High throughput profile millling for the flexible and accelerated processing of electric steels
Liles, Howard J.
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The proliferation of electric machines has drastically increased in recent years and is likely to increase into the future. This interest in the production of advanced, high power density electrical machines that are small in size has heightened the need for flexible manufacturing processes to produce their laminated components during short batch and prototyping production runs. A means of cost effective, accelerated prototyping of these machines will have a substantial impact on their design and optimization, reducing time requirements to produce and test a given design. A review of the current manufacturing methods for prototyping electric machines was conducted. In particular, laser cutting, electric discharge machining, and abrasive waterjet (AWJ) machining were researched as competitive processes. Each of these methods exhibits marked advantages and disadvantages that present the opportunity for a new process to compete. This work investigates the applicability of high throughput profile milling (HTPM) for the prototyping of advanced electric machines, specifically, the process parameter space for milling of electrical steels. The material response will be determined by characterizing its specific cutting energy and utilizing this to develop a model to predict cutting forces during the milling process. Optimal process parameters will be investigated to obtain maximum productivity and minimal burr formation. Finally, the impact of HTPM processing on the magnetic properties of electrical steels will be compared to that of a leading prototyping technology, AWJ machining.