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Pankl Aerospace Systems 1

Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54


Executive Summary
This study compared machining operations that are typically required to produce aircraft landing gear
components when using Ferrium M54 vs. AerMet 100 and developed quantitative and qualitative
results that will assist in determining initial manufacturing processes and cost comparisons. While no
limitations were found for machining either alloy, it was considerably easier to remove material through
outside diameter turning operations from Ferrium M54 vs. AerMet 100, reducing machining times by 30%
to 50% and while achieving superior or comparable surface finish. However, it was generally easier to drill
holes and thread an outside diameter in AerMet 100 vs. Ferrium M54. Other operations such as face
milling, inner diameter turning, and hole tapping were comparable. Deep bottle boring operations were
also investigated for Ferrium M54, and no limitations were found. In terms of net effect on the cost of
manufacturing components, the information obtained from this study can be applied to estimate the cost
of machining of a component. For example, a currently funded Navy program (Contract Number N6833511-C-0369) is evaluating T-45 hook shanks produced from Ferrium M54. For this case, it is estimated that
the cost to machine a T-45 hook shank component from Ferrium M54 is up to 15% less than one made
from AerMet 100, and up to 20% more than one made from 300M.

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54
I. Introduction
The goal of this study was to evaluate the machinability of Ferrium M54 and determine the initial machine
inputs for basic manufacturing processes. Ferrium M54 was initially conceived and developed to be an
ultrahigh-strength and high-toughness structural steel to replace AerMet 100 for the Navy's high strength,
high fracture toughness applications such as landing/arresting gear. And while the chemistry of this
material offers some reductions in cost, the main question surrounding this novel material is how it will
machine. Rapid tool wear, poor chip formation, and overheating of the work-piece are all common issues
with high alloy steels that contribute to manufacturing costs. Therefore, it is essential to know any
machining obstacles or benefits that Ferrium M54 will present over AerMet 100.
II. Approach of the Study
A square bar stock of Ferrium M54 at Rockwell C40 hardness with the dimensions of 3.750 x 3.750 x
7.500 served as the raw configuration of the test component. AerMet 100 in the same configuration was
used in the comparison study. The following processes were identified as conventional operations for
landing gear production.

Interrupted Turning, Square to Round Cross Section

Continuous Turning, Outer Diameter

Face Milling

Axial Hole Drilling, Inner Diameter

Continuous Turning, Inner Diameter

Hole Drilling and Tapping

External Thread Turning

Grinding, Outer Diameter

In the interest of efficiency and cost, each machining process was performed on the same test pieces in
sequence. However, each test piece was processed with a different combination of experimental inputs
to generate a broad cross-section of results. While it varies depending on the manufacturing technique,
the inputs included the machine settings (feed rate, spindle speed, depth of cut), cutting tools (style, size,
coatings), and heat treat condition. The results of each set of parameters were evaluated quantitatively
by the machining time and the surface finish of the test piece, as well as qualitatively by the chip formation
and the extent of the tool wear. It should be noted that two pieces were processed in the heat treated
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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54
condition and two in the annealed condition. Heat treatment did not occur until after Large Hole Drilling
to optimize material removal prior to hardening. At the conclusion of this portion of the study, a set of
initial parameters for Ferrium M54 were ascertained for basic manufacturing.
Table 1: Ferrium M54 Material Condition for Initial Machinability Study
S/N 0001

Operation
Interrupted Turning
(Square to Round
Cross Section)

Annealed
(40 HRC)

Hardened
(54 HRC)

S/N 0002

Annealed
(40 HRC)

Hardened
(54 HRC)

S/N 0003

Annealed
(40 HRC)

Hardened
(54 HRC)

S/N 0004

Annealed
(40 HRC)

Continuous Turning
(Outer Diameter)

Face Milling

Axial Hole Drilling


(Inner Diameter)

Continuous Turning
(Inner Diameter)

Hole Drilling and


Tapping

External Thread
Turning

Grinding
(Outer Diameter)

Hardened
(54 HRC)

Another study focused on deep bottle boring, a common practice in landing gear production. Deep bottle
boring is the process of machining an ID that tapers out larger than the entrance hole and it provides its
own unique challenges in manufacturing. Unfortunately, this is difficult to replicate with the size
constraints of the test pieces, so another test piece with the raw configuration of 4.00 x 4.00 x 40.00
was machined. Inputs were tested and evaluated as with the machining investigation for Ferrium M54.

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

Figure 1: Finished Configuration of Ferrium M54 (Deep Bottle Bore) Test Piece.

After establishment of initial machining parameters, the second phase of this study was to determine
whether Ferrium M54 has any discernible advantages or disadvantages over AerMet 100 in regards to
machinability and cost. Two test samples of each material were manufactured concurrently to the finished
configuration. The parameters for Ferrium M54 was selected based on the recommendations from the
machining investigation and were kept constant for the multiple test pieces. The parameters for AerMet
100 were derived from prior experience and adjusted based on observations. Again, the metric for
machinability were the work time, chip formation, and tool wear. By running these two materials in
parallel, it was clear how the material affects each operation, and it can be definitively stated whether
parts can be manufactured more effectively with Ferrium M54 or AerMet 100.

Figure 2: Finished Configuration of Ferrium M54/AerMet 100 Test Piece.

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

Table 2: Ferrium M54 and AerMet 100 Material Condition for Machinability Comparison Study
Ferrium M54
Operation
Interrupted Turning
(Square to Round
Cross Section)

Annealed
(40 HRC)

Hardened
(54 HRC)

AerMet 100
Annealed
(40 HRC)

Continuous Turning
(Outer Diameter)

Face Milling

Axial Hole Drilling


(Inner Diameter)

Continuous Turning
(Inner Diameter)

Hole Drilling and


Tapping

External Thread
Turning

Grinding
(Outer Diameter)

Hardened
(54 HRC)

III. Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54


The following sections detail each machining operation conducted. Special considerations, experimental
machine parameters, results, and engineering recommendations are all included within each section.
A. Interrupted Turning, Square to Round Cross Section
The following table outlines the various test parameters used throughout interrupted turning. Since the
part needed to be fixtured on the machine, only one side of the part could be cut at a time. This allowed
for additional machine settings to be compared as each side can be processed differently. For this
operation, the recommended parameters lasted the entire roughing stage without insert breakage or
significant wear. Therefore, a robust, high-grade carbide insert is ideal. Brittle grades of carbide must be
avoided and the spindle speed kept low, because of the interrupted cut.
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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

Figure 3: Schematic of Input and Finished Stock for Interrupted Turning

Table 3: Machine Parameters for Interrupted Turning of Ferrium M54


Machine: CNC Lathe, Mori-Seiki SL-403C/2000
Coolant: Starchem Co., Starbright 485/Water Solution

Insert

S/N

Side
1

0001
Ingersoll
CNMG
432 MT
TT5030

2
1
0002
2
1
0003

Seco
CNMG
432 M5
TP1500

2
1
0004
2

Pass
Type
Rough

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)
409

Finish
Rough

281

Finish

Feed
Rate
(IPR)
0.010

Depth
of Cut
(in)
0.080

0.008

0.080

0.015

0.080

0.012

0.080

Rough

250

0.012

0.100

Finish

250

0.010

0.020

Rough

250

0.018

0.100

Finish

250

0.015

0.020

Rough

200

0.010

0.080

Finish

200

0.008

0.030

Rough

145

0.010

0.080

Finish

218

0.008

0.030

Rough

250

0.012

0.100

Finish

250

0.005

0.020

Rough

250

0.006

0.100

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

20

64

Finish
250
0.005
0.020
Bold font represents ideal machine settings from initial test matrix

130
60

125

45

125

45

90

44

90

60

64

80

64

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

B. Continuous Turning, Outer Diameter


This operation does not produce much wear on the tool, but for feed rates greater than 0.015 inches/rev,
there were signs of excessive heat transfer on the outer diameter. The recommended parameters
achieved a good machined surface finish with a conservative machine time.

Figure 4: (left) Test Piece Fixtured in the Lathe.


(right) Schematic of Input and Finished Stock for Continuous Turning

Table 4: Machine Parameters for Continuous OD Turning of Ferrium M54


Machine: CNC Lathe, Mori-Seiki SL-403C/2000
Coolant: Starchem Co., Starbright 485/Water Solution

Insert

S/N

Side
1

0001
Seco
DNMG
432 M3
TP2500

2
1
0002
2

Pass
Type
Rough

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)
350

Feed
Rate
(IPR)
0.012

Depth
of Cut
(in)
0.080

Finish

350

0.010

0.020

Rough

350

0.018

0.080

Finish

350

0.015

0.020

Rough

300

0.015

0.060

Finish

300

0.008

0.015

Rough

300

0.017*

0.060

Finish
300
0.010
0.015
(Table is continued on the next page)

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

45

125

30

250

10

90

125

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

1
0003
Sandvik
DNMG
432 MF
Gr2015

2
1
0004
2

Rough

350

0.012

0.080

Finish

350

0.010

0.020

Rough

350

0.010

0.080

Finish

350

0.008

0.020

Rough

300

0.015

0.060

Finish

300

0.008

0.015

Rough

300

0.020

0.060

Finish
300
0.012
0.015
Bold font represents ideal machine settings from initial test matrix
* Feed rate initially set at 0.020 IPR but was reduced to 0.017 IPR

15

90

12

64

10

90

125

C. Face Milling
A large diameter cutting face would be the most efficient approach to this operation. It provides a more
stable machining set-up, each insert must remove less material, and the resulting finish is more consistent.
For the two-inch cutter, there was little to no wear on any of the inserts and it had less burrs on the exit
edge of the face. For the one-inch cutter, the operation generated lots of noise and vibration, which would
cause maintenance issues in the long term. Also, the chips cut were discolored purple and dark brown,
implying the inserts were beginning to dull and rub against the cutting surface. The recommended tools
could withstand very aggressive cuts, reducing lead time and insert wear.

Figure 5: Schematic of Input and Finished Stock for Face Milling

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

Figure 6: (left) Test Piece Set-Up Prior to Face Milling. (right) Test Piece after Face Milling.

Figure 7: (left) 1-inch Face Milling Cutter and Inserts. (right) 2-inch Face Milling Cutter and Inserts
Table 5: Machine Parameters for Face Milling of Ferrium M54
Machine: CNC Vertical Mill, Mazak Super Velocity 2000L
Coolant: Starchem Co., Starbright 485/Water Solution
Tool
Cutter
Diameter
Pass
Body
S/N
(in)
Type
Sandvik
R245-12 T3
E-PL 4230

Ingersoll
APKT120308R
IN2005

0001
2.00
0002

0003
1.00
0004

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPR)

Depth
of Cut
(in)

Rough

700

15.0

0.080

Finish

700

10.0

0.050

Rough

700

22.5

0.080

Finish

700

15.0

0.050

Rough

800

14.0

0.060

Finish

800

12.0

0.030

Rough

800

28.0

0.060

Finish

800

24.0

0.030

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

13

32

32

18

32

12

90

Bold font represents ideal machine settings from initial test matrix

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54
D. Large Hole Drilling on Axis
In order to drill a hole into the part in one pass, the diameter of the drill head must be equal to the
diameter of the hole generated. Also, theres a limited amount of chip breakers and grades available for
this diameter, so this operation concentrated mainly on the machine settings instead of the cutting tools.
The feed rate for this part was relatively high for this tough material because the length of the bore was
short compared to the diameter. For longer parts, it is recommended that the feed rate be slowed down
to mitigate the need for tool changes.

Figure 8: Schematic of Input and Finished Stock for Hole Drilling

Table 6: Machine Parameters for Large Hole Drilling of Ferrium M54


Machine: NC Gun Drill Machine, Pratt & Whitney Gun Drill Machine
Coolant: W.S. Dodge Oil Company, Gun Drill Oil #5110

Gun Drill
Head
EJ Co.
420.6-103
G24 D1.8

S/N

Tool
Diameter
(in)

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPR)

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

0001

1.800

148

0.0030

20

90

0002

1.800

155

0.0030

20

90

0003

1.800

155

0.0015

45

90

0004

1.800

155

0.0015

45

90

Bold font represents ideal machine settings from initial test matrix

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

E. Continuous Turning, Inner Diameter


For the annealed parts, we could be aggressive without any significant chip wear. Therefore, we settled
for a relatively high feed rate with a moderate speed. For the heat treated parts, the same parameters
would not be suitable for the increased hardness. It was necessary to slow the machine settings by fifty
percent, which almost doubles the machining time over the non-heat treated parts.

Figure 9: Schematic of Input and Finished Stock for Continous Turning

Table 7: Machine Parameters for Continuous ID Turning of Ferrium M54


Machine: CNC Lathe, Mori-Seiki SL-403C/2000
Coolant: Starchem Co., Starbright 485/Water Solution

Insert

Ingersoll
CNMG
MT

Seco
CNMG
M5

S/N

Heat
Treat

SN-0001

AN

SN-0002

HT

SN-0003

HT

SN-0004

AN

Pass
Type

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPR)

Depth
of Cut
(in)

Rough

250

0.014

0.050

Finish

250

0.010

0.010

Rough

75%

0.014

0.050

Finish

60%

0.010

0.010

Rough

50%

0.014

0.050

Finish

50%

0.010

0.010

Rough

300

0.012

0.025

Finish

250

0.008

0.010

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

62

90

30

100

140

100

108

64

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54
Bold font represents ideal machine settings from initial test matrix

F. Small Hole Drilling and Tapping


For this operation, four end mills at the finished diameter were used to machine the four holes. The end
mills were made of carbide and did not have any surface coatings. Also prior to milling, a spot drill was
used to help locate the end mills on the work face of the test piece. To generate the appropriate pitch in
hole tapping, the feed rate must be a fixed value (the inverse of the pitch). Therefore, all trials were
conducted at the same feed rate. Next, for the 0.1875 hole, a stop-off was built periodically into the
program to clear chips and reduces wear. This is crucial for smaller diameter holes to ensure chip build up
does not interfere with machining. Lastly, any machine time less than one minute in the following tables
were denoted as 1.
The R0.0938 hole presented some difficulty, because it required a small diameter hole be milled relatively
deeply. The result was there was some vibration at the tip causing rapid wear and chipping. The same
issue was observed for the tapping operation, which resulted in the tool breaking in the test piece. It
is recommended that for small diameter drilling, the cutting speed remain low to reduce the torque at
the end of the milling tool. For the heat treated pieces, both the spindle speed and the feed rate were
drastically reduced to account for the increase in hardness. Regardless, there is the potential risk of tool
breakage for this operation. Tool coatings should be explored for potentially extended tool life and wear
resistance.

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

Figure 10: Schematic for Input and Finished Stock for Hole Drilling and Tapping

Figure 11: (left) Machine Set-Up for Hole Drilling. (right) Required End Mills and Taps

Table 8: Machine Parameters for Hole Drilling of Ferrium M54 (Annealed Condition)
Machine: CNC Vertical Mill, Mazak Super Velocity 2000L
Coolant: Starchem Co., Starbright 485/Water Solution
Drill
Diameter
(in)

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPM)

Machine
Time
(min)

0.7500

500

2.0

Guhring
DIN 6539 ( 9.40 mm)

0.3701

500

2.5

Guhring
DIN 6539 ( 8.60 mm)

0.3386

500

2.5

YG-1 (EDP 93198)

0.1875

500

1.5

Cutting
Tool
M.A. Ford
Twister XD 3X ( 0.750 in)

Table 9: Machine Parameters for Hole Tapping of Ferrium M54 (Annealed Condition)

Cutting
Tool
OSG Tap
HY-PRO-2832001
OSG Tap
EXO 1714301

Thread
Spec.

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPM)

Machine
Time
(min)

7/16-14

150

0.0714

1/4-28

150

0.0416

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

Table 10: Machine Parameters for Hole Drilling of Ferrium M54 (Heat Treated Condition)
Drill
Diameter
(in)

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPM)

Machine
Time
(min)

0.7500

400

1.5

Guhring
DIN 6539 ( 9.40 mm)

0.3701

500

1.0

Guhring
DIN 6539 ( 8.60 mm)

0.3386

500

1.0

YG-1 (EDP 93198)

0.1875

500

0.5

Cutting
Tool
M.A. Ford
Twister XD 3X ( 0.750 in)

Table 11: Machine Parameters for Hole Tapping of Ferrium M54 (Heat Treated Condition)

Cutting
Tool
OSG Tap
HY-PRO-2832001
OSG Tap
EXO 1714301

Thread
Spec.

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPM)

Machine
Time
(min)

7/16-14

50

0.0714

1/4-28

50

0.0416

G. External Thread Turning


A standard V-thread with a pitch of 10 was selected for this operation (2.500 - 10 UN CLASS 2A). Since
the part is short, the test piece was fixtured on a chuck and allowed to extend unsupported on the other
end. Also, the CNC lathe was initially programmed to turn this thread in a single pass due to the small
amount of material removal.
The most significant issue with the Ferrium M54 test piece observed was the presence of chatter on the
flanks of the thread. This indicates that either the set-up lacked rigidity or the machining parameters are
too aggressive causing the cutting tool to have uneven contact with the work-piece. In order to produce
a better surface finish, several actions were taken. Multiple spring passes were taken instead of a single
spring pass to reduce the depth of cut. The spindle speed was lowered for the heat treated pieces. And,
the part was fixtured more securely in the chuck to alleviate any vibration. The part was originally allowed
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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54
to hang 4.0 in. from the face of the chuck jaws but this was incrementally decreased to 2.5 in. to improve
the rigidity of the test piece and reduce chatter. Overall, there were no major limitations found in external
thread turning.

Figure 12: Schematic of Input and Finished Stock for External Thread Turning

Table 12: Machine Parameters for External Thread Turning of Ferrium M54
Machine: CNC Lathe, Mori-Seiki SL-403C/2000
Coolant: Starchem Co., Starbright 485/Water Solution

S/N

Heat
Treat

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPM)

Machine
Time
(min)

0001

AN

150

0.100

24

Kennametal
Top Notch NJ3014R12

0002

HT

100

0.100

43

Kennametal
Top Notch NT3R

0003

HT

100

0.100

36

Insert
Kennametal
Top Notch NT3R

Kennametal
0004
AN
150
0.100
Top Notch NJ3014R12
Bold font represents ideal machine settings from initial test matrix

26

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Figure 13: Chatter on Thread Flanks on Test Pieces

H. Grinding, Outer Diameter


Instead of a direct traverse feed, the grind wheel initially plunged three tracks with a diameter slightly
oversized of the nominal diameter. Then, it came in as a straight pass for the final dimension. This
intermediate step allowed for minimal material removal in the subsequent passes as well as ensures even
wear over the corners of the grind wheel. Overall, the CNC grinding cut the material very easily. There
were no issues of overheating and the wheel only needed to be dressed once for each test piece.

Figure 14: Schematic of Input and Finished Stock for Grinding

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Table 13: Machine Settings for OD Grinding of Ferrium M54
Machine: Shigiya CNC Grinder
Coolant: Starchem Co., Starbright 485/Water Solution
Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Depth
of Cut
(in)

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

Grind Wheel

S/N

Heat
Treat

Aluminum Oxide J

SN-0001

HT

1750

0.004

23

16

545-J8VH Aluminum Oxide

SN-0002

HT

965

0.002

12

16

545-J8VH Aluminum Oxide

SN-0003

HT

965

0.002

38

16

Aluminum Oxide J

SN-0004

HT

1750

0.004

35

16

Bold font represents ideal machine settings from initial test matrix

IV. Deep Bottle Boring


The raw configuration of the test piece for the deep bottle bore was a 40.00 inch long solid bar with a
square cross section. For ease of fixturing, the two end sections were turned round. Additionally, the raw
material did not include a hole through its axis, so the part was gun-drilled through at a diameter of 2.250
inches. This allowed for 0.125 inches per side of stock material at the necked-down section and 0.250
inches of stock material at the bottled section.

Figure 15: Schematic of Input and Finished Stock for Deep Bottle Boring

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Figure 16: (left) Machine Set-Up for Deep Bottle Boring.


(right) Packed Chips from Inner Diameter of Deep Bottle Bore

The length of the bore relative to the inner diameter presented the need for a thick boring bar to maintain
its rigidity as tool pressure deflects the bar over long distances. In this instance, the 1.75 in boring bar
used to bore 2.40 inch I.D allowed for very little clearance limiting chip evacuation and coolant flow during
machining. Consequently, there is a risk of overheating the part, increased stress on the inserts, and work
hardening the machining surface. Therefore, conservative parameters are recommended.
Table 14: Machine Parameters for Deep Bottle Boring
Machine: CNC Lathe, Mori-Seiki SL-403C/2000
Coolant: Starchem Co., Starbright 485/Water Solution

Insert
Sandvik
DCMT11T304
FGTT5030

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPR)

Depth
of Cut
(in)

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

250

0.004

0.020

85

36

The operation initially produced long, thick, and loosely-coiled chips. Also, the leading edge of the chips
where the insert initially cut into the material was jagged, indicating a rough break. The depth of cut was
reduced and an insert with a chip breaker was employed. It is essential for this material not to approach
the machining too aggressively. Also, for the deep bottle bore, there were issues with clogging of the inner
diameter with chips. Ensure that there is a clear, unobstructed flow of coolant at the cutting surface to
flush the chips out the chucked end. All cuts produced a good 36 micro-inch surface finish over the inner

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diameter surface. Improvements to this operation may be possible in time with advancements in
machining technologies to promote chip breaking and removal of chips from the work piece.
V. Comparison of Ferrium M54 and AerMet 100
The objective of this study is to compare the initial machining parameters for Ferrium M54 to that of
typical machining parameters for AerMet 100. This comparison is meant to supply quantitative feedback
for differences in machining between the two alloys. The machining operations selected follow the same
path as the initial study completed and outlined in Section III above. The initial machining parameters for
the Ferrium M54 pieces were based on the initial established results. The machinist/operator was then
allowed to adjust the parameters further to reduce the machining time. The initial parameters for AerMet
100 were selected based on prior experience and adjusted by the machinist/operator as necessary.
A. Interrupted Turning, Square to Round Cross Section
The insert was changed halfway through the operation for both materials. There were similar wear
patterns on all inserts corners. Improvements from the initial machining parameters identified for Ferrium
M54 were increased speed, feed, and depth of cut which led to a reduction in machine time as well as
improved surface finish.
Table 15: Material Comparison for Interrupted Turning

Material

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPR)

Depth
of Cut
(in)

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

Ferrium M54

250

0.012

0.100

43

64

AerMet 100

150

0.012

0.100

90

90

B. Continuous Turning, Outer Diameter


The ideal machine parameters for Ferrium M54 worked well for AerMet 100. There was some significant
chip wear even though there was no breaking. The spindle speed was dialed down slightly for the AerMet
100.

Table 16: Material Comparison for Continuous OD Turning

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

Material

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPR)

Depth
of Cut
(in)

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

Ferrium M54

350

0.010

0.080

22

90

AerMet 100

280

0.010

0.080

31

90

C. Face Milling
The face cutting inserts showed signs of slightly more wear, however this operation does not cause much strain on
the cutting tool. It is predicted that, over multiple production lots, Ferrium M54 would require less tooling compared
to AerMet 100.

Table 17: Material Comparison for Face Milling

Material

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPR)

Depth
of Cut
(in)

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

Ferrium M54

700

22.500

0.080

32

AerMet 100

700

22.500

0.080

32

D. Large Hole Drilling on Axis


There was no appreciable difference between Ferrium M54 and AerMet 100 for this operation.
Table 18: Material Comparison for Axial Hole Drilling

Material

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPR)

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

Ferrium M54

155

0.0030

20

90

AerMet 100

155

0.0030

20

90

E. Continuous Turning, Inner Diameter


There was no appreciable difference between Ferrium M54 and AerMet 100 for this operation.

Table 19: Material Comparison for Continuous ID Turning

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

Material

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPR)

Depth
of Cut
(in)

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

Ferrium M54

250

0.014

0.050

62

90

AerMet 100

250

0.014

0.050

65

90

F. Small Hole Drilling and Tapping


For the hole drilling, the surface finish was slightly better for the AerMet 100. The machine produced a similar sound
and vibration but it seemed AerMet 100 could be machined more aggressively. There were no major limitations
indentified for Ferrium M54, however slightly reduced feed rates allowed for reduced vibration which will improve
tool life.
Table 20: Material Comparison for Hole Drilling
Drill
Diameter
(in)

Material

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPM)

Machine
Time
(min)

Ferrium M54

400

1.5

AerMet 100

400

1.5

Ferrium M54

500

1.0

AerMet 100

500

1.5

Ferrium M54

500

1.0

AerMet 100

500

1.0

Ferrium M54

500

1.5

AerMet 100

500

1.5

0.7500

0.3701

0.3386

0.1875

For the hole tapping, AerMet 100 cut much more easily. The chips produced were longer as well as tightly-curled
and there was less wear and damage on the milling tools. While the feed rate had to be kept constant for the thread
pitch, there was much less risk of the tool tap breaking or wearing down.
Table 21: Material Comparison for Hole Tapping

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Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

Material

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPM)

Machine
Time
(min)

Ferrium M54

50

0.0714

AerMet 100

100

0.0714

Ferrium M54

50

0.0416

AerMet 100

100

0.0416

Thread
Spec
7/16 - 14

1/4 - 28

G. External Thread Turning


Using the same parameters for Ferrium M54 produced threads with a severe degree of surface finish issues for
AerMet 100. In general, turning threads on AerMet 100 was tougher and resulted in unwanted chatter. Note that
more spring passes were taken on the Ferrium M54 to reduce chatter and improve surface finish as identified in the
initial study.
Table 22: Material Comparison for Thread Turning

Material

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Feed
Rate
(IPR)

Machine
Time
(min)

Ferrium M54

100

0.100

36

AerMet 100

150

0.100

21

H. Grinding, Outer Diameter


The grinding of the Ferrium M54 test piece was performed somewhat more quickly than AerMet 100, however this
was due to set-up considerations and not attributable to any material considerations.
Table 23: Material Comparison for OD Grinding

Grind Wheel

Spindle
Speed
(RPM)

Depth
of Cut
(in)

Machine
Time
(min)

Surface
Finish
(in)

Ferrium M54

965

0.002

17

16

AerMet 100

965

0.002

25

16

VI. Conclusion
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Pankl Aerospace Systems 23


Machining Investigation of Ferrium M54

The initial machinability study for Ferrium M54 was able to establish initial recommended parameters for
various machining operations. There were no limitations found in machining Ferrium M54 for typical
machining processes identified for the various landing gear manufacturing operations. The parameters
established should be considered a good starting point for the various machining operations, but as shown
in the comparison study, improvements can be made as more experience is gained with the alloy which
will allow for further improvements in the machining process and reduction in the machining times.
The deep bottle boring of Ferrium M54 allowed for establishment of initial recommended parameters.
The chip formation observed indicates that an insert with a chip breaker will allow for improved
machinability. There were no limitations found in deep bottle boring of Ferrium M54.
The comparison study between Ferrium M54 and AerMet 100 for typical landing gear operations provided
quantitative feedback that will allow for initial manufacturing processes and costs to be compared. While
no limitations were found for either alloy, Ferrium M54 was easier to turn, while AerMet 100 was easier
to drill small holes and thread. An example of applying the information obtained from this study and
applying it to an example component, such as machining a T-45 hook shank (to support cost analysis under
Navy Contract Number N68335-11-C-0369), the estimated cost to machine a component from Ferrium
M54 is up to 15% less than one made from AerMet 100, and up to 20% more than one made from 300M.

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Distribution Statement A- "Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited"