Duval Precision Grinding has over twenty years of experience performing precision grinding operations on aviation equipment. Our grinders regularly handle detailed instructions for complex aircraft parts to meet tight tolerance requirements and ensure all aerospace components that pass through the shop are up to FAA standards. Recently, a new customer seeking grinding services to finish their helicopter transmission casing approached our team for help.

Experienced Grinders Able to Work with Extra Light Materials

The transmission casing being produced by the client would eventually be part of a commercial helicopter. It was made of aluminum, which is a very light ferrous metal. Chrome-coated steel liners were included to improve wear resistance without infringing on weight limitations for the aircraft.

Our team was able to use standard grinding wheels to complete this particular job. However, due to the high thermal coefficient of expansion of aluminum, special attention needed to be paid to the temperature control during grinding operations. If the part was allowed to become too hot or too cold during grinding, it could create inaccuracies in the final tolerance measurements for the part.

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The NIST specifies 68℉ as the ideal temperature to use as a baseline for obtaining accurate measurements of materials that are subject to the effects of thermal expansion. While some parts and materials have enough mass that their expansion and contraction in relation to temperature is virtually negligible, other materials, like aluminum, are so susceptible to changes in temperature that body heat can be enough to distort their measurements. To mitigate the effects of thermal expansion, all of our grinding operations are performed in a climate controlled environment kept at 68℉. Grinding produces friction which can also heat the part and cause it to expand. Coolants are used judiciously to keep the part at a steady temperature overall and achieve the most accurate tolerance measurements possible.


Custom Tooling and Troubleshooting Process Efficiency Guarantees On-Time Delivery

Initially, the requested grinding process required the use of a jig grinder. However, due to the shape of the transmission casing, it was difficult to complete the job efficiently this way. Our experienced grinders worked with the customer to see if there was a more efficient way to achieve the results they were looking for.

After consulting with the customer’s team, a new process was developed that enabled Duval grinders to perform the necessary grinding operations on an ID grinder, which drastically reduced the run time for the job. Not only did the customer receive a part that was completed to their exact specifications, but they were also able to move their production schedule ahead, thanks to the increased efficiency.

Do you have questions about precision grinding for transmission casings for aerospace and custom equipment? Contact the experts at Duval Precision Grinding, today.

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