Ultrasonic support for milling aluminium

The EMO fair in Hanover took place recently. The theme this year at the machining trade fair was Industry 4.0. Tongtai presented the VU5, a machine that provides ultrasonic support when milling. 

A very high frequency vibration (just a few micrometres in amplitude) is imposed on the tool that ensures that the forces during milling are lowered.  

Other than with DMG Sauer machines (that came up with this technology years ago) the vibration is created in the spindle and therefore above the tool holder. This gives the advantage of being able to work with standard holders and tools.  

Frequencies between 15 and 45 kHz are achieved with this machine. This technology was traditionally used with hard and brittle materials (e.g. ceramics), but this machine engineer has also put forward the case for ultrasonic supported milling of aluminium. The hammering effect created by the vibrations slightly hardens the top layer of the aluminium component that results in improved functionality in some cases (e.g. resistance to wear). 

The technology for using ultrasonically supported milling is available at Sirris.