5 kinds of CNC machining and sheet metal processing applied in the aerospace field

- 2021-12-10-

Learn about 5 ways to apply specific manufacturing methods to aerospace applications, including user interface panels, assembly tools and fixtures, vibration test fixtures, aerospace structures, and sensor housings.

Application 1: Sheet metal buttons and user interface panels

Design tip: Sheet metal is a low-cost option for manufacturing custom interface panels for integration into off-the-shelf components. Special fasteners for sheet metal (such as PEM brackets and plug-ins) are an effective way to add threaded holes and bosses to thin sheet metal parts (as shown in the figure above).

Application 2: Assembly tools and fixtures

Design tips: Materials such as aluminum 6061-T6 and polyoxymethylene (POM) are often used in assembly tools due to their relatively low cost and ease of processing. Polyoxymethylene (POM) is also a good choice to prevent damage to interface components or when low friction is required.

Application 3: Quality simulation and vibration test fixture

Design hint: Since flight is a non-static environment, electromechanical components and payloads are often subject to high-frequency vibration. The impact of this kind of vibration is difficult to simulate, so physically accelerated life cycle testing on the vibrating plate is usually a key step.

When designing fixtures, remember that shakers usually have strict weight limits to ensure safe operating parameters. The smaller the mass occupied by the fixture, the larger the test component.

Application 4: Machined aerospace structure and airframe components

Design tips: The iso-grid structure can effectively reduce the total weight, while maintaining rigidity and ensuring uniform flat material properties. However, this strategy will significantly increase machine time, thereby reducing costs. Use iso-grid structures only when weight reduction is critical, and implement other strategies to facilitate manufacturing, such as using the largest possible corner radius.

Application 5: Avionics and sensor housing

Design tip: Machined enclosures are a good way to protect fragile sensors (such as commercial cameras) from harsh environments. In order to reduce weight, aluminum alloy is a commonly used material. Anodized coatings are an effective way to protect machined parts from corrosion while providing a harder, wear-resistant outer surface.

According to specific requirements, MIL-A-8625, Type 2 or Type 3 hard coat anodizing can provide the most durable finish. However, anodic oxidation will reduce the fatigue strength of aluminum alloys, so it is important to carefully analyze the components subjected to cyclic loading.

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The vedio of Precision five axis CNC machining Turbo blades  is as below for reference.