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Machining Research Projects

HiPAdd - Formulation of high performance additives for metalworking fluids

Funders: Technology Strategy Board (2013 - 2016)

Collaborative Partners: Afton Chemical Ltd, BAE Systems, CPI, AMRC, NAMRC, WMG

Researchers: Professor Stuart Barnes, Dr Helen Ascroft

Description: Machining of materials such as titanium and nickel-based alloys used in aerospace and nuclear components is typically limited by the amount of heat generated at the cutting zone. Heat is removed by the use of a cutting fluid which acts both as a coolant and a lubricant. A cutting fluid is a complex formulated fluid consisting of many additive components, each providing a specific function such as anti-corrosion and
lubrication properties amongst others. The consortium has identified a real opportunity to formulate a novel performance additive with higher heat removal properties that can be incorporated into cutting fluids, to allow end-users the ability to machine at even higher cutting speeds enabling increased productivity and cost savings. This business-led project working with the HVM Catapult will exploit this opportunity to formulate a new performance additive using novel chemicals, materials and processing, to target boundary layers lubrication and the associated packaging chemistry to ensure stable delivery and that it complies with regulatory requirements. This additive will provide significant value to UK industries in particular sectors utilising difficult to machine materials.


Investigation into the effect of cutting fluid on cutting performance and hole integrity when drilling carbon fibre composite materials

Collaborative Partners: BAE Systems and Fuchs Lubricants

Objective: To evaluate the performance of three cutting fluids in terms of their influence on the cutting process; the tool wear, cutting forces, hole diameter and integrity

Impact: This work provided a valuable addition to the machinability data and expertise that BAE Systems had accumulated via in-house testing of these materials. Machining and data collection using state-of-the-art machine tools and measuring / analytical equipment, combined with the cutting fluid expertise of Fuchs staff who supervised the aspects of the work relating to cutting fluids, provided a valuable insight into the machining characteristics of these materials. These results assisted BAE Systems with their selection of new machine tools and provided Fuchs Lubricants with an independent assessment of the performance of three of their cutting fluids.