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Alternative to Chemical Milling

April 21, 2008

Could you please give me information about an alternative process of chemical milling. We need to waste time by this process.

Banu Dogantekin
Material and Process Specialist at Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) - Ankara, TURKEY

April 23, 2008

You really must give us much more information if you want a useful answer.
What is the size, shape and material of the part? How many? What plant do you have already, or is this a new installation?
What tolerance is required?

Most importantly - what does your design authority / Prime customer want?

There are many methods of removing metal all of which have advantages and disadvantages in installation and running costs and the finish achieved.

If you are considering a new part, you must also consider minimising the\metal to be removed; possibly by forging to near final shape.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

Dear Geoff,

We are searching for an alternative process for the chemical milling. The reason is to save time and also it should be in advantage in the view of cost.
Chemical Milling Process is already available at TAI and dimensions of tank lxhxw:6x3x1.2m. Aluminium plates can be milled by this method.
We are interested in another technique which the process applied with laser. Do you have any knowledge about milling with laser?

Thank you in advance.


Banu Dogantekin [returning]
- Ankara, Turkey
April 24, 2008

April 29, 2008

I have only limited knowledge of laser machining.
The equipment is expensive.
Heat and metal vapour is produced. All the metal removed must be vaporised and must not re-condense on the surface.
I would expect the depth of cut to be difficult to control.
The heat will effect the temper of the metal and may induce stress in the parts.
Because the laser beam is small and has to scan the area to be milled, the overall process time is unlikely to be reduced.
Chemical milling is cheap, effective and applies no thermal or mechanical stress to the parts. The speed depends on the number of plates you can get into the tank without thermal runaway (consider cooling coils)
I see lots of chemical milling in aerospace production, some CNC milling but I cannot recall seeing laser milling in production in this application.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

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