The analysis of machine tool chatter from frequency domain considerations is generally accepted as a valid representation of the regenerative chatter phenomenon. However, active control of regenerative chatter is still in its embryonic stage. It was established in reference [2] that a measurement of the cutting force could be effectively used in conjunction with a controller and a tool position servo system to increase the stability of an engine lathe and to improve its transient response. This paper presents the design basis for such a system, including both analytical and experimental considerations. The design procedure stems from a real part stability criterion based on the work by Merritt [1]. Because of the unknown variability in the dynamics of a machine tool system, the controller parameters were chosen to accomodate some mismatch between structure and tool servo dynamics. Experimental tests to determine the stability zone of the controlled machine tool system qualitatively confirmed the analytical design results. The experimental results were consistent in that the transient response tests confirmed the frequency domain stability tests. It was also demonstrated experimentally that the equivalent static stiffness of a flexible work-piece system could be substantially increased.

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