Structural parts for aerospace present major manufacturing challenges, thanks to the complex nature of their geometries.

Aerostructures can include thin walls and bases, complex webs and difficult-to-reach features, and often have large magnitudes of residual stress movement. These require a detailed understanding of part dynamics and process constraints before the manufacturing method can be optimised. 

The AMRC structures team aims to provide step-change productivity improvements in aerospace structural component machining. In one fan disc project with Rolls-Royce, we achieved a 64 percent reduction in machining time and 75 percent reduction in set-up time. 

We apply theoretical understanding and novel approaches – including best practice process methodology and tooling selection, complex cutter path generation and unique fixture work holding solutions – to demonstrate improved manufacturing processes and develop them to production readiness. Our work is supported by fundamental machining theory such as machine tool dynamics and stability prediction.

Key projects include: 

  • Rolls-Royce high-performance fan disc machining. 
  • Next generation titanium pocketing. 
  • Mill-turning of prismatic components. 

The structures group has access to the world-leading selection of mill-turn machining centres within the AMRC Factory of the Future. This has allowed us to demonstrate optimised manufacturing on alternative and non-standard machining platforms. 

Two recently acquired centres offer industry-leading capabilities to develop innovative processes and techniques: 

  • Scharmann Ecospeed high-speed five-axis machine. 
  • Starrag STC 1250 horizontal machining centre.

For more information, please contact: 

Dan Smith