Thin-Walled Machining – Space
Providing machined parts for space components requires experience, as well as an understanding of design and the underlying criteria of reducing weight while maintaining or increasing component integral strength. Intrex Aerospace has an understanding of these core criteria. One of the primary components Intrex produces for its space market customers is thin-wall machined parts.
We apply our many years of experience, coupled with our state-of-the-art CNC machines, to produce high-quality thin-walled parts. The machining of thin-walled parts can be a challenge. It poses problems both in turning and milling. Some of the reasons for problems posed during machining of thin-walled parts are:
- Poor rigidity
- Part deformation during machining process
- Work holding
- Tooling required
Because of the thin workpiece, it undermines standard machining practice. Working with a thin workpiece wall resists exerting tool pressures, thus many standard machining practices are not effective. Experience machining thin-wall space components, coupled with an understanding of correct tool geometries and proper speeds and feeds, are core to our success.
Thin-wall design parts have a tendency to want to deform during the machining process. Inherent to thin-wall parts is a weakness caused by thin walls. Machining success is determined by understanding the forces that lead to deformation. Our success in this area is having an understanding of what causes the part to deform during the machining process and applying this knowledge and experience to a solution.
Work holding is often a challenge in machining thin-wall space parts. Much consideration must be given so as not to distort the parts. Many parts require special work holding, special chuck jaws, and special chucks. Intrex is experienced with all of these solutions.
Knowledge and experience with tool geometries is essential to successfully machining thin-walled parts. Machining thin walls poses challenges, so as not to distort the part. It takes this knowledge and experience to control “chatter,” while removing material on thin-walled parts.
Intrex Aerospace has a long and successful history of producing thin-walled parts for the space market. We can produce these parts in many different sizes and shapes. We have made significant investments in CNC equipment that helps facilitate producing thin-walled components.
The latest investments in CNC machines have multi-spindles and multi-axes. These multi-spindle, multi-axis machines feature greatly reduce work setups. Our five-axis machines can machine nearly every visible surface, excluding the bottom or clamping area. This ability can significantly reduce the need for additional chucking/clamping and, in many cases, eliminates the need for special fixtures. By reducing the number of chucking/clamping, you reduce the possibilities for part distortion.
Relational accuracy in our latest equipment purchases have increased our ability to control every phase of the machining process. Being able to pass the part from one spindle to the other and maintain a single “home” or “zero” reference to the work head helps maintain alignment and eliminates tolerance stack up.
We have years of experience providing thin-walled machined components for the space industry. Some of our products are on major known space platforms.
We would welcome an opportunity to discuss your thin-wall machining requirements. For more information contact Intrex Aerospace today.