Titanium Ti-6Al-4V alloy milling by applying industrial robots
Robotic machining is an alternative to manufacturing processes that combines the technologies of a high-performance machine tool with the flexibility of a 6-axis jointed arm robot. With their large working area, industrial robots are of particular interest for processing large-volume components and large structures, like aircraft components. An influencing variable, which is particularly relevant for milling processes with industrial robots are the cutting force F and the resulting dimensional deviation D. Milling tests of titanium alloys were carried out with an industrial robot and the results compared with a conventional machine tool. Due to the low thermal conductivity and high chemical reactivity of the Ti-6Al-4V alloy, heat is generated and increases the temperature in the contact region of the cutting tool/work piece. That has an impact on the cutting tool wear and increases the cutting force F, and consequently, the dimensional deviation D and the machined surface quality. The aim of the investigations is to find a suitable parameter selection and machining strategy for machining titanium alloys with minimal deviation D and an appropriate surface finish.