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Reducing Wear on Cutting-tool Technologies

students doing an experiment in a lab

UOIT Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering student have designed a measurement technology, which will not only benefit future students, but has also improved productivity for Durmach, a machining company in Bowmanville, Ontario.

Durmach provides precision machining, custom design of special tools, and fabrication of dyes and moulds for its clients. Control and recognition of the non-systematic errors of machining process, including the effect of cutting-tool chatter, are very important for precise manufacturing processes conducted at Durmach.

Cutting-tool chatter is a critical issue for the company’s production and manufacturing systems, which causes less geometric and dimensional accuracy of the final products, increases roughness of the machine surfaces and reduces the effective life cutting tools by increasing tool wear.

Regardless of its value, Durmach did not have the time or resources to develop a system to reduce chatter so it teamed up with Dr. Ahmad Barari, assistant professor in UOIT’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and his team of student researchers.

UOIT graduate students Fereydoon Diba, Sergio Mordo, and Steven Tebby worked under the supervision of Dr. Barari along with undergraduate students Charles Gonzales, Mohammad Shafi, Roshan Rajmohan and Sanjeevan Thiyagarajah.

Together, they developed an experimental platform to measure the vibration of a machining cutting tool during the cutting process under different setups of the machining parameters including federate, spindle speed, and depth of cut. The objective was to find a method to recognize the effect of machining parameters on chatter phenomenon.

To help fund the project, they applied for a grant from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) through its Applied Research and Commercialization (ARC) Initiative. ARC aims to accelerate innovation and improve productivity for globally competitive south-western Ontario companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. FedDev Ontario accomplishes this by providing funding to universities so faculty and students can work directly with industry businesses on innovative projects.

headshot of Ahmad Barari

The funding from FedDev Ontario allowed Dr. Barari and his students to purchase the components for equipment that could measure the vibration frequency of the cutting tool such as accelerometers, charge amplifiers, and a customized device for 3D topography of surfaces with high resolution.

The students were responsible for assembling the parts and developing software to use with the equipment. Most of the work was completed onsite at Durmach, which gave the students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in an industry setting.

Dr. Barari said this experience was not only valuable for the students, but motivating as well.

“In some ways, it’s more challenging than plain research, which can be limiting because it’s all theories and concepts. With this project we had to merge those concepts with actual industry needs.” he said.

Once the equipment was assembled and the students had developed methodologies to measure the chatter, they researched ways to reduce it. At that point, they designed a free-mass damper to reduce chatter during the machining process. The developed solution results in longer tool life and improves machining precision.

The use of the damper increases productivity for Durmach and allows for the company to compete in new markets where precision is in critical demand.

While the FedDev Ontario collaborative project with Durmach has come to an end, Dr. Barari said the developed measuring technology will still serve an important function at UOIT.

“Now that we have the measuring equipment on campus, we can use it for future research and projects,” he said.

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