Numerical Simulation for Milling Processes of Thin Wall Structures (EPSRC and Airbus UKl)

Principal investigator: Pihua WEN

The aim of the project is to establish the relationship between cutting forces and stiffness of thin wall structures using finite element analysis (FEA) in order to identify deflection limits. Initial modelling work will focus on basic aircraft features of wingbox ribs at local level and subsequently the work would be expanded to component level. It is envisaged that this understanding would identify areas prone to deflection so that different strategies and/or cutting conditions could be recommended to overcome deflection.

Numerical modelling tools such as ABAQUS and AdvantEdge, a commercial machining modelling package, will be used in this project to model the influence of cutting forces against thin wall features [8].

The objectives set out in this project are as follows:
i. Establish the relationship between cutting force and, stability and accuracy of thin wall at both local and component level using FEA in order to identify deflection limits. Also the optimisation of cutting path will be under investigation.
ii. Understand machining, design and stress constraints in thin wall machining at local and component level in order to meet quality requirements.
iii. Recommendations of different machining strategies based on design requirements to meet quality requirements.