Production of High Precision Complex Geometries using Next Generation Processes and Materials

Thomas R. Kurfess
Associate Professor
The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

New high performance systems require the machining of highly complex components that are comprised of advanced materials. The production of such parts requires significant advances in both machining systems as well as inspection systems. To accomplish this task advances in three main areas (process modeling, process control and sensor feedback) are required. This seminar presents results in these individual areas as well as their integration into a system that will permit manufacturing systems to make the technological leap necessary to produce new advanced designs that incorporate new high performance materials.

In particular, this seminar will present current work on high precision bearing grinding manufacture that employs real-time process modeling, adaptive force and power controlled grinding, and high precision metrology used as process feedback. The novel approach to this work is that it directly applies control to the grinding process, rather than the machine tool. The machine tool is considered the actuator that is used to regulate or servo the process, rather than the system to be controlled. Advances in both hardware and software are discussed for the feedback system. State-of-the-art developments in coordinate metrology are used to determine the geometry of the components.

The presentation extends the use of these new developments from precision bearing production to two other areas of interest: rapid prototyping and machining of inter-metallic compounds used for advanced applications such as air foils for the next generation of high performance jet engines. In particular, advances in metrology will be presented relating to validation of the complex geometries used in airfoil designs, and modeling. Furthermore, modeling and control techniques related to the control of subsurface damage in such parts will be discussed.