High speed ball nose end milling of γ-TiAl alloys

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Following a brief review on the development and intended application of γ-TiAl for aeroengine components, the paper details statistically designed machinability experiments involving high speed ball end milling in order to benchmark 4th generation alloy Ti–45Al–8Nb–0.2C against Ti–45Al–2Mn–2Nb +0.8%vol. TiB2, which has been the prime focus of machinability evaluation and associated publications. Testing utilised 8 mm diameter, solid WC, AlTiN coated ball nose end cutters in a factorial design and involved measurement of cutting temperatures and workpiece surface roughness in addition to tool life and cutting forces. The trials established alloy Ti–45Al–8Nb–0.2C as providing a ∼25% increase in tool life based on a maximum flank wear criteria of 300 μm. On average, alloy Ti–45Al–2Mn–2Nb +0.8%vol. TiB2 had a surface roughness Ra of ∼0.1 μm higher than Ti–45Al–8Nb–0.2C with values <0.6 μm Ra possible. Maximum cutting temperatures for Ti–45A–8Nb–0.2C measured using infra red pyrometry were ∼250 °C at a cutting speed of 160 m/min for a new tool, rising to ∼430 °C at a cutting speed of 340 m/min with a tool that had 300 μm of flank wear. For both γ-TiAl alloys, fracture/pullout was observed on every milled surface that was assessed and varied from a few microns to a few millimeters depending on test operating levels, within general, higher cutting speeds and tool flank wear levels causing an increased level of damage.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-291
Early online date9 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • A. Titanium aluminides, based on TiAl, C. Machining, G. Aero-engine components