Industrial Turbine Heatsink Machining Solutions with WayKen’s Expertise

Explore WayKen employed CNC mill-turn machining to produce turbine heatsinks with complex thin-walled fins and fine holes, ensuring efficiency in low-volume production.

At a Glance of the Project

ProductCustom Turbine Heatsink
ChallengesMachining fine holes, fins with thin and uneven walls, perpendicularity and concentricity inspection
TechnologyCNC mill-turn machining
Quantity41 pcs
Lead Time15 Business days


Turbo, a fan in the engine of a car or aircraft, improves the performance of the engine by using exhaust gases to blow fuel vapors into the engine. It is popular in a wide range of applications and is one of the main components of aircraft engines, automotive engines, and underwater equipment engines.

Today we are going to introduce a case of turbine heatsink, let’s take a close look at the machining points and solutions of this project.

Considerations for Manufacturing Turbine Heatsink

The turbine has a lot of fins, which are very thin and have uneven wall thicknesses. Besides, there is also a fine hole in the middle that needs to be assembled with a bearing. Here are a few aspects to consider during making the turbine heatsink.

turbine heatsink structure

Material Selection

AL6061-T6 is an excellent machinability material with high strength and hardness. This turbine heatsink is used in industrial engines, it has a high requirement of hardness and strength as well as durability.

In addition, the turbine has a lot of complex structures, such as many fins with uneven wall thicknesses, fine holes, and small holes, which require a material with good machinability. Therefore, AL6061-T6 is an ideal material for manufacturing this turbine heatsink.

Processing Program of Low-volume Production

The turbine heatsink has structures with qty of 41 pieces, which is the low-volume machining. So it is necessary to find a reasonable machining program to improve the machining efficiency of low-volume production.

precision holes in the drawing

After a professional analysis by WayKen’s engineers, the most efficient machining solution was developed: CNC Mill-Turn Machining. The following are the reasons for adopting this processing technique:

  • The heatsink is distributed with many fins of uneven wall thicknesses. They have to be machined by CNC milling.
  • There are many large fine holes in the heatsink with tough concentricity tolerance between the holes. CNC turning can guarantee the accuracy and concentricity of these fine holes.
  • Therefore, for parts that require milling and turning, it is most cost-effective to use mill-turn machining.

Machining Fine and Small Holes

According to the assembly drawing, there is a hole with a 17mm diameter that needs to be precisely assembled with the bearing. In order to make the bearing rotate smoothly, the accuracy of the hole needs to be up to H7 grade. At the same time, there is a hole with 45mm diameter in the center of the turbine which is assembled with the shaft precisely, so the accuracy of this hole is also H7 grade.

When creating the fine holes, milling these holes will cause vibrations and then affect the accuracy of the holes. As a result, precision turning is the better method to keep the accuracy of these holes.

fine small holes in the drawing

In addition, there are still small holes that are too tiny to be machined by precision turning. As we can see in the drawings the turbine heatsink has several small fine holes with 2mm diameters. So, WayKen chose to a reamer of φ2 diameter to ream the fine and small holes.

Uneven Thin Wall Thickness

From the following picture, we can see that the thickness of these fins is 0.48-1.1mm, which is very thin and uneven. These fins of the turbine heatsinks are easy to be broken or deform when machining. Therefore, when programming for machining the fins, WayKen constantly adjusted and tried the parameters of the cutting tool path. After testing again and again, we found the most suitable parameter to produce the fins.

thin and uneven walls on the turbine

Inspection and Quality Control for Turbine Heatsink

In order for the turbine heatsink can be accurately assembled with other parts and rotated smoothly, we need to ensure the concentricity and the perpendicularity.

However, we can see that the inspection of concentricity and perpendicularity requires the cylindrical surface of φ90mm (green surface) as the datum surface A. The area of the datum surface is only 0.5mm wide which is very small. It is difficult to take points for inspection. Let’s check how WayKen solves this problem.

inspection challenges for custom turbine heatsink

Concentricity Inspection

For concentricity, we took the φ90mm narrow cylindrical surface as datum A to inspect the concentricity between datum A and the φ8mm(yellow surface) cylindrical surface.

Commonly, we inspect the concentricity by CMM to take accurate inspection data. However, according to the 3D CAD drawing, we can find that the width of datum A is 0.5mm. The smallest size of probe of CMM is 1mm which is larger than the datum. It is difficult to take the accurate inspection point.

Fortunately, we can also find that there is a gap under the datum. It allows the probe to pick up points around the datum smoothly. We just need to take point so carefully that the concentricity can be inspected.

concentricity inspection

Perpendicularity Inspection

For perpendicularity, we took the φ90mm narrow cylindrical surface as datum A to inspect the perpendicularity between datum A and the plane of a φ94(red surface) circle.

We needed to take accurate inspection data of the cylindrical surface to inspect perpendicularity. As mentioned above, we have inspected the concentricity by CMM. Then, we can take the complete data of the cylindrical surface by OMM. So the perpendicularity can be inspected accurately.

perdicularity inspection

FAI Confirmation and Production

We produced a set of FAI according to the processing program we planned, and after our inspection department carried out a detailed inspection of FAI to ensure that all the details met the requirements, we shipped the FAI to the customer for confirmation.

After receiving the FAI, the customer also carried out inspection and trial assembly immediately and was very satisfied with the FAI and our processing program for low volume. This turbine heatsink entered the formal low-volume production stage.

Get Start with WayKen

WayKen can provide efficient and high-quality manufacturing services for low-volume production. Our extensive manufacturing skills, experience, and ability to integrate resources can meet your low-volume manufacturing process demands. Welcome to share with your drawings and requirements, our team will provide you custom solutions for your parts!

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