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NRF-funded project studies titanium alloy machinability
Dr. Ibrahim Deiab, Associate Professor and Interim Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is currently completing work for an external research grant from the National Research Foundation (NRF) University-Industry Research Collaboration Program (U-IRCP), entitled "Machinability Analysis of Difficult-to-Cut Materials."
The project has focused on studying the machinability of titanium alloys for aerospace industries, and developing metrics to assess machining process sustainability. The project involves working with Tawazun Precision Industries (TPI), parts supplier for Airbus.
Dr. Deiab said, "Titanium alloys are of interest for aerospace industries due to their high strength-to-weight ratio, outstanding corrosion and erosion properties and ability to operate at high temperatures. The main goal of the project is to empower TPI to be more competitive and thus reach new markets by finding new applications for existing tooling and improving productivity through process optimization. Machining difficult-to-cut materials opens up the potential for exploiting applications for materials with exceptional characteristics in terms of strength and weight. This will enable the manufacturing industry to realize new products or expand existing products to new markets by making them more cost-effective."
The research has been collaborative, involving colleagues from AUS (Dr. Basil Darras and Eng. Salman Pervaiz); Dr. Hossam Kishawy, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada; and Dr. Amir Rashid at Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. The study has investigated cutting tool wear and power consumption when machining titanium alloys under different cutting conditions. Experiments were designed to develop a test matrix that covers the range of cutting conditions used for machining titanium alloys by the industrial partner. Cutting forces, power consumption, tool wear and surface roughness have been measured and analyzed, and tool wear progression has been compared to trends available in the literature.