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Tool Materials and

Non-traditional Machining Processes
Tool Materials
• Tool failure modes identify the important 
properties that a tool material should possess: 
– ‐ Toughness ‐ to avoid fracture failure
– ‐ Hot hardness ‐ ability to retain hardness at high 
temperatures 
– ‐ Wear resistance ‐ hardness is the most important 
property to resist abrasive wear
Cubic Boron Nitride
• Next to diamond, cubic boron nitride (cBN) is 
hardest material known
• Fabrication into cutting tool inserts same as 
SPD: coatings on WC‐Co inserts 
• Applications: machining steel and nickel‐based 
alloys 
• SPD and cBN tools are expensive
Range of Applicable Cutting Speeds and 
Feeds for a number of Tool Materials
.
Hot Hardness
Cutting Fluids
• Fluids address two major problems:
‐Heat generation at the shear zone
‐Friction at the tool‐chip interface and tool‐
work interface
Types : 
‐ Coolants (Oil‐water mixtures)
‐Lubricants (Special lubricants that involves 
formation of thin solid salt layers on the hot 
and clean material surface by reaction.
Cutting Fluids
• Cutting oil (petroleum,animal, vegetable 
mineral oils)
• Emulsified oils (Oil droplets suspended in water)
• Chemical fluids (Chemicals in water)
• Semi‐chemical fluids (Small amounts of 
emulsified oil added to increase lubrication
characteristics
NON‐CONVENTIONAL MACHINING
Why do we need it?
• Very high hardness/strength material
• Complex shapes or small diameter holes as in 
turbine blades and fuel injection nozzles
• Very rigorous surface finish and dimensional 
tolerance requirements
• Temperature and residual stresses in the 
work piece not desirable/acceptable
Turbine Blade Machining
Mechanical Energy Process
‐ Ultrasonic Machining (UM)
‐ Water (WJC) and Abrasive Jet Machining
Electrical Energy Processes
‐ Electrochemical Machining (ECM)
‐ Electrochemical Grinding (ECG)
Thermal Energy Processes
‐ Electric Discharge Process (EDM)
‐ Electron Beam Machining (EBM)
‐ Laser Beam Machining (LBM)
Chemical Process
‐Chemical Machining (CHM)
Non‐Conventional Machining
Ultrasonic Machining
Tool is excited at a frequency of 20,000 Hz with a magnetostrictive transducer.
Ultrasonic Machining
Magnetostriction
Water Jet or Abrasive Water Jet Machining
A fine (0.1 – 0.4 mm dia.), high pressure (400 MPa), high velocity ( 900 m/s)
stream of water is directed at the work surface to cause cutting.
Plastic, Textile, Composites, Tile, Carpet, Leather and Cardboard
Water Jet or Abrasive Water Jet Machining
Complex shapes can be machined using CNC WJC
Electrochemical Machining (ECM)
• Machining by passage of current, that is 
electrochemical dissolution. It is basically de‐
plating process.
• Generally used to machine complex cavities, 
particularly in the aerospace industry for the 
mass production of turbine blades, jet‐engine 
parts and nozzles
Electrochemical Machining (ECM)
Tool : Copper, Brass, Stainless steel
Electrolyte: NaCl solution, HCl, or H
2
SO
4
• Electrolyte pumped at very high flow rates to 
remove dissolved “metal ions” to prevent 
precipitation and “deposition” at cathode.
• DC voltage: 5 – 25 V; Current: 5 – 40000 A
Electrochemical Machining (ECM)
Top: Turbine blade made of a nickel alloy
(b) Thin slots on 4340‐steel roller‐bearing cage
(c) Integral airfoils on a compressor disk
4
3
1
2
5
Electrochemical Machining (ECM)
Electrochemical Machining set up at ME dept
Electric Discharge Machining (EDM)
• Basic EDM system consists of a shaped tool
and work piece connected to a DC power
supply.
• Tool: Usually graphite, Brass, Cu, Cu‐W;
Diameter can be as low as 0.1 mm
• Dielectric fluid (mineral oil, kerosene, distilled
and de‐ionized water) between tool and work
piece
• Apply high enough voltage to create spark
discharges through the fluid
• Small amount of material is removed from the
work piece surface
• Voltage: 50 – 380 V; Current: 0.1 – 500 A
• Discharge is repeated at rates between 50
and 500 kHz
Electric Discharge Machining (EDM)
Electric Discharge Machining (EDM)
23 . 1
T
KI
MRR =
EDM Wire Cutting
Uses
• Production of die cavities for for large 
automotive–body components
• Deep small diameter holes
• Narrow slots in turbine blades
EDM Wire Cutting
Laser Machining
Micro pattern machined
on a steel plate
200 micron holes on
Ti6Al4V alloy
Laser Micromachining
Process
Resolution
μm
Surface
Roughness μm
Side Effects
Mechanical 100 6.3-1.6 Burring, requires
polishing
EDM 100 4.75-1.6 Electrode wear, rough
finish, slow and unclean
process
Chemical
Etch
250 6.3-1.6 Undercutting
LIGA 5 1-2 Synchrotron source:
very expensive
Nd: YAG
Laser
50 1 Redeposition
Excimer
Laser
5 > 1 μm (nm
range)
Recast Layer, aspect
ratios
Ultrafast
Laser
< 1 nm range Higher power ranges
may require vacuum
environment
Laser Micromachining
Process
Parameters
Effect
Wavelength,
Focal length of lens
Feature size
Beam shape
(Gaussian/square
wave)
Feature shape
Beam energy,
Pulse width
Size of heat affected
zone
Depth of focus Aspect ratio
Vacuum or inert gas
environment
Amount of
redeposition, size of
recast layer
(a) Array of shots (b) Thru-hole drilled after 33 shots at a
pulse energy of 14μJ
Micromachining in 18μm Thick Aluminum Foil
Thru-holes Drilled in 25μm Thick
Brass Foil
56μJ /pulse 27μJ /pulse
Chemical Machining
• Oldest non‐traditional process.  Used to 
engrave metals and hard stones, and 
deburring
• More recently used in the production of 
printed‐circuit board and microprocessor 
chips
• Uses the concept of chemical dissolution of 
metals for machining
Chemical Machining
This is basically etching using strong chemical
Steps
• Cleaning
• Masking
• Etching
• Demasking
Various parts made by chemical machining
(L) Missile skin‐panel contoured by chemical machining
(R) Weight reduction of space launch vehicles by chemical machining
aluminium‐alloy plates
The best of the best guys from all over the country join IITK. Now in a
competitive grading system, though the class is consisted of the best guys there
must be some guys who will not do as good as the rest... does that mean they
are not up to... ?? Assume a class consisting of Einstein, Dirac, Feynman, S N
Bose , Lagrange.... you put them in a system like this.... some of them are
definitely going to get 'F' grade. Do the present grading system .. that mostly
measure how much better or how much poorer you are compared to your
neighbor in the class... is justified enough??