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International Journal of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering IJMME-IJENS Vol:14 No:06 99

Simulation of Temperature Distributions of

CNC Lathe Headstock Assembly
S.Ramesh Babu, 2S.Dhamotharan
Associate Prof., Dept. of Mechanical Engg.,
Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan College of Engineering, Coimbatore
Asst. Prof., Dept. of Mechanical Engg.,
Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan College of Engineering, Coimbatore

Abstract-- This paper mainly analyses the issues of the the temperature data to the thermal error to predict the
temperature distributions of the headstock assembly of a CNC thermal errors [24] and successive regression analysis [5] is
lathe incorporating contact behavior. The thermal deformation is used to solve the coefficients of a polynomial thermal errors
due to the heat generation in the bearings, chucking cylinder and model. Ref. [6] revises the multivariable regression analysis
motor. Experiments were carried out on a slant bed 2 axis CNC by replacing the traditional optimization objective function
lathe for a period of 14 hours under a specified load cycle. Since
with a new one to build a robust thermal error model. In all
heat generated in the machine tool cannot be measured, the
temperatures at certain points on the machine structure are the modeling methods above, without single exception, the
usually measured and correlated with thermal errors. A finite temperature and thermal error data used are obtained from a
element model of the headstock assembly of a CNC lathe was lot of experiments, which are inevitably involved in the
developed without much structural simplification to obtain the studies of all kinds of advanced measurement technologies in
designed accuracy of the simulation results. The effect of order to make these collected data as accurate as possible. As
individual heat generation elements over the machine structure is a consequence, the laser ball bar [7], non contact laser
studied and analyzed. The results show that the simulation technique [8] and hemispherical ball bar [9] have been
results are satisfactory to replace the experimental results for developed to meet these increasing demands. Numerical
further studies.
computation is another important branch on studying machine
Index Term-- Thermal behavior, finite element method, tools thermal deformations.
transient thermal analysis It is such a hard work involving high costs to collect data
from experiments that the studies on replacing an experiment
1. INTRODUCTION with a simulation have become more and more significant in
CNC machine tools are becoming increasingly more this field. However, it has almost not been seen to simulate
popular because of their ability to machine geometrically the thermal deformation without structural simplifications
complex work-pieces efficiently and with higher dimensional that can make simulation results unreliable. This paper
accuracy. considers a CNC lathe headstock assembly as an example and
Improvement of the CNC machine tool accuracy is all explains how to simulate its thermal behavior as accurate as
the time the most important pursuit for researchers in possible incorporating contact behaviors. The simulation
precision manufacturing field. Errors that affect the machine results are verified by experiments on the same CNC lathe.
tool accuracy can be classified as (1) geometric errors, (2)
thermal errors and (3) cutting force-induced errors. Among 2. OBJECTIVE AND METHODOLOGY
these errors, thermal errors account for 70 percent of the total 2.1 Objective
errors [1]. Spindle is the core component of a CNC machine The present work aims at developing a thermal model
tool, and also the important contributor to the total thermal of the headstock assembly so as to evaluate the temperature
errors due to the large amounts of heat from its high-speed distribution, which will be used in future for the prediction of
revolution. Hence, the studies on thermal deformations of the thermal deformation. The objectives are as follows,:
spindle are indispensable for reducing the total thermal To develop a finite element model of a CNC lathe
errors. headstock assembly.
Building a robust thermal error model is the first step for To determine the transient temperature distribution in
correcting the thermal errors. The mechanism causing the headstock assembly and validate the same by conducting
machine tool deformations is so complex that it is impractical experiments.
to theoretically derive an analytical expression as the thermal
error model by use of all initial conditions and operating 2.2 Methodology
conditions for a machine tool. As far as most modeling A CNC lathe headstock assembly with angular contact
methods are concerned, the thermal error models are all ball bearings 234416TN9 with inner diameter(ID) 80mm,
obtained by finding the best mapping relations between the outer diameter(OD) 125mm, double groove roller bearings
thermal errors and some thermal temperature changes at key NN3016KTN with ID 80mm, OD 115mm and NN3014KTN
points. For example, the neural networks technologies map with ID 70mm, OD 110mm is considered for the study. The

148406-7272-IJMME-IJENS December 2014 IJENS

International Journal of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering IJMME-IJENS Vol:14 No:06 100
cross-sectional details of headstock assembly are shown in mounted on machine structure. The temperature sensors
Fig.1. PT100 are attached to the machine structure by heat flow paste
and are insulated from the environment by foam. The details
of the positions where sensors are fixed are as follows,
T1 = Chucking cylinder of the spindle
T2 = Chucking cylinder oil box
T3 = Housing of the spindle motor
T4 = Bearing of the spindle, back
T5 = Bearing of the spindle, front
T6 = Lubricant cover of the spindle
T7 = Headstock
T8 = Bed underneath the spindle
T9 = Oil box, machine side
T10 = Coolant input close to the spindle
T11 = Bed close to the transformer
T12 = Bracket of the transformer
Fig. 1. Headstock assembly of the CNC lathe T13 = Bearing of the spindle motor

In the present work, the headstock assembly with a

portion of the bed is considered for analysis. The transient
thermal behavior of CNC lathe headstock assembly is
predicted for free air cutting for a specified load cycle. The
transient temperature variation of the assembly, when it is
subjected to a load cycle of operation and subsequently the fall
in temperature is investigated. The temperature distribution of
the entire assembly is measured for the complete load cycle.
The distribution patterns at different speeds are then compared
with the experimental results for validation.
The load cycle considered is based on the different
operations performed on the machine tool. The spindle is
operated at the given load cycle for about 14 hours as shown
in Fig. 2.
Fig. 3. Headstock assembly showing location of temperature sensors

The temperature sensor T2 is not shown in the diagram

because it represents the oil box of the chucking cylinder
which is placed outside the machine structure. The sensor
points were selected by accounting for all the heat sources in
the headstock assembly which include motor for driving the
spindle and bearings which support the spindle. The
temperature of machine tool bed which supports the entire
headstock assembly is also measured to study the propagation
of heat into the bed.
The transient temperature distribution is plotted in Fig. 4
Fig. 2. Load cycle of spindle
running the spindle motor at the specified load cycle for a
The load cycle chosen is of fluctuating type and the speed period of 14 hours and measuring the temperatures at various
of the spindle varies between 0 and 2800rpm. The spindle is to places. In this case, both the motors of Z-axis and the X-axis
run at a maximum speed of 2800rpm for 4hrs until the error at were switched off, so that the effect of heat sources in the
spindle nose reaches steady state, that is, there is no change in headstock assembly over the machine structure could be
error subsequently. The spindle is stopped from 4th hour to 6th improved.
hour and from 10hr30min to 14th hour. This is to study the From Fig. 4, it is found that the temperatures recorded
temperature variation in the machine structure due to using the sensors 1, 2, 3 and 13 reach a maximum when the
intermittent operation. spindle runs at 2800 rpm. This is because of their location
4. TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT closer to heat generation sources such as bearings and motor.
Fig.3 shows the headstock assembly with a portion of the The sensor placed housing of the chucking cylinder recorded a
bed showing the location of thermal sensors which are maximum temperature of 70 C whereas the measured

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International Journal of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering IJMME-IJENS Vol:14 No:06 101
temperatures in the spindle bearings were found to be 45C where f0 is a factor related to bearing type and lubrication
and 40C respectively. This is because of the higher heat method, v0 is the kinematic viscosity of the lubricant (mm2/s).
generation in the chucking cylinder due to high pressure of oil The heat generated from the chucking cylinder ball
inside. The temperature at the front bearing is greater than that bearings (CC-B) and the heat generated due to the oil pressure
of the rear bearing inside the chucking cylinder is evaluated. With the help of
because the diameter is larger at the front than at the rear empirical equations, heat generations in spindle front ball
end. It is also found that the temperature rise directly depends bearing (FB-B), front roller bearing (FR-B) and spindle rear
on rotational speed of the spindle. But they are non-linearly
related. When the spindle is stopped for 2 hours as shown in
the load cycle,

Fig. 4. Temperatures at different sensor points roller bearing (RB-R) were estimated and shown in Fig.5.
Fig. 5. Heat generation rate of the bearings with speed
the temperature decreases significantly showing the From the above graph, it is clear that the maximum heat
sensitivity of the machine tool for internal heat generation. generation is at chucking cylinder and the lowest at spindle
rear bearing, whereas the heat generation at spindle front
5. NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF TEMPERATURE FIELD bearings are lesser than the chucking cylinder.
It is very difficult to get the analytical solution of the
temperature field because the heat flows towards all directions 5.2 Heat transfer coefficient
in which the temperature is lower inside the assembly. So the The heat transfer coefficient for convection is
finite element method is used to obtain the numerical solution investigated in [11, 12]. It is defined as
for temperature distribution. The numerical solution can h = (Nu x kfluid) / d
approximate the analytical solution very well as long as the (5)
structure is correctly and finely meshed. The reliability of the where kfluid is the thermal conductivity of the ambient air, Nu is
simulation results also depends on whether the boundary the Nusselt number. When convection occurs at outer surfaces
conditions such as the power of heat sources and heat transfer of a long cylinder, such as a shaft,d represents the diameter
coefficients are well defined. of the cylinder.
5.1 Heat generation
The major heat generation of the system is caused by
the cutting process and the friction between the balls and races
of the bearings [10]. Assuming that the majority of cutting
heat is taken away by coolant and chips, the heat generated by
bearings is the dominant cause of temperature change. The
heat generated by a bearing can be computed using
Hf = 1.047 10-4 nM
where Hf is the heat generated power (W), n is the rotating
speed of the bearing (rpm), M is the total frictional torque of
the bearing (N mm). The total frictional torque M consists of
two parts, one is the torque M1 due to applied load and the Fig. 6. Variation of Convective heat transfer coefficient with speed
other one is the torque M2 due to viscosity of lubricant. That is
M= M1 +M2, ------ (1) The Nusselt number Nu is computed from the Reynolds
where M1= f 1p1dm, ------ (2) number, Re, and the Prandtl number, Pr, based on different
where f1 is a factor related to the bearing type and load, p1 is convection conditions. For the present work, the following
the bearing preload (N), dm is the mean diameter of the bearing equation is used [13] :
(mm). Nu=0.133 x Re2/3 x Pr1/3, ...(6)
M2 = 10-7 f 0 (von)2/3dm3 if von2000 ------ (3) where Re = ufluid / fluid & Pr = cfluid fluid / k fluid
M2 = 16010-7f 0 dm3 if von<2000 ------ (4)

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International Journal of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering IJMME-IJENS Vol:14 No:06 102
where ufluid is the velocity, vfluid is the kinematic viscosity, cfluid
is the specific heat capacitance and fluid is the dynamic
viscosity of air.
This equation is valid for Re<4.3105, 0.7<Pr<670.
For free convection around stationary surfaces, h=9.7W/m2C
is used. Thermal loads and the coefficient of convection heat
transfer can be computed by the equations mentioned above.
When the spindle stops rotating, the convection form becomes
natural convection and the coefficient of convective heat
transfer is assumed to be 10W/(m2C) based on practical
experiences. Fig. 8. Temperature distribution of the headstock assembly with a portion of
A comparison of temperature at RB-R, FB-B, FB-R and CC-B
The finite element method (FEM) is used to develop
bearings between the experimental and FEM results is made
a transient thermal model of the same to investigate the
for the complete load cycle and shown in Fig. 9, 10 & 11
transient temperature distribution of a CNC lathe headstock
respectively corresponding to the load cycle shown in Fig. 2.
The model is discretised using 20-node hexahedron
thermal solid element (SOLID 187) with a single degree of
freedom, namely temperature, at each node. The 20-node
elements have compatible temperature shapes and are well
suited to model curved boundaries. The 20-node thermal
element is applicable to a 3-D, steady-state or transient
thermal analysis. It has tetrahedral, pyramid, prism options to
be used on critical corners during mesh generation.

Fig. 9. Comparison of temperature at rear bearing set

It is observed from Fig. 9 that a maximum temperature of

40C is obtained in the rear bearing. The pattern of variation
of temperature predicted using FEM is found to be in close
agreement to that of experimental results. Temperature
distribution for the front bearing is shown in Fig. 10.

Fig. 7. Finite element model of headstock assembly

The finite element mesh for the entire headstock assembly of
CNC lathe with the contact behavioral property at the bearings
is as shown in Fig.7
6.1 Transient Thermal Analysis
Transient thermal analysis for the specified load cycle is
carried out on the headstock assembly. Fig.8 shows the
temperature distributions of the assembly with a portion of the

Fig. 10. Comparison of temperature at front bearing set

The maximum temperature at the front bearing is 46C which
is greater than the temperature at rear because the diameter of
the bearing is greater than the rear bearing. Fig. 11 shows the
temperatures at chucking cylinder.

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International Journal of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering IJMME-IJENS Vol:14 No:06 103
[9] Seung-Han Yang, Ki-Hoon Kim, Yong Kuk Park, Measurement of
spindle thermal errors in machine tool using hemispherical ball bar
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(2004) 333340.
[10] T.A. Harris, Rolling Bearing Analysis. Wiley Sons, New York,
1991, pp. 540560
[11] B. Bossmanns, J.F. Tu, A thermal model for high speed motorized
spindles, International Journal of Machine Tools & Manufacture
39(1999) 13451366
[12] H. Li, Y.C. Shin, Integrated dynamic thermo-mechanical modeling
of high speed spindles, Part1: model development, transactions of
the ASME, Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering 126
(2004) 148158.
[13] J.K. Choi, D.G. Lee, Thermal characteristics of the spindle bearing
system with a gear located on the bearing span, International
Journal of Machine Tools & Manufacture 38 (1998) 10171030.
Fig. 11. Comparison of temperature at chucking cylinder bearings

It is found that the maximum temperature of 70C is

reached at the chucking cylinder, due to high pressure of the
oil used for holding the work rigidly.
The experiments were carried out on CNC lathe
under idle running and temperature at various sensible
positions on the headstock assembly is measured using PT100
sensors for the loadcycle. A finite element model for the
headstock assembly of a CNC lathe was built without much
structural simplification for the accuracy of the simulation
results. The temperature distribution of the same is obtained
by transient thermal analysis, using ANSYS. The temperature
rise of the assembly deflects the spindle nose away from the
tool center point. The maximum percentage error in
temperature predicted in rear bearing, front bearing and
chucking cylinder bearings are found to be 7.5%, 8.24% and
9% respectively. As the percentage of error lies in an
acceptable range the model would be used for the further
studies in determining the thermal deformation characteristics
and for compensations.

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