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Int. J. Mach. Tools Manufact.

Printed in Great Britain

Vol. 27. No. 4. pp. 431-...442. 1987.

(189n-.6955/g753.tx) + .(KI Pergamon Journals Ltd.

DESIGN, F A B R I C A T I O N A N D P E R F O R M A N C E OF A F E R R O C E M E N T M A C H I N E TOOL BED


M. RAHMAN,M. A. MANSUR,t W. D. AMBROSE$and K. H. CHUA.*
(Received 3 September 1986)

this project the use of ferrocement as a machine tool structural material is investigated. Ferrocement is a form of reinforced concrete but it utilises closely spaced layers of wire mesh instead of heavy steel rods. In this study a centre lathe was chosen. A ferrocement bed was designed based on basic stress calculations. Two beds were fabricated. The first was a prototype design. It was found that the deflections of the cast iron and ferrocement beds are less than one millimetre for loads up to 15 kN, a force that is hardly encountered in practice. In terms of stiffness, the cast iron bed was found to possess a higher static stiffness at the mid-span of the bed. From the dynamic testing it was found that the ferrocement beds had a higher damping ratio and a higher natural frequency at first mode than the cast iron bed.
Abstract--ln

INTRODUCTION THE TYPE of structural material used in the manufacture of machine tools affects the removal rate, accuracy, overall costs, the m e t h o d of production and lead times. High static stiffness against bending and torsion, good dynamic characteristics, ease in production, good long term dimensional stability, reasonably low coefficients of expansion, unaffected by coolants, low wear rate and low coefficients, etc. are the desired properties of machine tool structures [1-3]. Traditionally, machine tool beds have been made using cast iron [4--6], which can be cast into complex and intricate shapes, easily machined and lapped to a high degree of accuracy. It can also be made to possess long term dimensional stability by subjecting it to stress relieving treatment. H o w e v e r , its disadvantages are, high shrinkage rates during curing, high energy requirements to melt the iron before casting, long production lead time, a need for special anti-corrosion treatment, high cost, etc. Mild steel weldment was sometimes considered as a replacement of cast iron. It has a high stiffness and is lightweight as less material is used. Its disadvantages, however, are, low damping, high fabrication cost, a need for special finishing, a need for stress relieving, inspection difficulties particularly for internal welds, a need for anti-corrosion treatment, long production lead time, a tendency to ring (acoustic noise), etc. A t t e m p t s have been made to use granite beds as granite has better internal damping than cast iron. It has good wear properties and is reputed to be very stable dimensionally. H o w e v e r , its disadvantages are, it is becoming more and more scarce; it takes a long time to cut down to size and to grind and lap to shape; it is difficult to drill, and its low conductivity causes heat concentrations which results in cracks being formed. T h e r e are many types of granite, most of which absorb water and the surrounding air humidity which affects the dimensional stability and geometrical accuracy. A t t e m p t s to m a k e machine tool beds with concrete have also been made. Concrete is a mixture of sand, gravel, cement and water. It is usually reinforced with steel as it is very weak in tension. It has high damping properties and is cheap. H o w e v e r it has the following disadvantages; a long curing time; a tendency to crack under certain *Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering, National University of Singapore. Kent Ridge. Singapore 0511, Republic of Singapore. Department of Civil Engineering, National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge, Singapore 0511, Republic of Singapore. ~:Paya Lebar Airport, Singapore 1953, Republic of Singapore.
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conditions; dimensional changes with changes in humidity; a need for special finishing and low tensile strength unless reinforced with steel. Epoxy concrete (synthetic granite) is a relatively new material. It was developed primarily for high precision machine tool structures. It is formed by mixing and bonding together a carefully selected 'mix' of granite aggregate, epoxy resin and a curing or hardening agent. This material however, is not that readily available in the market and is very expensive. In this study, the feasibility of ferrocement as a new replacement of cast iron has been investigated. Ferrocement as the name implies consists of iron or steel and cement. It is defined as a type of thin wall reinforced concrete commonly constructed of hydraulic cement mortar reinforced with closely spaced layers of continuous and relatively small diameter wire mesh [7-10]. The mesh may be made of metallic or other suitable materials. Ferrocement differs from normal reinforced concrete in that it uses wire mesh, rather than heavy rods or bars and uses sand, rather than a mixture of sand and stone in graded sizes, as the aggregate in its concrete mix. The structural effectiveness of any reinforced concrete, including ferrocement, depends on the fact that steel and concrete have almost identical coefficients of expansion, swelling at the same rate when heated and shrinking at exactly the same rate when cooled. Thus they may be permanently bonded together as a single material, utilizing the best structural characteristics of each other; steel has the tensile strength necessary to sustain stresses created in a state of tension, while concrete has the compressive strength necessary to handle the stresses of compression. In this project the main properties, that is, the stiffness and dynamic characteristics of a ferrocement machine tool bed are investigated. For this project a lathe bed was chosen. Ferrocement beds were designed and fabricated, with the existing constraints of the actual bed. The slideways, however, were designed and made of cast iron. These are to be bolted and bonded to the ferrocement bed. This report compares the performance of the existing cast iron bed against the designed ferrocement beds. The parameters investigated are static stiffness, natural frequencies, damping ratios, modes of vibrations and deflection curves due to bending.
DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF THE FERROCEMENT BEDS

Two ferrocement beds were designed and fabricated. The first bed (#1) was nearly identical to the existing cast iron bed as far as the shape is concerned. It was designed to accommodate all the existing auxiliaries that were fixed to the actual cast iron bed. The second bed (#2) was based on a simplified design. This was done so as to determine the first crack load and the ultimate load that the ferrocement bed can handle. The slideways of the ferrocement bed were fabricated from cast iron. These are to be bolted and bonded to the ferrocement bed. The shape of the slideways was identical to those of the cast iron bed. This was done so as to accommodate the auxiliaries that slide on them. Unlike metallic beds where holes can be drilled and tapped, T-bolts were designed for the ferrocement beds to provide the necessary anchorage. These bolts enable the slideways to be attached to the bed and the bed to the supports. Other attachments that require T-bolts are the lead screw supports and the gear box. Photographs of the typical reinforced cage and finished bed are given in Figs 1 and 2 respectively. The following results were obtained from the test specimen prepared during casting: Cube compressive strength, f t , Modulus of rupture, fr Young's modulus, E = 46.33 N/mm 2. = 3.68 N/mm 2. = 25550 N/mm 2.

A comparison of the weights of the three beds is given in Table 1.

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FIG. 1. Steel reinforcement cage for ferrocement bed #2.

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W.:

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FiG. 2. Ferrocement bed #1.

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TABLE [. COMPARISON OF THE WEIGHTS DE THE THREE BEDS

Ferrocement bed #1 Weight of Weight of Weight of Weight of bed (kg) steel cage (kg) mortar (kg) slideways (kg)
18(1

Ferrocement bed #2
190

Cast iron
bed

27O

25 155
110

17 173
110

FIG. 3. Experimental set-up for the study of static behaviour.

STUDY OF STATIC BEHAVIOUR The objectives of this study are to determine the deflection curves and the static stiffness of the lathe bed, the first crack load and the ultimate failure load. The beds to be tested are simply supported by a fixed point at one end and a roller at the other end. Dial gauges are placed beneath the bed and the supporting l-beam in order to measure its deflections. A photograph of the set-up is given in Fig. 3. EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE The beds were marked for measurement as shown in Fig. 4 and were set up as shown in Fig. 3. The hydraulic iack was then placed at location A. The load application by the hydraulic jack was made uniform by using a rectangular metallic bar. Before applying the load the dial gauges were all initialised to zero. The load was increased

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1A
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1B
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FIG. 4. Marking of beds for measurement.

from 0 kN to 15 kN slowly and then reversed back to 0 kN at the same rate. The dial gauges were then initialised again. The load was then increased slowly and deflection readings were then obtained at 5 kN, 10 kN and 15 kN loads. Corresponding deflection readings at 10 kN, 5 kN and 0 kN loads were noted on the reverse loading. This loading and unloading cycle was repeated again and the readings were recorded. The hydraulic jack was then shifted to locations B and C and the whole procedure was repeated respectively. The whole experiment was conducted for the cast iron bed and the two f e r r o c e m e n t beds. The first crack load and the ultimate failure load was determined using the second f e r r o c e m e n t bed. The experimental set-up is similar to the one described above. A 200 kN hydraulic jack was placed at location B. The dial gauges were initialised in the same m a n n e r as described above. The load was applied gradually and the readings were recorded at every increase of 10 kN. In addition to this the bed was observed for cracks. The cracks were marked and the largest crackwidth was recorded. The above process continued until complete failure of the bed occurred. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The design was basically based on stress calculations. The m a x i m u m tensile, compressive, torsion and shear stresses are CrT = 1.177 N / m m 2, crc = 1.175 N / m m 2, a" = 0.2453 N / m m 2 and v = 0.1708 N / m m 2, respectively. The above stress values are less than the cracking stress of f e r r o c e m e n t in direct tension which is estimated as 1.6 N / m m 2. The flexurai strength of the m o r t a r used in this study was found to be 3.68 N/ram 2. Thus, in bending, the factor of safety was calculated to be 3.13. H o w e v e r , the actual factor of safety is expected to be higher since the design calculations were based on a simplified model. This is because the calculated m o m e n t of area I, is less than the actual m o m e n t of area. T h e r e f o r e with a larger m o m e n t of area a lower stress value is obtained. This then would increase the factor of safety. U p to a loading of 15 kN no cracks were observed on both the cast iron and f e r r o c e m e n t beds. Thus it can be seen that the beds are capable of handling high loads which are not frequently encountered in machine tools. A typical example of the deflection curves is shown in Fig. 5. From the test conducted it was found that the m a x i m u m deflection for both the cast iron and ferrocement beds was less than one millimetre. M a x i m u m deflection of the cast iron bed was 0.50375 m m and the m a x i m u m deflections were 0.4925 m m and 0.51 m m respectively for f e r r o c e m e n t bed #1 and ferrocement bed #2. The above values are for a loading of 15 kN. Thus at lower loads the deflection of the bed is very much less. T h e r e f o r e it can be noted that the deformation of the bed due to static loading is minimal. Table 2 gives the static stiffness values for the three beds at the three different locations. It can be observed that the stiffness values of the ferrocement beds are similar despite the differences in their shape and internal steel reinforcement configuration. At a load of 40 kN the first crack was observed on the f e r r o c e m e n t bed. With a further increase in the load the n u m b e r of cracks increased. Total failure of the bed

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LENGTH OF BED 35
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(cm) 105 140

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15 kN

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FIG. 5. Deflection curves of ferrocement bed #1 due to various loads at a fixed location.

TABLE 2. STATIC STIFFNESS OF THE CAST IRON AND FERROCEMENT BEDS

Static stiffness (MN/m) Type of bed Cast iron bed Ferrocement bed #1 Ferrocement bed # 2 Point A
34.985 36.697 33.708

Point B
40.268 30.459 29.412

Point C
29.777 38.573 38.710

occurred at a load of 140 kN. From the onset of the first crack, measurements of the maximum crackwidth were performed. An example of the cracking pattern of a ferrocement bed is shown in Fig. 6. From Fig. 7 it can be seen that the crackwidth increases somewhat linearly from the first crack load of 40 kN to 120 kN. Further increases in the load results in a drastic increase in the crackwidth, following which ultimate failure occurred. If failure is assumed to take place at the onset of the first crack, then it can be observed that the ferrocement bed is capable of withstanding loads up to 40 kN. An actual lathe bed does not have to withstand such high loads. Thus on the basis of

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FI(;. 6. Cracking panern of the ferrocement bed #2 after failure.

LOAD

(kN)

140

ULTIMATE LOAD

120

f-

/
100

80

60

/ J

/
40 FIRST CRACK LOAD 20

1 CRACKWIDTH (mm)

FK;. 7. Relationship of crackwidlh with load.

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RES . E:

/EXCA I N RSO S I T T O EP NE
(a)

_/
(b)

E CAO X TT N I I

FIG. 8. Analysis of bed structure under free-free boundary conditions. (a) Lateral direction. (b) Transverse direction.

stiffness and strength, the ferrocement bed is capable of performing its role as a machine tool bed.
STUDY ON DYNAMIC B E H A V I O U R

The dynamic behaviour of machine tool structures is of special importance, especially so with chatter in machine tools--an important area in machine tool research. Tests were carried out on the cast iron bed and one ferrocement bed to determine their modal parameters [11-12] using an experimental modal analysis technique. The experimental set-up is shown diagrammatically in Fig. 9. The modal parameters to be determined are: (i) natural frequencies, (ii) damping ratio, and (iii) modes of vibration. Measuring conditions. The tests were carried out on the structure under free-free boundary conditions. These results will be more useful because they can be used for analysis under simulated conditions. Therefore, in order to isolate the test structure from the surroundings, the bed was suspended from an overhead support by belts. Three principal modes of vibration were to be investigated. They are, vertical bending, horizontal bending and torsional. In order to obtain these vibration modes, excitation and measurement of response were done at a direction perpendicular to the direction of the belts. This is illustrated in Fig. 8. Measurement position. In order to make an accurate identification and to obtain a useful dynamic model, a relatively high number of measuring points were chosen as shown in Fig. 10. Points directly opposite to the points being measured are constrained to behave in the similar manner. Excitation. The excitation of the test structure is done using an impact hammer. The hammer used is the PCB Piezoelectric impulse hammer with an attached force transducer for sensing the force. A useful range of operation is 500 N and up to 8 kHz. Excitation is done on every measurement point while the responses are picked up at only one selected point. Response. The response was measured using a piezoelectric accelerometer. The accelerometer was mounted using a magnet. A magnet applied to a smooth surface provides a quick mounting with an adequate frequency range. Signal processing. The signal from the hammer's force transducer was maintained by a power amplifier while the signal from the accelerometer was conditioned by a charge amplifier. Both signals were fed into a dual-channel FFT-Analyzer. The measurements were averaged to remove noise and coherence value above 0.7 was set

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FIG. 9. Diagram of experimental set-up.

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Structure

. 4

24

FIG. 10. Measurement points.

to qualify the signal. The transfer functions obtained by the FFT-Analyzer were then fed into the desk-top computer for modal analysis. Modal analysis. Using the Structural Measurement System (SMS) Modal 3.0 software package operating in a Hewlett-Packard Model 216 desk-top computer, the transfer functions were curve fitted with various curve-fitting algorithms. Natural frequencies and damping ratios were extracted and mode shapes animated [13].
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The dynamic performances of two lathe beds made of different materials were each evaluated in terms of their modal parameters. These modal parameters are the global properties of the structure which characterize its dynamic behaviour. In the tests

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Ca)

(b)

(c) FIc. 11. Vibration modes of lathe bed. (a) 1st and 2nd vertical bending. (b) Ist and 2nd horizontal bending. (c) 1st and 2nd torsional.

conducted for this study, six principal modes of vibration, namely, vertical bending, horizontal bending and torsional (first and second harmonic of each mode) were investigated. These six modes of vibration as they occur in the bed structure can be seen in Fig. 11. The modal parameters of the six principal modes of vibration of both the ferrocement and the cast iron are shown in Table 3. Referring to Table 3 and comparing the modal parameters of cast iron and ferrocement tool structures, it can be seen that the ferrocement is a better material in terms of dynamic performance. It has high natural frequencies and damping values. The first response of the ferrocement bed occurs at almost twice the frequency of cast iron and the ferrocement's damping values are almost twice that of cast iron. Thus a ferrocement bed will be more stable as compared to a cast iron bed. The results of this study have also revealed interesting information. It can be noted that the first resonance of cast iron is a torsional vibration instead of vertical bending as in the case of ferrocement. This could be explained in terms of the bed's geometrical configuration. Cast iron is fabricated with a thick shell material for the wall and reinforced with strengthening ribs. However, wall thickness to length of structure is low and this resulted in low stiffness values in the torsional and horizontal direction,

Design. Fabrication and Performance of Tool Bed TABLE 3. NATURALFREQUENCIESAND DAMPINGRATIOSOF FERROCEMENTAND CAST IRON BEDS Resonance No. Cast iron bed 125 Hz 1.27% 1st Torsional 252 Hz 0.72% 1st Horizontal bending 342 Hz 0.57% 1st Vertical bending 382 Hz 0.49% 2nd Torsional 430 Hz 0.51% 2nd Horizontal bending 730 Hz 0.58% 2nd Vertical bending Ferrocement bed 280 Hz 1.79% 1st Vertical bending 310 Hz 1.80% 1st Horizontal bending 465 Hz 1.33% 1st Torsional 620 Hz 1.28% 2nd Vertical bending 670 Hz 1.44% 2nd Horizontal bending 785 Hz 1.18% 2nd Torsional

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TABLE 4. MODAL PARAMETERSOF INDIVIDUALMODES Mode of vibration 1st Vertical bending 1st Horizontal bending 1st Torsional 2nd Vertical bending 2nd Horizontal bending 2nd Torsional Cast iron 342 252 125 730 430 382 Hz Hz Hz Hz Hz Hz Ferrocement 280 310 465 620 670 785 Hz Hz Hz Hz Hz Hz

while being high in the vertical direction. This is evidenced when the vibration modes are tabulated as in Table 4, where the frequencies of cast iron in torsional and horizontal bending are higher than that of ferrocement.
CONCLUSIONS

In this project a lathe bed was designed based on stress calculations. The stresses were calculated from the forces acting on the bed and these forces were obtained indirectly from the cutting forces acting on the workpiece. The values of the cutting forces, however, were assumed. From the maximum design stress and the flexural strength of the mortar used, a factor of safety of 3.13 was obtained for the fabricated beds. A total of two ferrocement beds were fabricated in this project. The first bed was a prototype design with heavier steel reinforcements. From the study of the static behaviour the following were noted: (1) The deflections for loads up to 15 kN were less than 1 ram. (2) The first crack was obtained at a load of 40 kN.

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(3) Ultimate failure of the beam occurred at a load of 140 kN. (4) At the centre of the beam the cast iron bed had a higher static stiffness compared to the ferrocement beds. Despite the lower stiffness value the ferrocement bed is still capable of being used in a centre lathe as the high loads that were applied in the experiment are hardly ever encountered in practice. Moreover the stiffness can be improved by increasing the breadth and height of the bed. From the study of the dynamic behaviour the following were noted: (1) The ferrocement beds had a significantly higher damping ratio than the cast iron bed. (2) The ferrocement beds had a higher first natural frequency than the cast iron bed. The above two results indicate that the ferrocement beds would perform much more favourably than the cast iron bed. Thus on the whole it can be seen that ferrocement has a great potential in the machine tool industry. The use of the material would also result in low cost structures.
REFERENCES [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] F. KOENIGSaERG,Design Principles of Metal Cutting Machine Tools. F. KOENIGSaERG,Machine Tool Structures, Pergamon, Oxford. N. ACHERKAN, Machine Tool Design, Vol. 3, Mir Pub., Moscow (1969-1973). G. H. MORGAN, P. A. McKEOWN and H. J. RENKER, 20th Int. MTDR Conf. (1980). H. HEITMANNand V. VENKATRAMAN,Investigations on the use of prestressed and reinforced concrete as a material for machine tool structure. S. E. OVIAWE, Z. TAY and A. A. SHUMSHERUDDIN,23rd lnt. MTDR Conf. (1983). S. ABERCROMaIE,Ferrocement, Hale, London (1978). Ferrocement: Applications in Development Countries; a report of an Ad Hoc Panel of the Advisory Committee to Technology for International Development Office of the Foreign Secretary. Washington, D.C. (1973). State of the art report on Ferrocement, Concrete International & Design, (1982). B. K. PAUL and R. P. PAMA, Ferrocement, I.F.I.C. Publication, 5/78 (1978). D. J. EWINS, Modal Testing: Theory and Practice, Research Studies Press Ltd. (1984). R. POrtER and M. RICHARDSON,Mass, Stiffness and Damping Matrices from Measured Modal Parameters, I.S.A. Conference and Exhibit. New York (1974). MODAL 3.0---Modal Analysis Operating Manual. Structural Measurement System, Inc. (1984).