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Guideways / Structual Parts

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Structual Parts

Structual parts, such as beds, columns, cross bars and bodies are the main components of a machine. They usually meet even the task of guiding process units such as headstocks, supports, carriages, etc. Structual parts can be a single-and multi-part, usually are manufacturing and transportation the limiting factors.
Structual parts accept the process forces and pass them mostly in a foundation. Larger parts (usually beds) are often not intrinsically stiff, but need a stable foundation to achieve the desired operating results. These structual parts are connected with high-precision alignment elements to the foundation.

Structual parts are made from the following materials:

  • Steel (welded)

  • Steel casting (GS)

  • Grey cast iron (GG)

  • Nodular cast iron (GGG)

  • Polymer concrete

  • Aluminium

  • Carbon fiber-reinforced plastic

The selection of the optimum material according to the following criteria:

  • Strength (plastic deformation, fracture)

  • Weight (mass distribution, static and dynamic behavior)

  • Modulus of elasticity (static and dynamic behavior)

  • Damping (Dynamic Behavior)

  • Residual stresses, creep (long-term accuracy)

  • Thermal expansion / capacity (thermal behavior)

  • Single / Series Production (model costs)

  • Costs (raw materials, manufacturing)

  • Constructive design options

  • Resource availability

New designs of high-quality structual parts are often calculated using the finite element method and optimized.

Column raw part
Column raw part


Guideways are important components the force flow of a machine and often an integral part of structual parts. They are responsible for the performance and the accuracy of the machine and must meet the following requirements:

  • Low friction

  • Stick-Slip-Free

  • Little or no wear

  • Seizure resistance

  • Backlash free

  • High stiffness

  • Good damping characteristics

  • High accuracies

  • High travel speeds

  • Low heat generation

  • Shared lubrication options

  • Easy installation and commissioning

  • Maintenance free

Hydrostatic guideways at a cross rail

The guiding principles are divided into:

  • hydrodynamic,

  • hydrostatic,

  • aerostatic,

  • electromagnetic and

  • roller bearing guideways

Hydrodynamic connecting rod bearing scraped

Source: Werkzeugmaschinen Konstruktion und Berechnung Bd. 2, 8. Auflage, Manfred Weck, Christian Brecher, Springer-Verlag 2006


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