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Tooling for Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Components

Lightweight reamer meets accuracy, roundness, and surface finish requirements for aluminum motor body boring.

Hybrid and electrics vehicle components are usually made on small, low-horsepower CNC machining centers that require lightweight tooling solutions. Kennametal devised a stator bore based on its RIQ reaming inserts and KM4X adaptor using 3D printing.
A second version has a carbon fiber tube instead of a 3D-printed metal tube, reducing the tool’s weight even further.
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“The main bore that houses the stator of an electric motor is roughly 9.84 in (250 mm) in diameter and 15.74 in (400 mm) long with a smaller bearing bore at the bottom,” says Kennametal (Pittsburgh, PA) Program Engineering Manager Harald Bruetting. “When manufactured using conventional means, a reamer for this application would weigh more than 55 lbs (25 kgs), far too heavy for the machine tool or an operator working with the tool.”

In response, the company devised an indexable tool weighing half that using fine adjustable RIQ reaming inserts for high-precision finishing and a KM4X adapter for maximum rigidity. Internal 3D-printed cooling channels help maximize productivity and tool life.

“By using metal powder bed 3D printing with finite-element analysis software, we designed and built a tool that brought the moment of inertia very close to the spindle face, increasing rigidity while meeting the customer’s weight restrictions,” says Future Solutions Manager Werner Penkert.

Two versions of the tool were built:

  • One with a carbon fiber tube that weighs 20.9 lb (9.5 kg)
  • One with a 3D-printed metal tube that weighs 23.6 lb (10.7 kg)

Kennametal, 600 Grant St., Suite 5100, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, 724-539-8033, www.kennametal.com.

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