The rapid growth of composite aerospace structures has created a parallel demand for complex, monolithic titanium components to join them together.
Aluminum, the traditional aerospace metal, lacks corrosion resistance essential for this application, leading to an unprecedented demand for better titanium machining capabilities, say officials at Cincinnati Machine, Hebron, Ky.
Manufacturers of off-road and construction equipment, power-generation systems, and custom parts are also machining more titanium, thanks to the material's outstanding combination of strength, light weight, and corrosion resistance. According to the company, this virtually ensures demand will continue to grow well into the future and, with it, the need for more efficient production technologies.
Cincinnati Machine has developed equipment and processes that reduce the cost of machining titanium parts. For instance, its new Mega5 five-axis horizontal machining center can be configured specifically for cutting titanium. Specific enhancements include changing the machine's natural frequency to virtually eliminate chatter; a new coolant and coolant delivery system tailored for titanium machining; and new tooling that extends cutting life. The optimized machine nearly doubles throughput compared to conventional processes for similar parts.