Aerospace & Automotive Nomex Honeycomb Machining

  • Difficulties in Machining
  • HIT Achievements
  • Industry Application
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What makes meta-aramid material (Nomex) difficult to machine?

Nomex is a meta-aramid fiber material that possesses outstanding heat performance with its flame-resistant properties.  It retains its excellent properties even under high temperature.  When it approaches to the flame, Nomex hardens and starts to melt and char which makes it function as a protection in various extreme environments.

Though these fine properties allow the Nomex fiber an ideal material for a wide range of applications, they also make it extremely difficult to machine.  The complex shape of Nomex honeycomb composites requires intricate practices which has brought numerous challenges to the CNC machining process.  Excessive cutting forces could cause severe damage to the honeycomb cores, while improper and uncontrolled vibration during the machining process could also have serious impact on its structural quality. 

☑️ Nomex Honeycomb Machining Information
  Nomex Honeycomb Machining Information
  Material   Nomex (meta-aramid fiber)
  Dimensions   30° Chamfer cutting
  [path length : 9,000mm]
  [pitch : 2.5mm]
  Methods   Chamfer cutting
  [material fixing : vacuum chunk]
  Machine Tool    -
  Max. Spindle Speed   -
  Tool Rotating Speed   1,500 rpm
  [cutting speed : 235.62 m/min]
  [feed rate : 500 mm/min]
  Spindle Taper   -
  Tool Holder   HSKA63-B04 (HIT Ultrasonic Circular Knife Tool Holder)
  Integrated System   CNC Automation


HIT Ultrasonic Machining Module applied in Nomex Honeycomb V cut machining
(Figure. HIT ultrasonic machining on Nomex honeycomb workpiece) 


HIT's Goal in Machining Nomex Honeycomb

To compare HIT's ultrasonic machining effects on Nomex honeycomb composites with the other ultrasonic brand.

Ultrasonic-Assisted Machining Nomex Honeycomb Results

With HIT's Ultrasonic Machining Technology, the width of burrs was well-controlled at the average of 0.1342mm.
In comparison, the width of burrs created by the other ultrasonic brand was at the average of 0.1588mm.

With HIT's Ultrasonic Machining Technology, the tool wear was reduced to 0.007mm.
In comparison, the tool wear caused by other ultrasonic brand was 0.0285mm.

HIT Ultrasonic Machining Technology Achievements

🕜 Efficiency remained consistent
📈 Quality increased 15%
⚙️ Tool Life improved 75% 
  HIT ultrasonic Other ultrasonic brand
  Quality 0.1342mm (width of burrs) 0.1588mm
  Efficiency - -
  Tool Life 0.007mm (tool wear) 0.0285mm

   Other ultrasonic brand                              HIT
(Figure. the comparison of HIT's ultrasonic machining effects on Nomex honeycomb with the other ultrasonic brand) 


Nomex honeycomb machining has been widely applied in various industries, including Aerospace industry, Automotive industry, Defense industry, etc.  Generally, the applications range from aircraft flooring panels, aircraft interiors, racing car bodywork, to military pilot flight suits.

With the advantages offered by this material, it is used to provide aerospace-grade products, including fuselage components, ceiling, flooring panels, side panels, etc. 

These products require excellent fire-resistant, corrosion-resistant and self-extinguishing properties to handle and endure years of operation under extreme environments. 

Therefore, this material can also be seen in racing driving suits, firefighting equipment, marine interior panels, and military pilot and tank driver suits.

While Nomex honeycomb is ideally in compliance with these requirements, this material is notoriously difficult to machine. 

This is where HIT's Ultrasonic Machining Module comes in handy!  We offer a comprehensive solution in machining these difficult-to-cut materials.  With the assistance of our Ultrasonic Machining Technology, clients need not worry about excessive damage to the cutting tools or unreasonable size of burrs.  We can assure our clients of matching up with their requirements or even achieving better outcome!