Machinability research underpins the AMRC with Boeing’s machining process work, by developing a better understanding of the essential characteristics of high-performance aerospace materials and cutting tools.

The AMRC machinability team works with a multitude of aerospace materials, focusing on titanium, high strength
steel, nickel and aluminium alloys, as well as metal matrix composites. We carry out machinability research to support the work of other AMRC groups and industrial partners.

Our core research areas include:

• Characterising materials and tools
• Understanding and reducing the causes of tool wear
• Developing the chemistry and application of cutting fluids
• Understanding the material science behind machinability
• Developing emerging machining technologies

Specialist analytic equipment includes:

Alicona InfiniteFocus G4 & SL high-resolution 3D scanners – used to check the geometry of cutting tools and investigate the form of finished components, with resolution of 10nm.

Kistler dynamometers – to measure the cutting forces which dictate regenerative vibration limits, machine power consumption, tool deflection and tool fracture. We have three dynamometers suitable for milling and drilling studies, measuring both forces and torque, and one suitable for turning processes.

Carl Zeiss and USB toolmaker’s microscopes – USB microscopes are useful for rapid on-machine assessment of cutting tools. If significant wear has occurred, we can use the Zeiss microscope to carry out a quantitative flank wear assessment and track tool wear over the time of cutting.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Chris Taylor, Technical Lead