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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Mechanics and dynamics of orbital drilling operations Ozturk, Onur Mert


Opening large number of holes takes considerable amount of time during manufacturing and assembly of aircrafts. Traditionally, tools having the same diameter of each hole have been used in drilling which take considerable amount of time for tool change and fixturing. Recently, orbital drilling technology has been introduced to open holes with a single set-up. The combined orbital motion around the hole and helical penetration in axial direction are either given by stationary computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines or hand held, portable heads that are attached to aircraft body with suction pads. Although the tool path and machine were developed, the process mechanics and dynamics have not been modeled to predict cutting forces, torque, power and chatter stability diagrams to identify most productive and safe cutting conditions. This thesis presents mathematical model to simulate the mechanics and dynamics of orbital drilling process. The mechanics of the process are modeled by identifying the chip thickness distribution along the peripheral and bottom cutting edges of the helical end mills used in orbital drilling, The pitch length of the path, tool and hole diameters, spindle speed, feed and material properties are used in the model which is experimentally proven by comparing predicted and measured cutting forces. The flexibilities of the orbital drilling head and tool are incorporated to the mechanics model to predict the dynamics of the system. It is shown that the additional delay contributed by orbital motion of the tool can be neglected, and the regenerative delay is dominated by the spindle speed. However, structural dynamic modes of the system need to be oriented along the tangential feed direction since it varies continuously along the orbital path. The chatter stability of the system has been developed in both frequency and semi-discrete time domains. The experimentally verified stability model considers spindle speed, tool and hole geometries, structural dynamics, material properties and orbital drilling pitch length. The proposed orbital drilling model allows optimal selection of spindle speed, feed, orbital speed, pitch length and tool diameter for a given work material without overloading the machine and chatter while achieving highest possible material removal rates.

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