Abstract

The geared turbofan technology is one essential way to reduce the fuel consumption, the environmental footprint and the noise pollution of civil aircrafts. An added gearbox between the fan and the low-pressure compressor that reduces the fan speed, which allows higher bypass ratios, achieves the mentioned benefits of geared turbofans. To withstand the high mechanical loads, large double helical gears are used. Gear hobbing and gear grinding require large tool maneuvering spaces. This leads to a larger required space between the single gears of the double helical gear. As a result, the gears are larger and heavier, which leads to a reduced economy of the aircraft. The tool maneuvering space of five-axis milling with solid carbide end mills is much smaller. This enables the design of smaller, lighter and more efficient aircraft engines. However, manufacturing these gears in tolerances better than IT5 is very challenging on five-axis milling machine tools. This paper presents investigations about finish machining of hardened gears on five-axis machine tools. In the investigations performed, varying tool substrates and tool coatings have been investigated together with tool travel paths in order to reduce the tool wear, which is key to achieve the demanded tolerances. Finally, the five-axis milled gears were compared to conventionally manufactured gears on test benches to enable statements regarding the expectable service lives of the manufactured gears.

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