Using diamonds to increase efficiency in processing fiber composites
Due to their characteristics, fiber composites are a central component for the future delivery of sustainable lightweight products. Today’s manufacturing processes cannot meet the necessary requirements for high-volume production in terms of economic efficiency, process reliability and the necessary cycle times. The finishing of fiber composites is a necessary partial step here. However, there is a lack of understanding of the process to achieve machining that is both high quality and economically efficient. Furthermore, the downtimes of the tools currently available are inadequate.
In the MAI ProCut project, special cutting tools shall be developed for processing different fiber composites. The aim is to establish diamond-coated and specifically-prepared tools with a special cutting geometry. In addition to the development of cutting tools, the development of appropriate coating and sharpening processes for the tools is required. Diamond is to be used as the coating material; the sharpening shall be done using a plasma process.
Figure (from left to right): Tool with diamond coating, tool without diamond coating, reference plate
The tools developed are to have a life expectancy that is up to eight times higher than current lifetimes. Setting up material-specific standardization solutions is expected to achieve a cost reduction of up to 50 % for the finishing of fiber composites.