With recent increase in demand for more ultra precision machining designs for improving performance requirements, we are facing a great challenge in this kind of CNC machining services. Generally speaking, the greatest challenge when machining these components is part distortion. For instance, removing material up to 80 % on CNC machines to produce monolithic components replacing multi part assemblies has become common in aerospace, automobile, precision instrument industries. These kind of components might have similar appearance features such as thin wall, very long length, etc.
What Is Part Distortion?
Part distortion is defined as the deviation of part appearance from original shape after released from the fixture. Generally speaking, distortion could come from several variables such as type of material, inherent residual stresses in bulk material, residual stresses induced from CNC machining, part design, etc. In the most cases, the dominant factor of part distortion is the inherent residual stresses in the part. In general, these inherent residual stresses usually come from different manufacturing processes, i.e. quenching, stretching forging, extrusions, casting, welding, machining, forming, and etc.
How Can I Minimize Part Distortion?
Distortion is a common challenge in manufacturing industrial components. The suggestions to minimize or eliminate distortion shows as below:
1.) The length to thickness ratio of the part design is lower than 10:1.
2.) Pre-heat treating the metal part prior to manufacturing for stress relieve. For instance, the general stress relieve condition for AISI 4340 alloy steel is at 650-670°C for 2hrs, slow cooling furnace.
3.) As per our experience of CNC machining service, distortion increases with the cutter size at constant feed, speed, depth of cut and material removal rates.
4.) Considering that WEDM process involves being fully-submerged, it imposes nearly no stress on the metal part.
With optimized manufacturing process flow, we are able to minimizing any deformation on all the CNC machined parts. Also, to select the suitable cutting tools and CNC machining parameters is of utmost importance. Note that the choice of cutting tools size is key to strike the balance between the productivity and geometrical constraints of the component. By the way, you can learn more about: