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Temperature Sensor Coatings for Smart Machining Tools

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High-tech machine tools

Manufacturing contributes significantly to the EU economy but has become quite expensive. A novel temperature sensor integrated in wear-resistant coatings for machine tools promises to extend tool lifetime and decrease scrap for lower costs.

Industrial Technologies

Within the aerospace sector, machining of high-precision and high-end parts is becoming cost-prohibitive impinging on the competitive position of the EU machining sector. Wear-resistant ceramic coatings have been shown to increase tool lifetime up to more than 10 times compared to that of uncoated tools. However, the high temperatures generated by cutting operations at the interfaces between tool and work piece can compromise coating integrity. To solve that issue, scientists have developed a wireless temperature sensor with EU funding of the project 'Temperature sensor coatings for smart machining tools' (TURNCOAT) . Monitoring of machine tool parameters during machining operations provides a number of important benefits including less scrap, lower machine maintenance costs and increased tool lifetime. The system consists of a temperature sensor (four-sensor array) integrated in a ceramic coating applied using physical vapour deposition (PVD). The system also includes a wireless transmitter-receiver concept and data analysis algorithms. The team designed compatible holders for a lathe tool and a rotating tool. Integration and in situ testing demonstrated accurate real-time temperature measurement. Outcomes of the project are expected to result in three patents and four utility models (sometimes called 'small' patents, intellectual property rights for lesser inventions). Technology should provide increased market penetration for the partner companies, small- and medium-sized enterprises making up about a third of the PVD coating sector.

Keywords

Manufacturing, sensor, wear-resistant, coatings, machine tool, aerospace, ceramic wireless, temperature, PVD, patent

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