Grinding and surface finishing operations can account for 20-25% of expenditure on all machining operations.
Many components are primarily machined using these techniques, while others use equipment and tooling which rely on such processes for final accuracy and precision.
Grinding processes can be characterised into three main areas: stock removal; form and finishing grinding; and component surface finishing.
The AMRC with Boeing’s grinding and surface finishing team, part of the Machining Group, has the capabilities and expertise to improve performance and quality across the range of grinding operations, with a particular focus on aerospace components.
The AMRC Factory of the Future hosts a range of machine tool platforms with proven capability in grinding and surface finishing processes. We also have access to specialised capabilities in other parts of the AMRC and key partners.
Grinding Centre of Excellence
Since 2013, the AMRC have been targeting the development of a Grinding Centre of Excellence to complement the existing milling and turning capability that has been established within the Machining Group. The vision is to extend and enhance the grinding capability, both in terms of equipment and resource, to a level required of the existing partnership. This has resulted in the acquisition of two key pieces of equipment to enable the latest grinding technology to be explored within the AMRC. There is a projected growth of the group through staff recruitment, development and the identification of key research partners, which will be in line with project and capability development and delivery.
Cylindrical grinding platform configured with conventional (up to 80m/s) and high speed (up to 140m/s) outer diameter grinding as well as internal grinding capability. This machine is fully equipped with the latest StuderWin software including thread grinding and out of round grinding. In addition to this, we can accommodate both emulsion and oil based grinding fluids.
Five-axis Viper grinding platform configured for a wide range of aerospace components and materials.
Mori-Seiki NT4250 automated cell
Flexible five-axis mill-turn-grind capability for component manufacture from a range of input conditions. The machine tool is capable of handling a wide range of component handling, component transfer, wheel dressing and coolant applications.
The NT4250 has been integrated into a fully automated processing cell which combines its machining capabilities with mass finishing techniques (Rösler drag finishing and vibratory bowl) and rapid component inspection.
Five-axis mill-turn-grind capability for larger diameter components. The NMV8000 allows the development of multi-task machining processes for a variety of component families.
Continuous dress five-axis Viper grinding platform, with proven capability for stock removal and finish and form grinding of aerospace components. The machine also has 5-axis milling capability and on-machine broaching technology.
Blohm Profimat MC607
Five-axis grinding capability based with the Design, Prototyping and Testing Centre
DMG Ultrasonic 10
Five-axis ultrasonic grinding capability based within the Design, Prototyping and Testing Centre
Our research capabilities cover key technologies and techniques in both grinding and surface finishing.
Our current research areas include:
- Machine tool optimisation.
- Process development.
- Wheel technology.
- Grindability of materials.
- Hybrid processes.
- Mass finishing.
- Surface finishing and blending.
- Mechanical edge profiling.
Dr David Curtis – technical fellow
David joined the AMRC in 2009 after completing a MEng in Mechanical Engineering followed by a PhD entitled ‘Point Grinding and Electrolytic Point Grinding of Udimet 720’. During his time at the AMRC he has delivered a range of industrial and research projects encompassing advanced five-axis milling and grinding processes. He has technical responsibility for industrial project delivery and development of the aerofoil group’s strategic R&D roadmap.
Andrew Franks – project manager
Andrew joined the AMRC in 2010, after working in industry for 11 years with a leading automotive turbomachinary company, specialising in New Product Introduction and part approval. Since joining the AMRC, he has delivered a range of industrial projects to aerospace, automotive and marine partners. Andrew has project management responsibility for all industry-led and R&D projects within the grinding group.
Jim Kelsey – project engineer
Jim joined the AMRC in 2011 after working in casting research and development, specialising in design and inspection.
– Grindability of materials (to follow).
Directed Generic Projects
– Residual stress when grinding Inconel 718 (to follow).