Machinability analysis of extruded wrought zinc alloys and development of adapted tools and machining strategies for turning and drilling


95% of the zinc alloys used today are manufactured by pressure die casting where machining is of subordinate importance. As a result of new plant technologies, new wrought zinc alloys have been developed that are produced by extruding as bar material. This results in new applications, especially in the brass industry. The machinability of brass alloys is dramatically increased by alloying with lead. This shall be restricted due to the damaging effect on health and environment of lead. In the future, lead free wrought zinc alloys could provide an economically attractive alternative to brass alloys due to their cheaper material costs. The main problem is that the machinability of wrought zinc alloys is virtually unexplored, so far. Therefore, the goal of this project is the adaptation of tools and machining strategies for turning and drilling of these materials with increased productivity and process reliability. As a first step, the machinability of wrought zinc alloys will be fundamentally analyzed. The second step will be the adaptation of the tools, machining strategies and parameters, and the lubrication concept. As an essential result, information on cutting parameters, tool design and lubrication strategy for economical machining will be provided to the manufacturing industry. The transition from plumbiferous brass alloys to wrought zinc alloys is a challenge to small and medium enterprises (SME) that they cannot solve on their own. The achievable technological advantage offers SME a chance to build a long term business advantage to enhance their competitive position.

We are grateful to the research association “Stifterverband Metalle e.V.” for its financial support for project 18190 N which was provided via the AiF as a part of the programme to support industrial community research and development (IGF), with funds from the federal ministry of economics and technology (BMWi) following an order of the german federal parliament.


Do you have questions concerning this project?

Your contact:
Stefan Baier, M.Sc. RWTH
Cluster Produktionstechnik 3A 250
Tel.: +49 241 80-27362
Fax: +49 241 80-22293