The self-excited vibrations due to the regenerative effect, commonly known as chatter, are one of the major problems in machining processes. They cause a reduction in the surface quality and in the life time of mechanical elements including cutting tools. Furthermore, the experimental investigations of chatter suppression techniques are difficult in a real machining environment, due to repeatability problems of hard to control parameters like tool wear or position dependent dynamic flexibility.
In this work, a mechatronic hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulator based on a flexible structure is proposed for dimensionless study of chatter in orthogonal cutting. Such system reproduces experimentally, on a simple linear mechanical structure in the laboratory, any stability situation which can be used to test and optimise active control devices. For this purpose, a dimension less formulation is adopted and the delay related to the phase lag of the actuator and the controller employed on the HIL is compensated.