Aerospace machining is frequently characterized by the tight tolerances and hard-to-machine metals typical of aircraft engine components, as well as the complex contours typical of both turbine blade forms and the aerostructural components making up a plane’s form. Because machined contours are so typical, five-axis machining is routine in this sector, include large-travel five-axis machine tools able to accommodate the largest aircraft structural components. Materials typical of aerospace machining include lightweight aluminum for structural members; hard and temperature-resistant metals including titanium and Inconel alloys for engine parts; and carbon-fiber composites that are both hard and lightweight for outer skins. Along with large five-axis machines, turn-mill machines and precision grinders are among the high-value machine tools routinely used in this sector.
Defense contractors are looking for capable shops to supply machined workpieces for a variety of major projects. To participate, however, you must have more than just top-notch machine tools and a skilled workforce.
Modern Machine Shop magazine doesn鈥檛 cover only the machining of metals. Here are some interesting tidbits about machining non-metallic materials fro...