Tame Titanium with Machine Tools from Doosan
If you ever take to the sky in a commercial airplane, you do so surrounded by loads of titanium. The aerospace folks love the stuff. That’s because titanium has a high strength-to-weight ratio—it’s super light but also has tremendous tensile strength—just what you want when leaving Mother Earth. Its anti-corrosive characteristics make it attractive not only for aerospace, but automotive as well as medical applications. Heck, your airline pilot may even have a replacement knee or hip joint made out of it. Sounds like the perfect material, right?
Tough Going, No Matter How You Cut It
Even as a skilled machinist, you might not be quite so quick to join the titanium love-fest. While highly desired for its practical properties, those same characteristics make it a relatively difficult metal to machine. The hardness and cutting resistance of the high Nickel content material and the heat it generates when cutting causes cutting tool edges to wear out quicker than a blue crayon in kindergarten. This means more frequent changes to the cutting tool or insert, and that runs up costs. Titanium is also likely to gall or gum up when machined. Even a seasoned pro can find it tough to dial in that sweet spot of feeds and speeds to avoid issues—cut slow and deep or fast and light? The time you spend addressing all these problems affect your bottom line. Meanwhile your customer wants their parts yesterday.
Well, there’s good news for everybody, because no matter how you run titanium or how much is in your bank account, there is a Doosan that can cut it down to size. Literally.
A Full Roster of Speed, Size and Styles
The vast lineup of Doosan machine tools offer multiple solutions for tackling this difficult metal. The challenging machining properties of titanium can be addressed by choosing the right machine for your particular process. Vertical and horizontal machining centers designed with box guideways and geared spindles are available for those of you who like the heavy cutting approach. Some of those are also available as roller linear guideway machines with direct drive spindles that have plenty of torque for those lighter, speedy cuts.
Dual contact Big-Plus®taper is standard on all Doosan machining centers so you can mix the tooling based on the technique that works best for you. 5-axis machines (great for complex contoured parts found in the medical or aerospace industry) give you the opportunity to finish your workpiece from raw stock to final stage. Are you a middle-ground kind of guy? The SMX Multifunction turn-mill lineup has a hybrid box/linear guideway structure that offers a good mix between rigidity and speed. If your current process on a horizontal turning center could be better handled vertically, there is a full line of VTCs available to choose from as well.
Keeping Control of the Process
Aside from preferable machine characteristics required when machining titanium, there is the CNC control that requires attention as well. Doosan is one of the largest users of FANUC controls in the world. FANUC’s Smart Machine Control has an adaptive feed control function that optimizes feed rate based on machine conditions such as load, temperature and position. This easily programmable function is required when machining heavy materials such as titanium to find that sweet spot, whether that would be cycle time, surface finish or a specific tool life that meets your application.
Doosan Has Your Back
Some machine tool makers have given up on titanium because of the costs of machining it properly. And just where does that leave all of you who run it on a regular basis? Doosan is rare in that our lineup continues to include a vast array of choices for machining the tough jobs.We’re also forward thinking to have you covered for future titanium applications as well. Ever hear of cryogenic machining? It’s just one example of innovative technologies that Doosan engineers have in development with 5ME® Cryogenics.
On top of offering titanium-chomping machine tools, Doosan can add even more value to your shop with a full range of automation systems. Let’s face it, you’ve got plans to grow your operation, and it’s not like there’s a skilled machinist tree waiting to be plucked just out your back door. Automation just may be your answer. Think about what connecting a linear pallet system to multiple machines might do to speed up your production. Maybe hook up one heavy duty box way 630mm horizontal for your tough jobs, and a fast linear 630mm horizontal for your lighter jobs. You could even consider a roughing application on one machine and then run it to the finish operation on another in the pallet system. How sweet is that?
Whatever your titanium application, there’s a Doosan for you. Not only do we offer the machine tools and automation that you need, we do it at a great price point as well. As it turns out, machining titanium might not be as difficult as you thought.
To hear more about our titanium machining solutions, contact your local Doosan distributor or contact us directly today.