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Die sink electrical discharge machining as a viable option for the manufacture of turbine blisks

ONA participates in research at the Aeronautics Advanced Manufacturing Center (CFAA) that concludes that electrical discharge machining is a "competitive and indispensable" alternative when the geometry of the blisk includes a difficult to access shrouded blisk where production shifts are short

ONA participates in research at the Aeronautics Advanced Manufacturing Center (CFAA) that concludes that electrical discharge machining is a ·competitive and indispensable· alternative when the geometry of the blisk includes a difficult to access shrouded blisk where production shifts are short

Die sink electrical discharge machining as a viable option for the manufacture of turbine blisks

ONA participates in research at the Aeronautics Advanced Manufacturing Center (CFAA) that concludes that electrical discharge machining is a "competitive and indispensable"  alternative when the geometry of theblisk includes a difficult to access shrouded bliskwhere production shifts are short

 

ONA has been involved in R&D+i for 65 years. An eagerness  for innovation that explains our world leadership in electrical discharge machining. ONA's current engineers follow in the footsteps of their predecessors and constantly develop new technologies aimed at optimizing equipment, creating more productive EDM machines and with the ability to manufacture more complex components. This is helped by participating in different research with technology centers and universities around the world.

 

In one of the latest studies, conducted at the Aeronautics Advanced Manufacturing Center (CFAA) together with the research group of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), the complete sequence of operations required for the production of a bliskwith a high geometric complexity for the aeronautics industry by means of die sink electrical discharge machining (SEDM) was analyzed.

 

It is a well-known fact that the need to improve the efficiency of high-speed turbines has generated a trend towards the design of integrated components, i.e. manufactured in a single piece. In the case of blisk, or blade integrated disks,there are difficulties in conventional machining for several reasons:

 

o   The nature of the new materials used (nickel-based and titanium-based alloys).

o   The stringent dimensional tolerances required (around 50µm).

o   Rigorous requirements for accuracy and surface quality.

o   The difficulty of access for the tools that must generate their complex geometry.

 

The purpose of the research at the CFAA was to demonstrate and contrast ONA's most advanced technology and consolidate its capacity to carry out projects and solutions in the highly complex geometric turbine components sector. It should be noted that, in these cases, the accessibility of the tool is limited and, therefore, die sink electrical discharge machining is a viable and competitive option

 

The research consisted of the manufacture of a bliskwith a high geometric complexity from start to finish using an ONA QX7 machine.

 

First, the electrodes and their associated trajectories were designed using proprietary methodologies and algorithms based on optimization algorithms. The machining strategies were then designed and the sequence of operations defined. Finally, the complete disk was manufactured, taking 300 hours to produce.

 

It should be noted that, in this type of parts, unit manufacture is the previous and indispensable step for mass production. It enables the verification of programs, machining strategies and the definition of the optimal sequence of operations to be used.

 

Once each and every one of the challenges that the manufacture of the part entailed has been analyzed in detail (Design of electrodes and their multi-axis paths; part arrangement; electrode manufacturing process; electrode wear; material behavior; and metrology),the conclusion was that die sink electrical discharge machining is a "competitive and indispensable" alternative when the geometry of the bliskincludes a difficult to access external enclosure(shrouded blisk) and where production runs are short.

 

The experts also determined that developing these complex geometry integrated components requires high-capacity EDM machines -such as ONA's - and a specialized engineering team with experience in electrode design and associated trajectories; as well as in process technology; tooling control; set-upand advanced metrology.

 

Each part reference must also be worked as an independent project and any design modification complicates the process and extends deadlines.

 

You can read the full report of the research by clicking here.

 

And if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to assist you.