fig. 23

The cutting force simulation in TCS

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Fig. 24

(a) The finished surfaces by the two toolpaths, (b) the cutting edge of a new cutter, (c) tool wear with the optimized toolpath, and (d) tool wear with the conventional toolpath

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Fig. 25

(a) Photo of the two finished surfaces and (b) the measuring regions of roughness



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