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Hydraulic Expansion Toolholders With Cool Flow For Optimised Machining

Hydraulic Expansion Toolholders With Cool Flow For Optimised Machining

SCHUNK breaks down the development of its Cool Flow technology—a highly efficient cooling system which feeds coolant directly through the tool mounting, with the help of a model, tool and mould-making company from Germany. 

At the model, tool and mold-making company KRIEGER, standardisation is a key success factor. Within a decade, the variety of machine control systems, tool mountings and tools that had been developed were systematically analysed, structured and overhauled. 

Today, all machines come with standardised control systems, a uniform interface and specific tool pools. Even for special and customised tools, an in-house tool catalog has been drawn up in order to cut down on uncontrolled growth. This creates clarity and makes it easier to detect and eliminate even the smallest of deviations in processes. 

This includes deviations such as vibrations that can occur, in particular on machines with large traverse paths (2500 mm x 2000 mm x 1000 mm). Although the vibrations had been kept in check by changing the cutting parameters, there had long since been dissatisfaction with the overall process. 

Technological Progress with Hydraulic Expansion Toolholders

KRIEGER first deployed the TENDO Slim 4ax vibration-damping hydraulic expansion toolholders in a milling test to replace the previous standard heat shrinking mounting which was susceptible to vibrations. They found that the machines absorb the vibrations considerably better and no longer come to a standstill during demanding processes if they are equipped with the toolholders. 

Particularly on machining centers that lack stability due to their design and size, the effect has been enormous. The toolholders could simply be replaced without any reprogramming or collision check. 

It made sense for the 40-person company to deviate from what was hitherto tried-and-tested and the company was convinced.

Simple Replacement Via Plug & Work

Test series have proven that mounting with the vibration-damping characteristics of hydraulic expansion toolholder technology results in significant process improvements, especially during drilling, as well as demanding finish milling. Users benefit from shining surfaces, long tool service live, and efficient metal cutting. 

Unlike heat shrinking toolholders, the TENDO Slim 4ax can be seamlessly integrated into SCHUNK’s tried-and-tested hydraulic expansion program, with a constant run-out accuracy of < 0.003 mm at an unclamped length of 2.5 x D and a balancing grade of G 2.5 at 25,000 RPM. 

Since precision mountings can replace conventional heat shrinking toolholders by means of Plug & Work without having to reprogram the outside contour, its advantages can be immediately tested in real applications and used in the long term – just like at KRIEGER.

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Electrification In The Automotive Industry

Electrification in the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is on the brink of colossal changes. Marat Faingertz of ISCAR looks into the impact of this trend on the metalworking industry, and how new machining requirements can be addressed.

Public awareness of global warming, together with a pressing concern to create and maintain a clean environment, has led to a series of legislations worldwide that is forcing automakers to decrease CO2 emissions. Apart from improving fuel consumption, downsizing engines, and making lighter vehicles, automakers must turn to new technologies in order to cope with these emission limitations.

A rapid increase in battery electric vehicle (BEV) development, manufacture, and implementation, shows that electric vehicles are not only the future but are, in fact, the present. The automotive industry is on the brink of colossal changes and soon our perception of cars and transportation may alter completely.

ISCAR, a company with many years of experience in the production of metal cutting tools, offers unique, cutting-edge solutions for the new BEV Industry. As a leader in providing productive and cost-effective machining solutions, ISCAR strives to stay up to date with all the new trends and technologies and be a part of a brighter, greener future.

The following is a list of some of the common component machining processes in the BEV industry and some of the leading possible machining solutions and recommendations for each part.

Stator Housing Machining

One of the most notable trends of the electric vehicle powertrain is its simplicity. There are far fewer moving parts compared to the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE), therefore, manufacturing time and cost dramatically drop when producing BEVs. 

One of the main components of an electric motor is the motor (stator) housing made from aluminium. A special approach is needed to achieve this part’s critical key characteristics of lightweight, durability, ductility, surface finish and precision, including geometrical tolerances. The partially hollow form represents an additional challenge and maintaining low cutting forces is essential for roughness and cylindricity requirements.

ISCAR’s complete machining solution for this process has facilitated the transformation from the standard costly lathe-based process to an economical machining centre. Our aim is to reduce scrapped parts and reach an optimal CPK ratio (Process Capability Index—a producer’s capability to produce parts within the required tolerance).

Main Diameter Reaming

The most challenging operation in machining the aluminium stator housing is the main diameter boring and reaming. Because of the trend to use low power machines, the tool’s large diameter and long overhang require creative thinking to minimise weight and spindle load while maintaining rigidity. Exotic materials such as titanium and carbon fibre are used for the tool body, as well as the welded frame design.

The use of Finite Element Method (FEM) helps resolve the obstacles associated with this challenging application by enabling the consideration of many parameters, such as cutting forces, displacement field during machining, natural frequency, and maximum deformation.

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The Essential Guide To CNC Milling Machines

The Essential Guide To CNC Milling Machines

For those who may be a new entrant to the industry and would need a refresher, this article explains CNC Milling Machines, how they work, how they compare to CNC Lathes, and when to use such CNC machine tools. Article by Hwacheon. 

Focused on milling – the process of machining using rotating tools to gradually remove material from a workpiece – CNC milling machines are a mainstay for factories around the world. These machine tools make use of a variety of cutting tools along one or more axes to remove material from a workpiece through mechanical means.

CNC milling machines are often used in a variety of manufacturing industries: from industries like aerospace, shipping, automobiles, and oil drilling/pumping and refining, to medical, FMC manufacturing, and precision engineering sectors.

Also called CNC Machining Centers, the more advanced CNC milling machines can operate along multiple-axis. These may be fitted with automatic tool changers, advanced machine coolant systems, pallet changers, and advanced software to improve the efficiency and accuracy of machining processes.

In this article, we will be looking at the many different aspects of a CNC milling machine/machining center.

What CNC Milling Machines Are

CNC milling machines are machine-operated cutting tools that are programmed and managed by computer numerical control (CNC) systems to accurately remove materials from a workpiece. The end result of the machining process is a specific part or product that is created using a computer aided design (CAD) software.

These machine tools are normally equipped with a main spindle and three-linear-axes to position or move the part to be machined. More advanced versions may have a 4th or 5th rotational axis to allow for more precise shapes of varying dimensions and sizes to be machined.

CNC milling machines normally employ a process of material cutting termed milling or machining – the milling process involves securing a piece of pre-shaped material (also known as the workpiece) to a fixture attached to a platform in the milling machine. A rapidly rotating tool (or a series of interchangeable tools) is then applied to the material to remove small chips of the material until the desired shape for the part is achieved.

Depending on the material used for the part, as well as the complexity of the machined part, varying axes, cutting head speeds, and feed rates may be applied.

Milling is normally used to machine parts that are not symmetrical from an axial perspective. These parts may have unique curvatures or surface contours, which may require a combination of drilling and tapping, grooves, slots, recesses, pockets and holes to work on them. They may also form parts of the tooling for other manufacturing processes – for example in the fabrication of 3D moulds. 

Features of Advanced CNC Milling Machines

In the past, milling machines were manually operated. Operators had to use a combination of machines with different tools to machine a more complex part or product. Or they had to use various settings on one machine just to complete the job. 

With the advancement of technology such as CNC and automatic tool changers (ATCs), greater efficiency, flexibility and speed can be achieved – even for more convoluted parts. The provision of digital readouts and measuring systems has also improved the accuracy of CNC machining processes. 

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A New Approach To Aircraft Titanium Machining

A New Approach To Aircraft Titanium Machining

Makino introduces a new approach to overcome the challenges in titanium parts machining for aerospace manufacturers. 

The appeal of Titanium is no mystery. Its material properties of toughness, strength, corrosion resistance, thermal stability and light weight are highly beneficial to the construction of today’s aircraft.

However, aerospace manufacturers producing titanium parts quickly discover the difficulty these material properties present during the machining process. The combination of titanium’s poor thermal conductivity, strong alloying tendency and chemical reactivity with cutting tools are a detriment to tool life, metal-removal rates and ultimately the manufacturer’s profit margin.

Producing titanium parts efficiently requires a delicate balance between productivity and profitability. However, in standard machining practices these two factors share an inverse relationship, meaning greater productivity can come at a higher cost due to rapid tool degradation, while the desire to increase profit margins by extending tool life may result in decreased metal-removal rates and extended cycle times.

Overcoming this issue requires a new approach by Makino in which all components of the machining process are developed and integrated specific to the material’s unique challenges—requiring a reassessment of even the most basic machine tool design considerations. This was the concept for the new T-Series 5-axis horizontal machining centers with ADVANTiGE technologies, and the results speak for themselves—four times the productivity and double the tool life.

Changing the Rules

In the past, and even in some shops today, titanium is typically machined using multi-spindle gantries and machines with geared head spindles. While these technologies have been effective, the growing complexity of part geometries and required accuracies have brought forth several limitations, including machine and spindle vibration, poor chip removal and limited tooling options.

In support of the aerospace industry’s demand for titanium, Makino established a Global Titanium Research and Development Center, managed by a select group of engineers with knowledge and experience around titanium in both academic and industrial backgrounds. 

The company’s breakthrough, ADVANTiGE, is a comprehensive set of technologies that includes an extra-rigid machine construction, Active Damping System, high-pressure, high-flow coolant system, Coolant Microsizer System and an Autonomic Spindle Technology.  Each technology is designed specifically for the titanium machining process, providing dramatic improvements in both tool life and productivity.

Creating a Rigid Platform

Rigidity of a machine tool is one of the single most important components in titanium machining, heavily influencing the equipment’s stable cutting parameters. 

Machines designed with low rigidity offer limited stable cutting zones, dramatically reducing the maximum level of productivity that can be achieved across all spindle speeds. To increase the productivity of a low-rigidity machine, manufacturers have only one option: taking lighter cuts and increasing spindle speeds, resulting in dramatic reductions in tool life.

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Fully Automated Material Flow

Fully Automated Material Flow

A look at how a steel company was able to press ahead with automation and enable unmanned operation in its facility. Article by KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG.

Steel is one of the most frequently used materials in industry. Examples are power generation, automotive manufacturing, food production and construction. It is also applied in many different ways and different forms because, as we know, steel is not just steel. Today more than 2,500 standard grades of steel are in use throughout the world, from simple construction steel to special high-quality alloys. These, in turn, are available in a wide range of dimensions and geometries. All of these factors make the steel trade very challenging. Companies that want to succeed in the increasingly competitive international environment must be able to supply their customers at all times with the materials they need, cut to their requirements.

This situation is all too familiar to Weser Stahl. The company has specialised for many years in the sale of hot-rolled and forged steel bars, steel tubes and bright steel. It is part of Westfälische Stahlgesellschaft, an owner-managed group of companies with four locations in Germany. Steel distribution, production of bright steel and material testing are combined here under one roof. Weser Stahl delivers mainly to customers in northern Germany and Scandinavia. The group as a whole sells some 250,000 tonnes of material each year, and Weser Stahl accounts for about 30,000 tonnes.

Increasing Numbers of Orders and Declining Batch Sizes

A large percentage of the company’s products are partially finished. More than half of the items shipped from the storage and production facilities in Stuhr have already been cut to size. The figure is rising, as Dr. Markus Krummenerl, Managing Director of Weser Stahl, points out, “Our customers are outsourcing more and more machining steps in order to save capacity. For this reason we’ve been continually expanding our portfolio in this area in order to fulfil as many of their wishes as possible.”

But this has also led to increasing customisation. “Our order numbers have been rising, while batch sizes have been shrinking. This of course poses a big challenge to us in manufacturing and logistics,” he says.

Weser Stahl relies on state-of-the-art machinery and equipment to meet this challenge. It has a number of band saws and circular saws for cutting various materials to size. These have been supplied for many years by KASTO, a group of companies based in the southern German town of Achern and known for its high-quality, high-performance machines.

“We appreciate KASTO’s ability to provide solutions even when we have special requirements,” says Krummenerl. This is why Weser Stahl also turned to the saw and storage equipment manufacturer when it decided to launch another ambitious project.

Unattended Operation Reduces the Burden on Employees

The goal was to automate the provisioning of the saws so that they could run largely unattended, enabling Weser Stahl to handle the increasing numbers of orders and meet the growing customer demand for partially finished products.

“Another important aspect for us was work safety,” adds Krummenerl. “We wanted to make our employees’ work environment more ergonomic and their daily tasks easier, in this way preventing accidents and injuries.”

Previously, material had been conveyed to the saws by an indoor crane—a laborious and not entirely hazard-free process involving bars and tubes weighing a tonne or more. “We therefore went to KASTO and asked them to suggest some solutions,” he says.

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When XXL Machines Get Even Bigger

When XXL Machines Get Even Bigger

DMG MORI gantry machines utilise igus energy chains with guidelok system.

For 100 years, DECKEL MAHO Pfronten has stood for precision machinery and tools. The company’s monoBLOCK, duoBLOCK, Portal and Gantry series cover all industries and dimensions—from the smallest component to XXL parts. The XXL Centre in Pfronten precisely manufactures workpieces that are up to 10 m long and weigh up to 150 tonnes. In the future, even longer ones should be achievable, since the modular design allows the X dimension to be extended.

DECKEL MAHO’s XXL Centre is where they manufacture the DMU 600 series large-part gantry. The hall has to be big because the machines have to be XXL, so that they can produce XXL components. The DMU 600, with its traversing gantry design, was originally developed for press tool construction. DMG MORI has enjoyed global success with this machine series and is currently planning an even bigger one.

Dr. Kai Gümperlein, head of XXL machine design and development, says, “We’re planning to expand the modular design so that we can work on components that are up to 20 m long.”

But he wants to retain the flexibility that is unparalleled at this size: the DMU 600 gantry has great cutting performance during roughing while at the same time achieving very fine, accurate surface finishes. This is advantageous when large tools are manufactured for plastic injection moulding.

New Solution for Flexible Energy Supply Systems

As part of the design revision, the gantry’s energy supply was re-designed. It is also XXL because it has to transport the motor cables for the traversing drives; powerful tools and media cables for cooling lubricant, hydraulic oil and compressed air; and a large number of signal cables.

Reverse XXL Chains with Upper Run guidelok Guidance

In the future, two reverse chains with centre infeed will supply energy. The advantage here is the reduced chain length, which reduces pressure drop in the media cables. Both chains are also very accessible, and the defined interface allows easy installation of the chain packages, which are also XXL: the R4.112 chain with its 400-mm inner width is among the largest that the very extensive igus range has to offer. Another advantage of the new solution is that the guide trough is placed in a raised position on the control cabinet. This reduces the installation space required and allows transport to the set-up point in a guide cage as a unit. This saves time during on-site installation.

Central Advantage: The Modular Principle

The central advantage from DMG MORI’s point of view is the new solution’s modular principle. Gümperlein says, “Now we can use the same basic design for all previous variants with six, eight or ten metres of installation space and for even bigger machines in the future. All we need to do is extend the travel and the chain.”

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Servo Forming—Enabling Highly Contoured Automobiles And Higher Productivity

Servo Forming—Enabling Highly Contoured Automobiles and Higher Productivity

To accommodate difficult-to-form materials, higher tonnage, higher energy and lower speeds, are the main requirements. Article by AIDA Engineering.

There is a global ambition to reduce carbon emissions. As more and more countries enact ever-stricter emission standards, the usage of new materials such as aluminium and high tensile strength steels has increased. Because of concerns about aggravating global warming, emission standards for automobiles have become even more stringent throughout the world. 

For example, the US Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards raise mileage standards incrementally, and auto manufacturers around the world are trying to find ways to improve fuel efficiency. One key to better fuel efficiency is a lighter vehicle. 

The expectation is not only to achieve lighter vehicles and better passenger safety, but also to produce a sleeker design. Composites reinforced with carbon fibre have made some inroads with automakers because of the high strength-to-weight ratio and stiffness-to-weight ratio. Ford’s F-150 truck shed close to 15 percent of its vehicle weight, about 700 lb, by replacing conventional steel parts with high-strength, military-grade aluminium.

There is a growing need in automotive-related industries for new high-quality and high-efficiency forming technologies. New forming machinery is required for difficult-to-form materials, like advanced high-strength steels, and non-ferrous materials, like aluminium. With higher fuel economy driving the transition to lighter-weight vehicles throughout the world, automotive manufacturers are increasingly using high-strength steel and aluminium in order to achieve the material strength required to assure vehicle collision safety performance.

Difficult-to-form materials require a great deal of force for forming and, after forming, can have significant internal stresses that can lead to springback and cracks. They can also easily damage the forming dies. For instance, advanced high-strength steels (AHSS)—dual-phase grades with tensile strength up to 1,200 MPa, transformation-inducted plasticity, martensitic and twinning-induced plasticity steels—are more difficult to form than mild steels, and thus, product cracking issues can occur when formed using conventional mechanical presses. As for aluminium materials, they have limited elongation properties, which makes it difficult to form complex shapes. In addition, because aluminium is not magnetic, it cannot be conveyed using conventional magnetic transfer systems. 

At the same time, appealing body designs with complex curved surfaces are also being pursued in order to enhance consumer appeal, and as a result, the forming processes themselves have become more difficult. These kinds of problems are difficult to resolve using conventional technologies.

Press forming system provider AIDA is leveraging its independently developed servo technologies to provide solutions to these complex forming issues. AIDA servo presses are powered by servo motors that enable the precise control of the press slide motion, including the forming speed. The innovative servo technologies—such as the development of servo motors that can output high torque even at low speeds and servo-controlled die cushions with freely programmable pressure settings—enable not only the high-precision forming of new materials but also the forming of highly contoured vehicle bodies.

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Machining Aluminium Components Economically

Machining Aluminium Components Economically

In machining aluminium alloys, here is what will help manufacturers reduce unit costs and achieve process reliability. Article by Walter AG.

A few years ago, chassis components made of aluminium were still reserved for the premium segment in the vehicle market. Steering knuckles, suspension arms and wheel carriers for medium-class and small cars were predominantly made of cast iron or forged steel. This has changed in the last few years.

Since then, significantly reducing the CO2 emissions of a vehicle has become a top priority in vehicle construction. One way to do this is reducing the vehicle weight. A reduction in weight of 100 kg means 0.3 l to 0.4 l less fuel consumption.

Even with electromobility as an alternative to the combustion engine, the weight of the vehicle is a key factor—the lighter the car, the higher the battery range. Materials like forged wrought aluminium alloys or ductile cast aluminium alloys with a low silicon content can therefore increasingly be found in all vehicle classes.

With the changeover to other materials, the challenges in machining also change. Machining aluminium alloys requires different machining strategies compared to existing materials in use, especially under the conditions of high cost pressure and strict machining quality and process reliability requirements. The machining tools used are an important factor here. Many automotive suppliers already count on machining specialist Walter AG for this.

“Aluminium alloys are the optimal material for the automotive industry. The alloys are light, with sufficiently high strength, and can be machined at speeds that are very different from those of traditional cast iron or steel materials. However, this does not mean that they are easy to machine. Above all, the long chips are a risk factor when it comes to a stable process. In addition, build-up on the cutting edge can quickly form on the cutting edges of the tools. It then soon becomes difficult to comply with the specified tolerances when it comes to the fit sizes and the surface quality. In this respect, users are dependent on the quality of the machining tool and the right technology,” says Fabian Hübner, Component and Project Manager for Transportation at Walter.

Creating Complex Bores

Above all, the integration of solid bores represents a technical and economic challenge in the production of chassis components made of aluminium alloys. While pre-forged recesses are often bored with larger bores, such as the wheel hub bore on the wheel carrier, smaller bores such as on the suspension arm are, in contrast, created in the solid material. The often high complexity of the contours to be drilled and the very strict requirements of the accuracy of the bore and of the surface quality also need to be considered.

Mostly, the smaller bores act as adaptors for plain bearings and dampers. This requires more than simply setting a bore. For example, defined end faces or chamfers must also be fitted, in order to allow you to fit bearing bushings or damping elements in the next production step. Consequently, up to five machining steps per bore quickly follow. 

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Shifting Gears: Addressing New Requirements In EV Manufacturing

Shifting Gears: Addressing New Requirements In EV Manufacturing

Andy Kuklinski of Ceratizit talks about the electric vehicle trend in the automotive industry, how it has changed the machining landscape, and the new requirements being faced by manufacturers. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Andy Kuklinski

The Ceratizit Group develops and produces highly specialised cutting tools, indexable inserts, rods made from hard materials, and wear parts. Active in more than 80 countries worldwide, the Group has more than 8,000 employees and over 30 production sites. Its innovative hard material solutions are used in various sectors, including mechanical engineering and toolmaking, wood and stone working, in the automotive and aerospace industries, and in the oil, gas and medical industries.

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Andy Kuklinski, Head of Segment Automotive/Team Cutting Tools at Ceratizit, talks about the electric vehicle trend in the automotive industry, how it has changed the machining landscape, and the new requirements being faced by manufacturers.

HOW HAVE THE REQUIREMENTS IN ELECTRIC VEHICLES (EVs) CHANGED THE AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING LANDSCAPE?

Andy Kuklinski (AK): One of the changes is that even more components will be made of aluminium. This will affect and change the manufacturing and supplier strategy. A typical example are cylinder heads and cylinder blocks. While these parts used to be manufactured mainly by the OEMs themselves, the focus is now moving to Tier 1 and even Tier 2 suppliers for the machining of the electric engine casing. We are increasingly seeing former aluminium foundries now responding and manufacturing the finished machined part in the same production facility. So, the landscape, especially the supply chain landscape, will definitely look different towards EV manufacturing.

WHAT KEY CHALLENGES HAVE YOU BEEN HEARING FROM YOUR AUTOMOTIVE CUSTOMERS WHO ARE TRANSITIONING TO EV?

AK: We are in constant exchange with our customers and hear again and again how challenging it is to react to the enormous and rapid changes in automotive components. In particular, the R&D and production planning departments are under great time pressure to meet the massively increasing demand for EVs. By supporting them quickly with the right machining concepts, we can mitigate at least some of this pressure.

HOW DO THESE CHALLENGES DIFFER FROM THE TRADITIONAL INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE VEHICLES?

AK: For one thing, the time pressure was much less with the combustion vehicles, since it was not necessary to renew large parts of the portfolio in a short period of time. The product cycles were very finely tuned. For another, the parts that are being created now, especially in the powertrain area, are completely different from the parts that car companies produced in the past—many things are still new and simply bring new challenges. Previous combustion engines were always developed in a similar way and always had the same contours and materials that people knew how to process. In many respects, it was a constant process of optimisation.

HOW ARE THESE CHALLENGES IMPACTING YOUR TECHNOLOGY/PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES?

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The Atmosphere’s Electric

The Atmosphere’s Electric

Formula Student allows ambitious students to gain intensive practical experience in the design, production and commercial aspects of automotive engineering—from every angle and well away from the confines of a lecture theatre. Article by Paul Horn GmbH.

Zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in less than four seconds, an engine power of 160 kW and real team spirit—that sums up life for the Raceyard Formula Student Team from Kiel University of Applied Sciences. They are entering the “E” category of the competition with an electric racing car that they have developed and built themselves. 

To assist with the production of the car’s parts, Paul Horn GmbH is giving the Kiel students advice on tools for turning and milling.

“We really appreciate the company’s machining expertise. Thomas Wassersleben is our contact person at HORN and thanks to him we always receive good advice and rapid support,” explains Lukas Schlott. Lukas is the member of the Raceyard Team with responsibility for marketing and event management.

The collaboration with the Institute for Computer Integrated Manufacturing – Technology Transfer (CIMTT) has actually been running for several years. Wassersleben advises the Institute’s mechanical workshops on machining solutions and tools. He was also the HORN sales representative that received the initial enquiry from the 2017/2018 Raceyard Team and passed it on. HORN responded to this enquiry by offering a set of tools that included the Supermini 105, the S100 grooving and parting-off system, and some Boehlerit ISO inserts and DS aluminium milling cutters.

“This set of tools enabled our mechanics department to solve tricky machining tasks by overcoming the access difficulties created by the long throat depths and narrow bores,” recalls Schlott.

A new race car is created for each season of the Formula Student competition. Just like the car itself, the make-up of the team also changes, as some members inevitably come to the end of their studies. This means that each new team has to develop, produce, assemble and test its own race car. However, the experience accumulated over previous seasons is also fed into the latest development work. The 2017/2018 Raceyard Team has 50 members assigned to four main areas: Sponsorship and Finance, Mechanics, Electrics, and Marketing & Event Management.  

Self-developed and Self-produced

The students developed and produced the entire race car themselves, apart from a few components. For the brake callipers, the Kiel students opted for SLM (selective laser melting) technology. Using this additive manufacturing process, they were able to print the brake callipers from an aluminium alloy powder made to their very own design specifications. And when it came to finish boring the brake piston cylinder surface, the responsible mechanics decided on the HORN Supermini 105 system.

“Due to the calliper’s three-dimensional shape and the very tight cylinder tolerances, the production process was a real challenge for our mechanics,” says Schlott.

The aluminium axle leg was machined using a triple-flute solid carbide end mill from the DS system with polished chip spaces. The difficulty with this component was the long throat depth required for the tool. In addition, the component geometry meant that the engineers went for the extra-long milling tool.

“Thanks to the polished chip spaces and the geometry of the milling cutter, we don’t experience any problems during machining in terms of chips adhering and chatter marks,” says Wassersleben.

CFRP Monocoque Design

The racing car has a CFRP monocoque chassis. The students decided on the same carbon fibre material for the aerodynamic components and other parts such as the steering linkage. For the purpose of producing the moulds and laminating the parts, the team had access to the machinery and expertise of another sponsor.

“It was certainly a challenge to laminate the individual CFRP layers because the fibres in each layer had to be arranged in particular directions to ensure the subsequent rigidity of the chassis and other assemblies,” clarifies Schlott. In order to calculate the aerodynamics as well as the rigidity of the chassis and other components, the students made use of the powerful computers available at the Kiel CIMTT institute. 

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