New, higher and challenging properties of new high-speed machines and high-performance machines bring up many questions connected to the design and properties of the main machine tool structures. Parameters like static stiffness, eigenfrequencies, modal damping and mass of parts may be identified as very important, and all these properties need to be improved. The most important material properties in the field of machine tools are presented in this paper. A case study based on a modification of a real horizontal machining centre is introduced. The modification consists in using a sandwich design concept in the main structural machine tool part. The sandwich concept, widely known and used in the aerospace industry and, more generally, the transportation industry, is not commonly used in machine tool design. A significant reduction of mass has been achieved by manufacturing a hybrid column with aluminum foam cores, while static stiffness has not been affected.

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