Process reliability for the aerospace industry - dry machining of CFRP aluminium stacks

The fuselage, wing, flaps as well as the horizontal and vertical tail of the latest generation of aircraft are produced out of CFRP aluminium stacks. For the assembly of aircraft, innumerable bores including countersinking are drilled in these components for the rivet connections. In most cases drill feed units are used for machining. The dimensional accuracy of the bores is crucial. The bore must feature exactly the same diameter in both materials. Drilling always takes place from the outside to the inside - bore entrance and countersinking in CFRP, bore outlet in aluminium.

Previously minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) was applied for this manufacturing step. After machining, the components had to therefore be disassembled, cleaned and remounted. In addition machining was often carried out in several successive machining steps. Different tools were used for drilling, reaming to the final diameter and countersinking. The complete process was therefore time-consuming, costly and the required dimensions were often not reliable. For example, the bore and countersinking often did not align on one axis.

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