Abstract

Finite element (FE) assisted numerical modeling approach is known as a popular approach to predict the machining performance of different machining operations. Tapping operation is a well-known manufacturing process that is used to cut threads efficiently. In the automotive and aerospace applications, precisely machined tapped holes are required in the small size deep holes. Tapping process creates thread in the hole and make it ready for fastening with other mating components. Tapping operation is considered as one of the most complex machining operations due to the presence of multi-flutes and multi-land involvement between the workpiece and cutter materials. The outcome of the tapping process results in the generation of threads and accepted as one of the most commonly employed in fastening methods for the joining of different machine components. Literature revealed that tapping process has been very rarely investigated using computational modeling approaches, as most of the available studies are experimental in nature. The experimental work for tapping operation can be very time and cost consuming because of the expensive fabrication of the cutting tools. It has also been observed experimentally that minor change in the threading profiles can generate significant difference in the cutting torque. A possible solution is to analyse the whole tapping operation using finite element (FE) assisted numerical simulation. Similarly, there will be limitation towards experiments if the workpiece material is expensive and difficult to cut.

It is a common observation in metal cutting industry that most of the times cutting tap results in breakage when exposed to the higher magnitude of torque. The current study is aimed on the finite element based computational investigations on the tapping process using Ti6Al4V as a workpiece material. High hot hardness and low thermal conductivity of the Ti6Al4V also plays a significant role towards the poor machining performance of the threading tool. Ti6Al4V is most commonly employed in the engineering applications where high strength to weight ratio and ability of operate at higher temperatures is required. Ti6Al4V is mainly utilized in the automotive, aerospace, biomedical and petrochemical industries. It has been identified that tapping operation is very rarely studied machining operation in the metal cutting scientific community. Different tapping process conditions were investigated computationally using finite element (FE) approach and as a result cutting forces, torques and power consumed were observed. The study provides a useful understanding towards the tapping process mechanics with respect to different cutting parameters.

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