A framework for accuracy enhancement in milling thin-walled narrow-vane turbine impeller of NiAl-based superalloy


Impeller with narrow-vane is a typical thin-walled structural part of the turbine engine. The high-accuracy requirement for the impeller is difficult to achieve in the machining process due to its low structural stiffness and narrow machining domain. This paper proposes a framework for enhancing the milling accuracy of the thin-walled narrow-vane turbine impeller, which is made of NiAl-based superalloy. The proposed framework consists of a machinability study of the impeller material, a machining deformation analysis, and an error compensation. By studying the milling force and tool wear behavior experimentally, the machinability study yielded optimized process parameters for machining NiAl-based superalloy. A cantilever beam–based tool deformation model and a finite element analysis method model were developed respectively to analyze and predict the deformation of the milling tool in machining the impeller. A flexible and iterative compensation method was studied for decreasing the machining error when milling the impeller. The effectiveness of the proposed framework has been validated experimentally. The results show that the milling accuracy of the turbine impeller has been enhanced significantly.

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This work is partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51805258), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (No. BK20180441), Fundamental Research Funds for Central Universities (NT2019016), the National Science Foundation for Post-doctoral Scientists of China (No. 2019 M661824), and Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Precision and Micro-Manufacturing Technology.

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Correspondence to Zhengcai Zhao.

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Zhao, Z., Wang, Y., Qian, N. et al. A framework for accuracy enhancement in milling thin-walled narrow-vane turbine impeller of NiAl-based superalloy. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 108, 3925–3938 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-020-05554-w

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  • Turbine impeller
  • Accuracy enhancement
  • Tool deformation analysis
  • Error compensation