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June 2018

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Aerospace Shafts Microfinished for Improved Surface Quality
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Aerospace Shafts Microfinished for Improved Surface Quality

View of Microfinishing attachment with abrasive film with horizontally chucked aerospace control surface shaft

A single station CNC microfinishing system processes a family of 68 aerospace control surface actuation shafts to better than 0.1 Ra, while creating a functional surface for the component. Other tribological surface parameters are used for this post grinding application on HVOC (tungsten carbide) coated steel shafts.

Besides meeting surface finish requirements, the IMPCO Microteq Microfinsher is designed to reduce the cycle time to process the shafts from minutes to seconds in process time, with a consistency from feature to feature and part to part. The IMPCO MICROTEQ CNC machine uses the company's designed and built microfinishing attachment loaded with abrasive film.

Previously, each of the shafts in the family of parts had to be set up manually, then processed by hand resulting in inconsistent part surface quality, across the journal, from feature to feature and part to part.

The machine is designed to microfinish different diameters up to 75 mm on any precision load-bearing shaft to 1,000 mm in length. Such shafts are used in pumps, compressors, aerospace control surfaces and transmissions. Loading and unloading may be manual, automatic or robotic.

In operation, the shaft is loaded horizontally between centers and rotated with a head stock as the microfinishing attachment automatically approaches the part. The microfinishing head loaded with abrasive film travels on a horizontal slide to contact the shaft and the process begins. After predetermined cycle time, the microfinishing head is returned to its starting point or can move laterally to microfinish an adjacent diameter. The head stock with independent geared drive rotates the part at a predetermined speed, between 100 and 1,000 RPM.

Microfinishing is the process that removes the microscopic amorphous surface material left from the grinding of a dimensionally finished part, such as a crankshaft, camshaft or pump shaft, to permit a precise fit to a mating part. IMPCO microfinishing is used to generate the final functional surface texture required for friction reduction, higher performance and greater reliability of the precision shafts. "Microfinishing tolerances are unattainable with grinding," said Mark Hendel, IMPCO Global Sales Director.

For more information contact:


3417 West St. Joseph Street

Lansing, MI 48917


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