The key components for aircraft turbines are made of high-tensile, heat-resistant materials. For example, the blade integrated discs – high-pressure compressors inside the turbine – are made of nickel-based alloys that put a lot of strain on milling tools. The components aren’t the only thing feeling the heat, the competitive pressure the aircraft manufacturers are under is rising, with their production planners forced to cut the throughput times for these components even more.
Words by Markus Isgro
Eliminating downstream operations
Against this background the technology offered by EMAG ECM scores heavily, as electro-chemical machining, compared to milling processes, ensures that processes are shortened and the machining accuracy is increased, = with hardly any tool wear . How does this work? During the process, an electrolyte solution flows between the workpiece (the positive anode) and the tool (the negative cathode), removing metal ions from the workpiece. The tool contours are chosen to ensure the material removal on the workpiece results in the desired component contour. The surface quality that results from this process is exceptional and will often render subsequent finishing processes unnecessary.