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Conformal polishing approach: Tool footprint analysis
José A Dieste, Jorge Santolaria, Angel Fernández-Cuello, Carlos Javierre

Published: 08 February 2016 by SAGE Publications in Advances in Mechanical Engineering
SAGE Publications, Volume 8; 10.1177/1687814016630518
Abstract: Polishing process is one of the most critical manufacturing processes during a metal part production because it determines the final quality of the product. Free-form surface polishing is a handmade process with lots of rejected parts, scrap generation and time and energy consumption. Two different research lines are being developed: prediction models of the final surface quality parameters and an analysis of the amount of material removed depending on the polishing parameters to predict the tool footprint during the polishing task. This research lays the foundations for a future automatic conformal polishing system. It is based on rotational and translational tool with dry abrasive in the front mounted at the end of a robot. A tool to part concept is used, useful for large or heavy workpieces. Results are applied on different curved parts typically used in tooling industry, aeronautics or automotive. A mathematical model has been developed to predict the amount of material removed in function of polishing parameters. Model has been fitted for different abrasives and raw materials. Results have shown deviations under 20% that implies a reliable and controllable process. Smaller amount of material can be removed in controlled areas of a three-dimensional workpiece.
Keywords: finishing, polishing, Robot Polishing, Conformal Polishing, polishing model
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