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Lecture No-1
Manufacturing and Manufacturing Systems
Manufacturing covers wide areas of inputs, processes and products. It reaches out to the
demands in production for thousands of different varieties and types of goods. These
demands range from large ships to hand drilling equipment, and from micro circuits to
automobiles. The number and complexity of processes involved in the production of
these goods varies drastically. The extent of alterations involved in these processes form
the very basis for getting a birds eye view of the manufacturing activity. Some are
simple primary product and some are simply transformed products such as basic metallic
shapes, paint and utensils. The next are moderately transformed products such as wires,
rods, metal pipes and tubes, while others are elaborately transformed products such as
prefabricated metal shapes, wire products, glassware and ceramic products. The
mechanization and extent to which it is involved in the process of production gives
another view of manufacturing. Manufacturing covers a very wide range of situations

from robot controlled highly mechanized lines of production to some simple day

to day use equipments with mechanical activities.

Thus, manufacturing industries, today, encompasses a dimension scale of more than
fifteen orders of magnitudes. The design and manufacture of huge machinery, ship and
spacecrafts on one side while nano and pico technology on the other side of the
dimension scale, highlights the challenges ahead for engineers and technologists. With
the advancement of technology newer materials, energy sources, manufacturing
technology, decision-making and management techniques are being developed. These
unfold lot of opportunities for the scientific and academic fraternity. At the same time,
newer challenges in the form of environmental and other issues put stringent
requirements on the technology. Global competition, the thrust on quality and demand for
higher productivity are some of the challenges before the present industrial and
manufacturing units. To survive and to succeed further, the competitors have a unique

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option, which is understanding of the dynamic changes that are taking place in the
business environment. In view of the above, a nation should develop and update its
infrastructure, such that the new and advanced technology gets into hand in hand, with
the ongoing time.
What is manufacturing?
There are many ways and definitions available to explain the concept of
manufacturing. Some of these definitions are listed below:


The process of converting raw materials into finished products


Manufacturing is defined in the Macquarie Dictionary as the making of goods

or wares by manual labor and / or by the use of machinery, especially on a large


Manufacturing is a very broad activity, encompassing many functions

everything from purchasing to quality control of the final product


Chemical or Physical transformation of the materials, substances or

components into some new products


Manufacturing is a value addition activity to the raw materials, substances or



Manufacturing is a process through which products are made through various

production activities


Manufacturing may be considered as a system, wherein there is an integration of

people, equipment, policies and procedures to accomplish
the objectives of an organization i.e. production of the required product.


Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to make things for use or


Manufacturing is an application of different resources such as machinery and

people used for converting the materials into finished goods

Manufacturing System
In order to consider manufacturing, as a system; we need to look beyond the conversion of
raw materials and processes which lead to finished products. The understanding of the
manufacturing system as a whole helps in identifying, which process parameters and
functions of the organizations are important; this helps to make decisions about the
economical ways of producing the end products. There are several factors which are usually
considered in taking a final and relevant decision about the best way of producing the desired
end product. A manufacturing system can be considered as a simple input-output system at
the first stage as shown in Fig. 1.1.1
Fig. 1.1.1(Click here)
The input-output system does not provide the sufficient information about all the aspects of
manufacturing. Manufacturing involves more than just processing of raw materials. The
overall manufacturing system starts from the market or specifically from the customer
requirements and ends when the product reaches the hands of customers. The present day
trends also look beyond the delivery of the product to the customer i.e. after sale, services
offered by the organization. The basic model at Fig. 1.1.2 is further expanded to incorporate
most of the functions involved in an organization for the design, planning and manufacturing
of a product. The manufacturing system incorporating all the above aspects (holistic
approach) as shown in Fig. 1.1.2

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Customer feed back (Existing product) or

New Innovative idea (New Product)

Product Design
Translating the voice of customer into
Quality oriented design

Purchasing/ vendor management

Procuring the quality raw material and
Components in right quantity
Engineering and Manufacturing
Right planning of processing the raw materials and
Right selection of manufacturing processes
Financial, Material or

Reliability and Quality Checks

Inspection report of 100 % quality product

Field Service and Report of

Performance of the product

Feed back
Fig.1.1.2 Manufacturing System Boundary


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Lecture No-2
Facts Trends and Challenges in Manufacturing
Some Facts about Manufacturing
The proof of the following dates and products is available in literature related to

5000-4000 BC

Manufacturing started during 5000 4000 BC (Wood

work, ceramics, stones, metal works, earth wares)

2500 BC

Sculptures produced by lost wax casting, jewelry

Production, earth wares, glass beads

600-800 AD

Steel production

800-1200 AD

Sand casting of cast iron

1750 AD

Machine tools run by the power of steam engine, resulting

in growth of production and abundant availability of goods


Automation, mass production, interchangeable parts, diecasting and lost wax methods for engineering parts


Computers development, Ceramic mold, nodular iron,

semiconductors, continuous castings


NC, CNC machines, group technology, robotics and control,

CAD / CAM, adaptive controls etc, squeeze casting, single
crystal turbine blades, vacuum casting, organically bonded
sand, compacted graphite, automation of molding and
pouring, large aluminum castings for aircraft structures for
rapid solidification technology, advanced manufacturing
(advanced, casting, joining, machining, finishing processes)


Hybrid processes, micro-machining processes, nano

materials, hard machining, lean manufacturing, agile
manufacturing, etc

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Manufacturing Trends

In 1960s, the success of a manufacturing company depended on cost

In 1980s, the success of a manufacturing company depended on quality

Present day, the success of manufacturing company depends on cost, quality and lead
time (lead time is time between placing the order and receiving it, alternatively, it is
also known as time to market)

Manufacturing Challenges
The emerging economies, the social and political transitions taking place and the new
ways of doing business are changing the world dramatically. It is visualized through these
trends that manufacturing environment of the future would be extremely competitive and
significantly different from what it is today. In-order to remain successful in such an
environment, the manufacturers needs to be updated with the latest trends and should
possess dynamic capabilities, which need to be distinctly different. The main challenge
for the future entrepreneurs is the attainment of such capabilities, some of which are as
discussed below:
The ability to innovate ideas and to develop a creative environment for such innovations
in manufacturing

Development of effective and efficient training and education programs for the
manufacturing workforce, as more skilled workforce is required

The use and implementation of information technology in various areas of the

manufacturing industries and their sub-functions

Sustainability of small and medium scale enterprises to provide support to the large
scale manufacturing organizations

Focusing on clean and green manufacturing technologies, the environment and the
society issues. The responsibility for the production process thus goes hand-in-hand

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with responsibility for the final disposal of products i.e. recycling in line with
environmental policies.

Need of Advance Manufacturing Technology

Manufacturing is the basis for all economic activities and future growth of a country

At the beginning of 20th century, mass production using efficient machine tools
emerged in USA (Ford motors)

After the second world war, new / advanced manufacturing processes came into

Since 1950s, new technologies have been emerged computerized numerical control,
flexible manufacturing systems, lean manufacturing, green manufacturing, computer
integrated manufacturing are some of those.

Newer materials have been developed and their processing requires special machine
tools or special manufacturing process

Therefore, there is a vital need to have more efforts to continuously advance

manufacturing technology for a better-off and more stable future

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Lecture No-3
Manufacturing Aspects, Selection and Classification
Three Aspects of Manufacturing:
The three aspects of manufacturing and their linkages with each other have been
depicted in the figure 1.3.1 below:
Fig. 1.3.1 (Click here)

Design: Consumers Perspective

The product must be designed to meet the requirement of the end-customer. It must be
designed right the first time and every time and while designing all aspects of
customer expectations must be incorporated into the product.
Manufacturing: Manufacturers Perspective
The product must be manufactured exactly as designed. The activities involved at this
stage include: defect finding, defect prevention, defect analysis, and rectification. The
difficulties encountered at the manufacturing stage must be conveyed to the designers for
modification in design, if any. The two-way communication between design and
manufacturing can help to improve the quality of the product to a great extent, as
different issues such as practical difficulties, achievable tolerances and process
capabilities will be addressed.
Performance of the manufactured product
The product must function as per the expectations of the end customer. The two way
communication between designers and customer is the key to have a high quality product.
Manufacturing Process Selection Criteria

The following points need to be considered before the actual manufacturing of a


Material selection including and considering all the environmental and recycling

Selection of processing methods such as metal casting, metal forming, sheet metal
working, powder metallurgy, machining, joining, finishing etc.

Shape and appearance of the final product

Dimensional tolerance and surface finish aspects of the final product

Economics of tooling

Design requirements

Functional requirements of the product

Production quantity required

Safety and environmental concerns


Product design is the most important parameter amongst all the parameters of the
manufacturing system. As quality is imbibed at each stage in the product, if the product
has not been designed right at the first stage, no subsequent operation or steps can bring
back the quality into the product. Hence, the material and manufacturing process
selection and all associated concerns such as availability, environmental considerations,
recycling etc must be taken care of right at the product design and development stage. As
far as the manufacturing process is concerned, it must be economical and capable of
producing the geometric surfaces and other features which are embodied in the design of
the product.

Manufacturing Processes Classification

There are six basic / fundamental classifications of manufacturing processes.

Metal casting or Molding: expendable mold and permanent mold


Metal Forming and Shearing: rolling, forging, extrusion, drawing, sheet

forming, powder metallurgy









drilling, milling, planing, shaping, broaching, grinding, ultrasonic machining,

chemical machining, electrical discharge machining (EDM), Abrasive flow


machining (AFM), abrasive jet machining

(AJM), electrochemical

machining, high-energy beam machining,

laser beam machining (LBM) etc.

Joining: welding, brazing, soldering, diffusion bonding, adhesive bonding,

mechanical joining, plasma arc, plasma MIG, projection welding, ultrasonic,
electron beam welding, laser welding etc.


Finishing (painting, anti-corrosion coatings, etc.)


Rapid Manufacturing: stereo-lithography,





manufacturing, laser engineered net shaping

selective laser sintering, fused





Lecture No-4

Description and Taxonomy of the Manufacturing Processes

Metal Casting (Net Shape Processes)

Metal Casting is one of the oldest known method for shaping the materials. It involves
pouring molten metal into a mold having the required shaped cavity and then allowing it
to solidify. When solidified, the desired metal object is taken out from the mold either by
breaking it or taking the mold apart. The solidified object is called the casting. In this
process, intricate parts can be given strength and rigidity which is frequently not
obtainable by any other manufacturing process. The major metal casting processes are:

Sand casting

Permanent mold casting

Continuous casting

Die casting

Slush casting

Centrifugal casting

Evaporative-pattern casting

Lost wax casting

Shell molding

Vacuum sealed molding

Molding (Net Shape Processes)

Molding is generally used in plastics. A hollowed-out block in which liquid, plastic,
molten glass or some ceramic material is filled is called a mold. The filled in


hardens and gets set inside the mold, replicating its shape. In order to remove the
hardened substance, a release agent is used. There are about eight major



Hot compression molding

Transfer molding

Injection molding

Extrusion molding


Vacuum forming

Expandable bead molding

Blow Moulding

Metal Forming (Net Shape Processes)

Metal forming is a process which involves the shaping of materials in a solid form. It can
be defined as a bulk deformation process that induces change in shape under the applied
force. Metal forming is of two basic types; namely hot forming and cold forming. Hot
forming is performed by heating the metal above the re-crystalline temperature. Hot
forming reduces its yield stress, so that its shape can be easily changed / formed by
applying the force. Cold forming is performed by heating the metal below its recrystalline temperature. The major metal forming processes are as given below:

Smith Forging

Drop Forge

Press, Extrusion

Cold and Hot Rolling

Sheet Metal


Blanking, Shearing


Perforating, Nibbling


Explosive Forming

Material Removal Processes / Machining (Subtractive Processes)

Metal removal processes in which we remove the excess material to give the final shape
to the product, are often termed as secondary or machining processes. They are also
termed as finishing processes; which are done to give the required finish or tolerance to
the end product. This means that in both the cases i.e. either removal of material or
finishing of part, the product to be cut or finished is made by one of the other processes
described above. At instances, the product geometry is very complex, to be produced by
other processes. In such cases the basic shape of the product is produced using other
processes and the final shape is created by using some machining process. The major
metal removal / machining processes are as given below:

Milling, Turning, Drilling

Broaching, Shaping, Planning

Honing, Etching, Grinding

Finishing Processes

Abrasive Flow Machining

Abrasive Jet Machining

Water Jet Machining

Electro Discharge Machining (EDM)

Wire Cut EDM

Electro Chemical Machining (ECM)

Ultrasonic Machining/Drilling (USM / USD)

Electron Beam Machining (EBM)

Laser Beam Machining (LBM)

Electro Chemical Grinding (ECG)

Hybrid Processes

Joining (Additive Processes)

There are three basic methods of joining material together:

Joining using fasteners (rivets, screws, bolts and nuts etc.)


Joining by adding gluing material in-between the two components

(brazing, soldering)


Joining by fusing the material together with an aim to have the joint which
have same metallic properties of the parts to be joined (welding)

Out of the above three, the most popular method (though applications may bind us to use
other methods too) is welding. Welding is defined as the process of joining two similar or
dissimilar metallic/ material components through the application of heat. Filler metal can
be used and pressure may also be applied as per the necessity.

ARC welding,

GAS welding

Thermit welding

Soldering, Brazing

Submerged ARC welding

Plasma ARC welding

Plasma-MIG welding

Projection welding

Seam welding

Solid State; Ultrasonic,

Explosive welding: Friction welding

Electron beam welding

Laser welding

Rapid Manufacturing (Additive Processes)

Rapid manufacturing is an emerging additive fabrication technique. It is made use in

manufacturing mainly the solid objects. Using an additive approach by sequential
delivery of energy and/or materials, layer by layer the RM machines fabricate plastic,
wood, ceramic and metal powders to form physical objects. In-order to control the
process, computerized programs through mathematical modeling are made used in

The major rapid manufacturing processes are as given below:


Selective laser sintering

Fused deposition modeling

Three dimensional printing

Laminated object manufacturing

Laser engineered net shaping

Taxonomy of the Manufacturing Processes

The classification of the manufacturing processes descried above is summarized in Fig.
1.4.1. The processes which are relatively new and advanced have been shown below in a
different color/ shade. These processes and their details will be discussed in the following
Fig. 1.4.1 Taxonomy of the Manufacturing Processes (Click here)

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Lecture No-1
Need For Advanced Material Removal Processes and Abrasive Flow Machining
Advanced Material Removal Processes represent one of the technologies, which emerged
after the second world war to cope up with the demands of sophisticated, more durable
and cost competitive products. With the advent of new materials such as metal-matrix
composites, super-alloys, ceramics, aluminates and high performance polymers etc. and
the stringent requirements to machine complex geometrical shapes with high precision
and accuracy, a strong need existed for the development of advanced material removal
processes. The processes in this category differ from conventional processes in either
utilization of energy in an innovative way or, in using forms of energy that were unused
for the purpose of manufacturing. The conventional machining processes normally
involve the use of energy from electric motors, hydraulics, gravity, etc. and rely on the
physical contact between tools and work components. On the contrary, advanced material
removal processes utilize energy from sources such as electrochemical reactions, high
temperature plasma, high velocity jets and loose abrasives mixed in various carriers etc.
Although these processes were originally developed to handle unique problems in
aerospace industry (machining of very hard and tough alloys), today wide range of
industries have adopted this technology in numerous manufacturing operations.
Why are Advanced Machining / Material Removal Processes Needed?
With the advent of new materials and the requirements of complex features on them,
there was a necessity to develop new processes. Some of these features are:
1. Related to material properties:

High hardness

High strength

High brittleness

2. Related to workpiece structure:

Complex shapes

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Typical thin and delicate geometries

Parts which are difficult in fixturing

3. Related to requirements in high surface finish and tight tolerances.

4. Related to controlling of temperature rise and residual stresses.

Classification of Advanced Machining / Material Removal Processes:

These processes are referred to a typical group of advanced machining processes in
which the excess material is removed by non-traditional source of energy arising


electrical, mechanical, thermal or chemical source. Most of these processes dont use a sharp
cutting tool, as in the conventional case.
classified according to the

Advanced material removal processes are generally

type of energy used to remove material. The classification of these

based on the energy is given as below:

The processes based on use of Electrochemical Energy are:

Electro-Chemical Machining (ECM),

Electro-Chemical Grinding (ECG),

The processes based on the use of Thermal Energy are:

Electric- Discharge Machining (EDM),

Wire-Cut Electric Discharge Machining (WEDM)

Laser Beam Machining (LBM),

Electron Beam Machining (EBM).

The processes based on the use of Mechanical Energy are:

Abrasive Flow Machining (AFM)

Abrasive Jet Machining (AJM),

Water Jet Machining (WJM),

Abrasive Water Jet Machining

Ultrasonic Machining (USM),

Abrasive Flow Machining (AFM)

It is a process of polishing and smoothening internal surfaces and thereby producing

controlled radii. The abrasive media is flown across the surface to be super-finished
either in a single direction or two-way and this extrudes through the workpiece thereby
finishing and smoothening the surfaces. In case of one-way systems, the media is flown/
passed through the work piece and it returns from the other end. Whereas in a two-way
process, two vertically opposite hydraulic cylinders, push the abrasive mixed media to
and fro. This process was first patented by the Extrude Hone Corporation in 1970. The
process is particularly used in contours which are difficult to polish and such internal
passages, cavities, edges and bends.
The AFM process is widely used in a range of different finishing operations. At a given
time, it can process a number of parts or different areas of the same work piece. The areas
which are not accessible and such complex internal passages can also be very effectively
finished. The atomized AFM systems are capable of handling thousands of parts per day,
thereby considerably reducing the labor costs and eliminating tedious handwork. Through
proper knowledge and control of the process parameters, this process can be effectively
used for variety of super-finishing operations thereby achieving very uniform and precise
results. Practical applications of this process could be in any of the situations wherein the
media could be flown across.
Abrasive Flow Machining (AFM) Principle
In the AFM process, a semi-solid media is used which comprises of a carrier in the form
of a polymer base containing abrasive powders in a desired proportion, which is extruded
under the given pressure across the surface, which is to be machined. The media acts as a
flexible tool whenever it is

subjected to some restrictions due to the uneven surface.

The special deformable ability of media is responsible for its movement through any
shape of the passage. Restricted media flow passages are necessary at the surfaces to be
processed by AFM, wherein the media behaves somewhat like flexible grinding stone,
abrades the material, and provides a good surface finish over the surface. Generally, a
fixture is required to offer restriction or to direct and focus the media to desired locations
in the work piece. Fig. 3.1.1 illustrates the principle and basic operation of AFM process.

T clamping of work piece is made
betwee n the two media cylinnders, whichh are
ydraulically operated an
nd placed in
n opposite diirections. Loower media cylinder is filled
w required
d volume of abrasive
ladeen media

(refer Fig. 3.1.1 a.). The meddia is

hen extruded
d through the work piece into the uppper media cylinder (reffer Fig. 3.1.1 b.).
T procedurre is reverseed and the media
is fedd back throuugh the worrk piece intto the
ower cylindeer (refer Fig. 3.1.1 c.). A process cyccle is constittuted by com
mbination of these
p and down strokes.

T describe the
t process technology,
three elemeents namely the machinee, the mediaa, and
he tooling arre considereed very impo
ortant. The machine decides the exxtent of abraasion,
he media deetermines wh
hat kind of abrasion wiill occur annd the fixturre determinees the
xact location of abrasio
on. All macchines regarrdless of sizze are positiive displaceement

hydraulic systems, which force the abrasive laden media through the fixture work piece at
a selected pressure and flow rate. Standard units operate within 10 bar to 200 bars and
with flow rates up to 400 liters/min. AFM systems are essentially provided with controls
on hydraulic system pressure, clamping and unclamping of fixtures, volume flow rate of
media, and advance and retract of media pistons. The accessories such as automatic flow
timers, cycle counters, volumetric displacement systems, pressure and temperature
compensated flow control valves, media heat exchangers are integrated to conventional
AFM systems for production applications.
The most essential component of the process is the media, which is considered a
proprietary item by machine manufacturers. It consists of base material or carrier,
abrasive grains and proprietary additives. Most widely used carrier is a high viscosity
rheopetic fluid (at any constant rate of shear, its apparent viscosity increases with time to
some maximum value). The base material has enough degree of cohesion and tenacity to
drag the abrasive grains along with it through various passages/regions. Aluminum oxide
and silicon carbide are most suitable abrasives for many applications but boron carbide
and diamond are specifically used for special applications. Abrasive grain to base
material ratio can vary from 2 to 12. The additives are mainly used to modify the base
material properties to get desired flow-ability and rheological characteristics of the
media. Hydrocarbon gels are frequently used lubricants in the media. All additives are
carefully blended in predetermined quantities to obtain consistent formulations.
The primary function of a fixture is to hold the work piece in proper position
between two opposite cylinders and direct the media by restricting it to the areas to
worked during the process cycle. When necessary, the fixture can protect edges
from abrasion by acting as mechanical mask. Steel, urethane,
materials used for manufacturing fixtures. The fixture
very complex depending upon the work piece




and nylon are the main

design may be straight forward or


AFM Advantages

Inaccessible areas can be easily finished

The finishing rate is much faster than manual methods of finishing

The polishing and de-burring operations can be combined in one stage.

High surface finish with tight tolerances are possible

AFM Disadvantages

Costly Process: Requires high capital investment.

The cost of media is very high and is unusable after the process.

The work-holding fixture is at times expensive

Processing of blind holes is difficult.

AFM Applications
The process was initially developed for effective de-burring of hydraulic control blocks.
Later on, the field of applications got rapidly diversified into defense, medical and
manufacturing units. The inaccessible areas in components that are very difficult to finish
with traditional methods, can be easily finish machined by AFM process with up to 90 %
improvement in it with respect to the original accuracy. The typical applications of AFM
are in improving airfoil surfaces of compressor and turbine components, edge finishing of
holes and attachment features, improvement in fatigue strength of blades, disks, hubs and
shafts with uniform polishing on its edges. The adjustment of air flow resistance in
blades, vanes, combustion liners, nozzles and diffusers, finishing of fuel spray nozzles,
fuel control bodies, bearing components, reworking the components to remove coke and
carbon deposits and to improve its surface integrity.


Lecture No-2
Mechanism and Process Parameters in AFM
The mechanism of material removal in AFM is as follows:

Initially, the material is ploughed by the fine abrasives that come in contact with
the work material as they rub over the metal surface with high pressure. The
material flow occurs in the direction of motion of abrasive particles as well as in
lateral direction, resulting into the formation of lips.

2. At the lips, work hardening is noticed due to the rubbing action of the continuous
flowing abrasive particles which are also responsible for intense plastic flow with
considerable stress concentration.
3. The further flow of abrasive particle causes continued work hardening which
results in embrittlement and fragmentation of the lips into microchips.
AFM Process Parameters
The AFM Process Parameters are classified as given below:

Parameters controllable by the machine: extrusion pressure, flow volume, media flow
speed and number of process cycles.

Parameters controllable by the media: media viscosity, media rheology, abrasive type
(aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, boron carbide, diamond etc.), abrasive grain size,
shape and concentration.

Parameters controllable by the work piece configuration and tooling: type of passage
(cylindrical, rectangular or complex), cross sectional area, length of the passage,
initial surface roughness.

A Ishikawaa cause and
d effect diag
gram as shoownin Fig.33.2.1, identiifies the process
parameters affecting
thee quality off the machinned surfacess in AFM process. A brief
description off some impo
ortant processs parameterss of AFM is as follows:

Work piece

Flow Volume and
d Extrusion
n Pressure
are th
he dominant process paarameters coontrolling thhe amount oof abrasion by a
pecific mediia compositiion. With alll other factoors constantt, a greater vvolume of m
w cause mo
ore abrasion
n. If two passsages of diff
fferent cross--sectional arreas are giveen the
saame volumee of flow, thee smaller paassage will thherefore be abraded morre than the llarger
preessure stron
ngly affects the final foorce acting oon abrasive grains andd thus
siignificantly affects
the su
urface rough
hness of the machined paart.

Media Flow Rate

The literature on AFM strongly recommends that the affect of flow rate of media is not
Media Viscosity
Viscosity of media is the significant parameter affecting the quality of surface finish and
amount of material removal in AFM process. Media viscosity is affected by type of
abrasives, its concentration and size of grains. It is also strongly affected by the working
temperatures. In general, increase in temperature causes appreciable decrease in media
viscosity, which may result in settling of grains thereby influencing the flow properties
and overall abrasion process. Table 3.2.1 gives general guidelines to select viscosity of
media for various passageways with 2:1 length to width ratio.
Table 3.2.1 The Guidelines for Media Selection
Media Viscosity

size* (mm)











* Passage sizes are widths or diameters of the cavity and assume that the passage length
is two times the width.
Number of Cycles
The travel of media from lower cylinder to upper cylinder and then back to lower
cylinder is termed as a cycle. Several cycles are required to get a particular amount of
material removal and final surface finish on a component. Various researchers have
reported that the improvement in surface finish and required amount of material removal
occurs in some of the initial cycles and then it stabilizes.
Abrasive Grain Size and Its Concentration

Abrasive grain sizes range used in AFM varies from #500 grit (tiny hole applications) to
#8 grit (roughing and stock removal applications). Larger abrasives cut faster, while
smaller size gives better finish and can reach into complex and narrow passages.
AFM Process Capabilities
The surface finish improvement by AFM process is 10 times than that of the original
surface finish, provided the surface finish is in the range of 28-280 m. Holes diameter
must be at least 0.2 mm and dimensional tolerances achievable must be up to 0.005
Recent Developments in AFM Technology
Ultrasonic Flow Polishing
Ultrasonic Flow Polishing (UFP) is the combination of AFM and USM. In this process,
the abrasive/polymer mixture is pumped down the centre of the ultrasonically energized
tool. On its exit, the flow is constrained by the tool and the work piece, the mixture flows
radially relative to the axis of the tool. While it is constrained, the vibrating tool
ultrasonically energizes the mixture. The combination of flow and vibration results in the
effective abrasion of the workpiece surface. The process is reported to have the capacity
to produce micro/nano level finish on closed cavity surfaces without causing much
deterioration to its profile or dimensional accuracy. The improvement in surface finish of
upto 10:1 is been reported by this process. The Ultrasonic flow polishing process is very
much suitable for applications in machining blind cavities that are not easily polishable
by normal AFM.
Orbital AFM
Orbital AFM combines abrasive flow machining and orbital grinding. An additional
mechanical motion is given to the medium to enable it polish three dimensional forms
that are not possible with conventional AFM. The motion is typically a planetary
oscillation that creates relative displacement between tooling and the work piece. The
oscillations can be in the vertical or horizontal or combination of both the planes,
yielding an elliptical or gyratory polishing action. Orbital Polishing is made used in

polishing the edges and surfaces in complex shapes and cavities such as bottle molds,
coining dies and aluminum wheels along with high precision and accuracy.
Magneto Abrasive Flow Machining
Magneto Abrasive Flow machining process has been developed by providing a magnetic
assistance to the flowing abrasives. Through this additional assistance, modification of
the distribution pattern of abrasive particles near to the inner surface of the hollow work
piece has been observed. Therefore, more number of abrasive particles could take part in
the abrasion process. In addition, some of the axially flowing abrasive particles get
deflected and strike on the work piece surface a slight incidence angle. On an average,
20-30 % enhancement in the material removal rate along with considerable
improvements in the finish has been recorded depending upon the material of the work
piece particularly at low flow rates of the media.
Centrifugal Force Assisted AFM
A controlled rotation of a centrally placed rod in flow passage generates the centrifugal
forces in the flowing media. This force increases the media contact force to the work
piece as the media flows through the work piece cavity due to the extrusion pressure. It is
compounded upon by the centrifugal force. The combined effect of these two forces
improves the contact of the abrasive particles with the work piece surface. In this process,
a special type of nylon fixture is used to hold the work piece that is placed in between the
two media cylinders in-order to create an artificial dead zone and increase the pressure
required for extruding the media


Leccture No-3
Abrasive Jet Macchining (AJM
n abrasive jeet machining
g (AJM) maaterial removval occurs oon account oof impact off high
velocity air / gas stream
m of abrasiive particless on the woorkpiece. Thhe abrasives are
workpiece. A
As an outcom
me of
prropelled by a high veloccity gas to errode materiaal from the w
mpact of the abrasive particles
n the workppiece, tiny bbrittle fractuures occur aat the
urface of thee workpiece and the carrrier gas carriies away thee fractured frragments. AJJM is
allso called ass abrasive bllasting proceess. It is alsoo known by several other names suuch as
brasive micrro-blasting, pencil
blastiing and micrro-abrasive bblasting. AJJM is an effeective
for hard
and briittle materiaals such as glass, silicoon, tungstenn and
ceeramics. Typ
pically the process
is used for cuttiing intricatee shapes or fforms of speecific
dges. The prrocess is inh
herently freee from chattter, vibrationn and heat pproblems beccause
he tool neveer touches th
he substrate. The schem
matic of AJM
M process seet up is show
wn in
Figure 3.3.1


AJM process is a highly flexible process wherein the abrasive media is carried by
a flexible hose, which can reach out to some difficult areas and internal regions.
AJM process creates localized forces and generates lesser heat than the
conventional machining processes.
There is no damage to the workpiece surface and also the process does not have
tool-workpiece contact, hence lesser amount of heat is generated.
The power consumption in AJM process is low.


The material removal rate is low

The process is limited to brittle and hard materials
The wear rate of nozzle is very high
The process results in poor machining accuracy
The process can cause environmental pollution

Metal working:

De-burring of some critical zones in the machined parts.

Drilling and cutting of the thin and hardened metal sections.
Removing the machining marks, flaws, chrome and anodizing marks.


Cutting of the optical fibers without altering its wavelength.

Cutting, drilling and frosting precision optical lenses.
Cutting extremely thin sections of glass and intricate curved patterns.
Cutting and etching normally inaccessible areas and internal surfaces.
Cleaning and dressing the grinding wheels used for glass.


Cleaning the residues from diamond wheels, dressing wheels of any shape and
Principle of AJM

The principle of machining / cutting by abrasive jet process is explained through the
following steps:
1. Abrasive particles of size between 10 m to 50 m (depending upon the
requirement of either cutting or finishing of the workpiece) are accelerated in a
gas stream (commonly used gas stream is air at high atmospheric pressures).
2. The smaller abrasive particles are useful for finishing and bigger are used for
cutting operations.
3. The abrasive particles are directed through the nozzle, towards the workpiece
surface where-ever cutting or finishing is to be done. The distance between the tip
of the nozzle and the work surface is normally within 1 mm.
4. As the abrasive particles impact the surface of the workpiece, it causes a small
fracture at the surface of the workpiece. The material erosion occurs by the
chipping action.
5. The erosion of material by chipping action is convenient in those materials that
are hard and brittle.
6. As the particles impact the surface of workpiece, it causes a small fracture and
wear, which is carried away by the gas along with the abrasive particles.
7. The abrasive particles once used, cannot be re-used as its shape changes partially
and the workpiece material is also clogged with the abrasive particles during
impingement and subsequent flushing by the carrier gas.


Lecture No-4
Components and Process Parameters in Abrasive Jet Machining
Abrasive jet cutting machines are used in cutting sheet materials or in removing materials
from the surface by generating a focused stream of fluid mixed with the abrasive
particles. They make use of compressed air as the driving fluid in-order to propel the
abrasive particles. Abrasive jet cutting machines are available as complete systems with
all of the components required for blasting or jet machining applications such as pressure
generation / intensification, cabinets, nozzles or wheels and dust collectors. They are
sometimes purchased in component-form to either build a complete customized system or
to replace the worn out parts from an existing system. Abrasive jet cutting machines
includes the following types of devices:

Gas propulsion device

Nozzle for delivery of abrasive mix
Abrasive Collection device

The gas propulsion system provides the supply of clean, dry gas or air to propel the
abrasives particles to the workpiece. In this system care must be taken to have the filters
attached in so that moisture content or any oil or grease contents can be filtered out at the
first stage itself. Also, in this system there must be some arrangement to regulate the flow
of air or gas and the mixture of abrasive particles. The vibrating system is generally
attached to the system so that the abrasive is properly and uniformly mixed with the gas
or air stream. The nozzle used to deliver the mixture at the workpiece should be
manufactured from such materials which can withstand the erosive action of the abrasive
particles and should be wear resistant. The size of the nozzle opening depends upon the
flow rate requirement of abrasive mix on the surface of the workpiece. The abrasive dust
collection system is essential for the safety of the operator. Vacuum based dust collector
system is the most preferred choice. A typical nozzle used in the AJM machines is as
shown in Figure 3.4.1.

ameters of AJM
T process parameters in AJM caan be groupped into thee followingg categories.. The
Isshikawa cause and effecct diagram ass shown in ffigure 3.4.2,, depicts the effect of vaarious
prrocess param
meters on the
t accuracy
y and qualitty of the m
machining operations byy the
brasive jet machine.
1. The Abrasive:
pes, composiition, strengtth, size, masss flow rate
2. The Gas:
G composiition, pressu
ure and veloccity
3. The nozzle:
metry, material, stand-offf distance (S
SOD), feed raate, inclinatiion to
4. The workpiece:
of materrial
T selection
n of abrasivee particles to
t be used iin AJM deppends upon tthe type of work
and type of machining
peration whhich needs tto be carrieed out. Diffferent
perations succh as finishiing, roughinng require diifferent typees of abrasivve for
operations. Comm
monly used abrasive forr cutting innclude alum
minum oxidee and
siilicon carbid
de. In cleanin
ng, etching and polishinng operationns glass beaads and dolom
arre recommen
nded. The siize of the ab
brasive partiicles also plaays an impoortant role inn type
of machining
g operations of AJM. Coarse
grainn particles aare recommeended for cuutting

perations while fine graains are recommended for finishing or polishiing operations as
hown in tablle-3.4.1
in AFM
Graiin Size
Aluminum Oxide or
10 30
0 micron C
Cutting, groooving
Silicon Carrbide
Dolomite and
a glass beaads 5- 10 microns
Etching, polisshing and deeburring
T gas used
d in the AJJM process must be noon-toxic. It should be ccheap and eeasily
vailable. Co
ommon typess of gas useed in AJM aapplications are air, nitroogen and caarbon.
T recommeended velociity of gas ab
brasive mixtuure ranges bbetween 1000 m/sec to 3000 m/
seec depending
g upon the cutting or fin
nishing operaation.
T velocity of gas abrassive mixturee is a functioon of nozzle design, nozzzle pressuree, and
brasive partiicle size. Sttand-off distance (SOD)) is a very iimportant paarameter. SO
OD is
defined as th
he distance between
the tip of nozzzle and the w
work surface. The largeer the
SOD the poorrer is the quality and acccuracy of thee cut. The efffect of SOD
D on the accuuracy
of the cut is shown in Fig


Lecture No-5
Water Jet and Abrasive Water Jet Machining (WJM and AWJM)
In this process a water jet cutter is used, which acts as a tool in the form of a water-saw.
This water-jet at a high velocity and pressure is able to slice materials and some metals
using some abrasive particles mixed in it. This process resembles the water erosion
phenomenon existing in nature whereas herein it is greatly accelerated and further
concentrated. Some examples of this process are in fabrication and in manufacturing of
machinery parts and some other devices. As most of the metal cutting techniques
generate high heat-affected zones, this method being environmental friendly is more
preferred. There are diverse applications of this process ranging from mining industries to
the aerospace industries, wherein primarily it is used for cutting, carving and shaping
Water Jet Machining and Abrasive Water Jet Machining have potential for cost reduction
and speeding up the process through considerable reduction in secondary processes of
machining. The cut edges are clean with fewer burrs as there is no heat application. In
this process the subsequent problems faced in other processes such as crystallization,
edge defects, hardening, reduction in weldability and machinability are considerably
The term water jet is made used for describing equipment which uses a high pressure
water stream for cleaning and cutting applications. In some applications no abrasives are
used, therein the process is termed as Pure-Water Jet machining. The block diagram of
water jet machine is schematically shown in Fig. 3.5.1 along with a typical pure water jet
machining nozzle in Fig. 3.5.2
Abrasive Water Jet Machining (AWJM) is a subcategory of water jet machining in which
abrasive is introduced in the water to accelerate the process. In AWJM processes, which
is considered as an extension of water jet cutting, abrasive particles such as aluminium
oxide or silicon carbide are added, which increases the material removal rate further. The
abrasive water jet cutting process is suitable for machining different types of materials
ranging from hard, brittle ceramics and glass to soft metals such as rubber and foam.
The abrasives are separately mixed in the nozzle with the water-stream, making it distinct
from water jet machining process.


The process traces back to 1950s, when an early form of water jet cutter was made used
in forests for lumber cuttings. It took around 20 more years for the technology to
advance, after which in 1970s the abrasive water jet machining was introduced.
Nowadays the process has matured and has changed the manufacturing methods of many
products. It is further available in variety of different modes such as plain water jets,
abrasive water jets, cavitation jets, percussive water jets and hybrid water jets.
The aviation and space industries were first to adopt this technology for cutting high
strength metals such as stainless steel, titanium and inconel along with some light weight
composite materials which were used in military aircrafts and later on in commercial
The chronological evolution of WJM is as given below:

Usage/ applications


Used in mining industries for removing stone and coal

Necessity arose in aerospace industries for cutting advanced materials.
The earliest attempt was made in aerospace applications for advanced
composites using Water Jet Process.
The first commercial AWJ machines were started



Lecture No-6
Theory, Advantages and Applications of Water Jet and Abrasive Jet Machining
The theory of water jet and abrasive jet machining can be described as follows:

Water is forced at a sufficiently high pressure, 180-420 MPa through a small

orifice in a nozzle (generally of 0.2- 0.4 mm diameter), causing high acceleration
of water.


The potential energy of water gets further converted into kinetic energy which
yields a very high jet velocity of around 1000 m/s.


The steam impact and high pressure of the accelerating water particles develop
fine cracks on the material.


These fine cracks propagate further under the impact of high pressure and
abrasives to the extent that the material gets cut.


The extended version of WJM is AWJM. In AWJM process the particles of

abrasives such as sand (SiO2) or beads of glass are added in the water jet in-order
to enhance its ability of cutting by many folds.


The AWJM are mainly of two types entrained and suspended type. In the
entrained type of AWJM, the particles are allowed to draw in the water jet
thereby forming an enhanced abrasive water jet with significantly higher
velocities of around 800 m/s. Almost any material can be machined at such a high
velocity of the abrasive jet.

Advantages of WJM and AWJM

In cases where the excessive heat generated can cause changes in the material
properties, AWJM and WJM are very useful processes for hard metals like cutting
tool steels.

The water jet cutting process does not produce any dust or such particles which
are harmful if inhaled like in the case of machining and grinding operations.

No further secondary or finishing operations are required in most cases.

In AWJM process, the cutting forces generated on work pieces are typically low.

The tooling requirements are limited

Typical surface finish achieved is in the range of 125-250 microns Ra.

The material wastages are reduced due to smaller kerf sizes.

There is no heat affected zone.

There is no cutter induced metallic contamination

Eliminates thermal distortion

There is no tool re-sharpening cost

It can cut metals, plastics, stones, composites, glass, ceramics and rubber

Disadvantages of WJM and AWJM

Cannot cut materials which degrades quickly with moisture

Higher cutting speeds are frequently used for rough cutting purposes which
degrade the surface finish.

There is a strong possibility of cracking in brittle materials and only few varieties
of materials could be cut economically.

With WJM process, thick parts cannot be cut accurately and economically.

In thicker materials the taper generated is also a problem.

The equipment used are quite expensive

There are safely concerns due to noise and high pressures

Applications of WJM and AWJM

The Water Jet Cutting (WJC) process is mainly made used in cutting low strength
materials like plastics, wood and aluminium. With the addition of abrasives, the AWJM
process can be used for stronger materials like tool steels.
The major components of Jet equipment (WJ or AWJ) are:




Control System

A pump is used to create pressure in the liquid in the range of 1500-4000 bars. In
achieving this purpose, an electric motor of 50-100 HP rating is used. Nozzles are used to
convert the high pressure liquid to a high velocity jet. As there is a possibility of erosion
in the orifice of the nozzle due to the high pressure of liquid in WJM and that of abrasives
in AWJM, a high wear resistant material is used for nozzles. Control system in the
equipment helps in optimum settings for various parameters.
Process Parameters
The process parameters of WJM and AWJM have been grouped in the categories as
shown in the Ishikawa cause and effect diagram (Fig.3.6.1). This depicts the effect of
various parameters affecting the accuracy and quality of the machining operations by
water jet and abrasive water jet machines.
1. Hydraulic parameters: Size of the orifice and required pressures.
2. Abrasive Used: Type; Grit size and the flow rate required
3. Target material: Composition of workpiece and mechanical properties such as
hardness etc.
4. Mixing: Inlet angle; tube length, bore diameter;
5. Cutting: Angle of Attack; Stand of Distance (SOD); Traverse Speed


Lecture No-7

Ultrasonic Machining Process (USM)

Ultrasonic machining (USM) is a mechanical material removal process. It is used to
erode material in the form of fine holes and cavities in hard or brittle workpiece through
the use of formed tools, vibrations of high frequency along with the use of a suitable
abrasive slurry-mix.
The Ultrasonic Machining (USM) process is suitable for machining brittle materials such
as glass, ceramics and semiconductors for increasingly complex operations to provide
intricate shapes and workpiece profiles. The USM is a non-thermal and non-chemical
process which creates no change in the chemical, physical or metallurgical properties of
the workpiece. It is therefore being widely used in the manufacturing of hard and brittle
materials which are normally unfeasible to machine by the traditional methods.
The cutting is actually performed by the abrasive particles which are suspended in the
slurry (fluid). Ultrasonic machining accomplishes the material removal through the
abrading action of the grit-loaded slurry which circulates between the tool and the
workpiece. Small amplitudes and high frequency of vibrations are given to the tool,
typically in the range of 1020 m at 2040 kHz. The hard abrasive particles in the slurry
are accelerated towards the workpiece surface by the oscillating action of the tool through repeated abrasions, the tool further machines a cavity of cross section identical to
its own. The material removal takes place is the form of fine grains by shear deformation.
Different mechanisms could be attributed to this material process such as brittle
fracturing of the work material, impact action of abrasives, cavitation and chemical
reaction due to the slurry. The workpiece shape and dimensional accuracy is directly
dependent on the geometry of the tool. The schematic of ultrasonic material removal
process is shown in figure 3.7.1 and the schematic of ultrasonic machine in figure 3.7.2.

al Developm
ment of USM

The historical development of Ultrasonic Machining (USM) started through the research works
in 1927. During investigating the ultrasonic grinding of abrasive powders, it was found that the
surface of a container which was holding the suspended abrasives disintegrated as soon as the tip
of an ultrasonically vibrating transducer was placed close to it. Interestingly, the shape of the
cavity, thus produced accurately reproduced the tip of the transducer. In the early 1950s
industries started realizing its benefits and the production of ultrasonic machines began
thereafter. A wide range of brittle materials, including glass, ceramics and diamond can be
effectively machined through this process.
USM Process

The USM process is performed using a desirable tool along-with abrasives slurry as a
media. The cutting tool oscillates at high frequencies (typically 20-40 kHz)

The shape of tool corresponds to the shape requirements in the workpiece.

The abrasive grains are driven by the high speed reciprocations across the small gap, inbetween the tool and the workpiece.

Uniform force is used to gradually feed the tool.

The impact of abrasives is the energy source which is mainly responsible in removal of
material, through the form of small wear particles which are carried away by the abrasive
Due to the abrasive action of particles, gradually wear of the tool occurs, thereby requiring the
tool to be made of tough materials.
Mechanism of Material Removal
Although the USM process is commercially used since many decades the exact details of
mechanism leading to the removal of fine materials is still to be understood. The research
works done till date in understanding the process parameters have thrown light on some
possible mechanisms. Through the investigations and the corresponding literatures, the main
mechanisms responsible for the material removal in USM are as listed below:

Mechanical abrasion: Occurs due to the hammering effect of abrasive particles on work
piece through the tool.

Impact: The freely moving particles impact with a certain velocity on the work piece
resulting in micro chipping.

Erosion: Due to cavitation effect of the abrasive slurry, erosion of the work surface occurs.

Chemical: Due to fluid employed, chemical effect can come into consideration.

It has been reported in the literature that among the above mentioned mechanisms, the first two
are primarily responsible for major stock removal. The literature reveals that erosion plays a
lesser role in the removal of material for normal materials, however for the porous materials; it
is observed that erosion due to cavitations is a significant factor.
Advantages of USM

In USM process, there are no physical, chemical or thermal changes. The

microstructures reveal that there are also no structural changes as the stresses induced
are too less. The cutting forces being low, workpiece is unstressed, undistorted and free
from heat effects.

There is no direct contact of the tool and workpiece due to the slurry used, it makes it a
wet cutting process. The surfaces produced are free from stress and damages.

The process is free from burrs and distortions.

The process is suitable for any materials, irrespective of electrical conductivity

The process is very much suitable for machining brittle materials

The process offers good surface finish and structural integrity.

Disadvantages / Limitations of USM

Soft materials like lead and plastics are not suitable for machining by the USM process,
since they tend to absorb the abrasive particles rather than to chip under their impact.

The USM process consumes higher power and has lower material-removal rates
compared to traditional fabrication processes.

The tool wear rate in USM process is fast.

The areas of machining and higher depths are the constraints in USM.

As the USM process continuous, the lateral wear of the tool increases gradually and it
tends to make the holes tapered. The sharp corners of the tool get rounded off thereby
requiring tool replacement essential for producing accurate blind holes.

The accuracy of the machined surface gets lost due to setting up of strong lateral
vibrations. This occurs if the axis of the tool and horn, which are brazed together, are not
properly aligned with the transducer axis. In such a case, the tool needs to be redesigned.

The holes produced in USM have a tendency to break out at the bottom owing to the
static load and high amplitudes.

While producing deeper holes through USM method, there is ineffective slurry
circulation leading to presence of a fewer active grains under the tool face. Due to this,
the bottom surfaces of blind holes tend to become slightly concave.

Applications of USM

USM process is used in machining hard and brittle metallic alloys, semiconductors, glass,
ceramics, carbides etc.

In machining of advanced ceramics for applications in auto-engine components.

In machining, wire drawing, punching or blanking of small dies

Machining ceramic substrates for drilling holes in borosilicate glass for the sensors used
in electronic industries

Drilling small holes in helicopter power transmission shafts and gears.


Lecture No-8
Ultrasonic Machine and its Process Parameters
The basic ultrasonic equipment consists of the following elements:

A generator for high frequency oscillations (Ultrasonic generator)

An acoustic head consisting of transducer and trunk (shank)

Tool and abrasive slurry elements

The High Frequency Oscillating Current (OC) Generator

The purpose of the OC generator is to produce high frequency oscillating currents. This
generator transmits electrical power to the transducer which creates energy impulses in
the ultrasonic range i.e. 18-20 KHz and converts them into mechanical vibrations. The
primary function of the transducer is to convert electrical impulses into vertical and twodimensional strokes.
The Acoustic Head
This is the heart of the whole equipment and consists of two parts,
(a) The transducer, which converts the high frequency output of the


into linear vibrations and

(b) The trunk, which mechanically amplifies the linear vibrations.
Ultrasonic transducer
The ultrasonic vibrations are produced by a transducer that is driven by the signal
generator which gets further powered by an amplifier. The USM transducer works on the
following principle:

Piezo-electric effect

Magneto-strictive effect

Electro-strictive effect

The function of ultrasonic transducer is to converts high frequency electrical impulses


the oscillator into mechanical vibrations. The periodicity of these vibrations

periodically shortens and lengthens. For low power applications piezo-electric

transducers are used, whereas for high power applications magneto-strictive transducers
are commonly used.
The trunk
It is a critical link in the ultrasonic machining system. It is known by several names such
as shank, horn, concentrator and amplifier. The trunk amplifies and focuses vibrations of
the transducer to the required intensity necessary enough for driving the tool. The
increase in amplitude of vibrations at the tool end is obtained by reducing the cross
section of the trunk.
The Tool
The tool is designed to provide the maximum amplitude of vibration at the free end. The
selection of tool material is very important as the tool tip is subjected to vibration and it
must not fail due to wear. The commonly used tool materials are brass, high speed steel,
mild-steel, silver, stainless steel, tungsten carbide and monel. The tool is attached to the
trunk (horn) by silver brazing or by hard soldering. At times it is fastened (screwed) with
the trunk.

The Abrasive Slurry

The recommended slurry to be used in this process is a mixture of abrasive particles and
liquid (water or kerosene). The slurry is pumped across the tool face. Slurry pump is a
part of the machine-system. The properties required from the transport medium of
abrasives include low viscosity, good wetting and high thermal conductivity. Water is a
recommended medium for abrasive transportation which generally meets most of the
process requirement.

Process Parameters in USM

The determination of accurate process parameters which affect performance of ultrasonic
machining is hard to determine as it works under multiple factors. The geometry and
material properties of the work piece and tool make the system further complex to
ascertain its performance characteristics. However, the performance of ultrasonic
machining, to some extent is decided by the machining rate, machining accuracy, surface
finish and tool wear. The process parameters which can affect the performance of USM
are arranged into the following four major groups. In order to identify the process
parameters in USM affecting the qualities of the machined surface, an Ishikawa cause
effect diagram as shown in Fig. 3.8.1 is constructed.
Machine Parameters
These are those parameters which can be set on the machine. They include frequency and
amplitude of the ultrasonic vibrations, the static load, work piece rotation and tool-head
Abrasive Slurry Characteristics
The type and size of the abrasives particles, its hardness, type of the fluid used as a
carrier to form the abrasive slurry and the concentration of abrasive particles in the slurry.
Work piece properties
The hardness, fracture characteristics, strength, work hardening tendency and fatigue
properties of the work material also affect the process performance.

Tool Material Properties and Tool Geometry

The shape of the tool (solid or hollow), mechanical properties of the material used in
tool-making are some of the other parameters that may affect the USM process

asonic Mach
hining (RUM
Iff the ultrasonic machining equipm
ment possessses a rotar
ary movemeent either aat the
ultrasonic heaad or at the worktable
or drilling, m
milling, and th
threading operations, theen it
is termed
d as Rotary Ultrasonic
UM). In rotary
ry ultrasonic
combinattion of rotatiional motion
n and axial vibrations
(off tool)



rreduce frictiion betweenn the

tool and the

t work pieece material,, provides un
niform tool wear, a higgh degree of hole rounddness
and rapid
d removal off material fro
om the cuttting zone.


Lecture No-9

Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)

It is an advanced machining process primarily used for hard and difficult metals which
are difficult to machine with the traditional techniques. Only electrically conducting
materials are machined by this process. The EDM process is best suited for making
intricate cavities and contours which would be difficult to produce with normal machines
like grinders, end-mills or other cutting tools. Metals such as hardened tool-steels,
carbides, titanium, inconel and kovar are easily machined through EDM.
EDM is a thermal process which makes use of spark discharges to erode the material
from workpiece surface. The cavity formed in EDM is a replica of the tool shape used as
the erosions occur in the confined area. Since spark discharges occur in EDM, it is also
called as "spark machining". The material removal takes place in EDM through a rapid
series of electrical discharges. These discharges pass between the electrode and the
workpiece being machined. The fine chips of material removed from the workpiece gets
flushed away by the continuous flowing di-electric fluid. The repetitive discharge creates
a set of successively deeper craters in the work piece until the final shape is produced.
In 1770, Joseph Priestly a british scientist first discovered the erosive effects of electrical
discharges. In 1943, soviet scientists B. Lazarenko and N. Lazarenko had exploited the
destructive effect of an electrical discharge and developed a controlled process for
machining materials that are conductors of electricity.

EDM Principle

T schematiic of the bassic EDM pro
ocess is illuustrated in Fiig. 3.9.1. In this processs, the
nd tool are submerged
d into a nonn-conductinng, dielectricc fluid which is
seeparated by a small gap (for sparkin
ng). The diellectric fluid insulates thee workpiece from
he tool and
d creates thee resistancee of electriccity flow bbetween the electrodes. The
dielectric fluiid may be ty
ypical hydrocarbon oil (kkerosene oill) or de-ionizzed water. Itt also
helps in cooling down th
he tool and workpiece,
cclears the innter-electrodde gap (IEG)), and
oncentrates the
t spark energy to a sm
mall cross secctional area uunder the eleectrode.

A the two electrodes
ome closer to
t one anothher, the elecctric field inntensity incrreases
beyond the sttrength of th
he dielectric enabling it tto break andd thereby allow the curreent to
fllow between
n the two ellectrodes. Ass a result off this effect,, intense heaat gets geneerated
near the zonee, which mellts and evapo
orates the m
material in thhe sparking zzone. As the flow
y stopped, so
ome fresh diielectric liquuid particles come in possition
of current is momentarily
between the inter-electro
de gap whicch restores thhe insulatingg properties of the dieleectric.
T solid parrticles (debriis) are carrieed away by tthe flowing dielectric. F
Flushing refe
fers to
he addition of
o new liquiid dielectric to the interr-electrode vvolume. A cclose view oof the
processs is shown in
i Fig. 3.9.2
2. The sparkks occur at sspots where the tool annd the
urfaces are th
he closest and since the sspots changee after each sspark (becauuse of

he material removal
after each spark
k), the spark travels all oover the surffaces. This reesults
n uniform removal of material,
heence exact sshape get reeproduced oon the workkpiece

T major ad
dvantages of the process are:

Any materials
thaat are electriccally conducctive can be m
machined byy EDM.

Materrials, regardlless of their hardness,

strrength, toughhness and m
microstructurre can
be eassily machineed / cut by ED
DM processs

The to
ool (electrod
de) and work
kpiece are freee from cuttiing forces

Edge machining and

a sharp corners are posssible in ED
DM process

The tool making is easier as it can be made from

m softer andd easily form
materials like copper, brass an
nd graphite.

The process produ

uces good su
urface finish, accuracy annd repeatabiility.

Hardeened work-p
pieces can allso be machhined since tthe deformaation caused by it
does not
n affect thee final dimen

EDM is a burr freee process.

Hard die materials with complicated shapes can be easily finished with good
surface finish and accuracy through EDM process.

Due to the presence of dielectric fluid, there is very little heating of the bulk

Limitations of EDM

Material removal rates are low, making the process economical only for very hard
and difficult to machine materials.

Re-cast layers and micro-cracks are inherent features of the EDM process, thereby
making the surface quality poor.

The EDM process is not suitable for non-conductors.

Rapid electrode wear makes the process more costly.

The surfaces produced by EDM generally have a matt type appearance, requiring
further polishing to attain a glossy finish.

Applications of EDM

Hardened steel dies, stamping tools, wire drawing and extrusion dies, header dies,
forging dies, intricate mould cavities and such parts are made by the EDM

The process is widely used for machining of exotic materials that are used in
aerospace and automatic industries.

EDM being a non-contact type of machining process, it is very well suited for
making fragile parts which cannot take the stress of machining. The parts that fit
such profiles include washing machine agitators; electronic components, printer
parts and difficult to machine features such as the honeycomb shapes.

Deep cavities, slots and ribs can be easily made by EDM as the cutting forces are
less and longer electrodes can be used to make such collets, jet engine blade slots,
mould cooling slots etc.

Micro-EDM process can successfully produce micro-pins, micro-nozzles and


Mechanism of Material Removal in EDM

In EDM, for a particular machining condition there are numerous phenomena involved,
i.e., heat conduction and radiation, phase changes, electrical forces, bubble formation and
collapse, rapid solidification etc. Thermo-electric phenomenon is the most appropriate
theory for the explanation of the electrical discharge machining process. The removal of
material in EDM is associated with the erosive effects produced when discrete and spatial
discharge occurs between the tool and workpiece electrodes. Short duration sparks are
generated between these two electrodes. The generator releases electrical energy, which
is responsible for melting a small quantity of material from both the electrodes. At the
end of the pulse duration, a pause time begins. The forces that may be of electric,
hydrodynamic and thermodynamic in nature remove the melted pools. The material
removal process by a single spark is as follows:

An intense electric field develops in the gap between electrode and workpiece.

There are some contaminants inside the dielectric fluid which build a highconductivity bridge between the electrode and workpiece.

When the voltage increases, the bridge and dielectric fluid between the electrode and
workpiece heat up. The dielectric is ionized to form a spark channel. The temperature
and pressure rapidly increase and a spark is generated. A small amount of material is
evaporated on the electrode and workpiece at the spark contact point.

Bubbles rapidly expand and explode during sparking until the voltage is turned off.
Next the heating channel collapses and the dielectric fluid enters into the gap in-order
to flush away the molten metal particles.

The material removal rate depends on the following factors:

Peak amperage or intensity of the spark

Length of the ON time

OFF time influences the speed and stability

Duty cycle: percentage of on-time relative to total cycle time

Gap distance: Smaller the gap better is the accuracy and slower is the material
removal rate.

Thee material reemoval phenomena in ED

DM are show
wn schematiically in the Fig. 3.9.3

of EDM
M Processees
1. Die Siinker EDM
2. Wire Cut
3. Powder Mixed ED


Leccture No-10
Diee-Sinker ED
DM and its S
EDM is know
wn by differeent names suuch as Ram
m EDM, sinkker EDM, veertical
and plu
unge EDM. The processs is generallly used for producing bblind cavitiees. In
die-sinker ED
DM, the elecctrode and workpiece
aree submergedd in an insullating liquidd such
ass oil or otheer dielectric fluids. The electrode annd workpiece are conneccted to a suiitable
power supply
y. An electriical potentiaal is generatted betweenn the tool annd the workkpiece
hrough the power
supplly. As the ellectrode appproaches woorkpiece, thee dielectric bbreak
down starts taaking place in
i the fluid. Due to this activity, a pplasma channnel starts forrming
nd sparks jum
mp from thee electrode to
o the workpiiece leading to material rremoval from
m the
T principlee of die-sinking EDM iss shown in F
Fig. 3.10.1 aand the schem
of die-sinker EDM process is shown in Fig. 3.10..2
T main com
mponents of Die-sinker EDM

Powerr supply.

Dielecctric system..


Servo system.

T power su
upply provid
des a series of
o DC electriical dischargges and contrrols:


Pulse voltage

Pulse duration

Duty cycle

Electrrode polarity

Pulse frequency

nd its Circullation System
T dielectric fluids useed in EDM operations
aare of differrent types. T
The most poopular
uids are hydrrocarbon oill (kerosene in particularr). The otheer fluids useed are
trransformer oil,
o paraffin oil; silicon based oil, oor de-ionized water. Thhe selection of an
uid dependss upon its vvarious chem
mical and ffluidic properties
(ssuch as flash
h point, dieleectric strengtth, viscosityy, specific gravity and coolor)
T dielectricc system perrforms the fo
ollowing taskks:

It induces clean dielectric into the cutting zone

Flushes away debris

Cools the workpiece and electrodes

In order to provide circulation of the dielectric fluid to the work piece, the EDM machine
tool is equipped with a well-designed dielectric circulation system. It consists of
following two parts:
1. Pump : Its main purpose is to circulate the dielectric fluid on-to the


2. Filter and suction unit: This unit filters out the material debris and any other
foreign parts from the dielectric.
Servo System
The servo system is commanded by signals from gap voltage sensor system in the power
supply and it controls the in-feed of the electrode to precisely match the required rate of
material removal. At times stepper motor can be used instead of a servomotor. As soon as
the gap voltage sensor system determines bridging of some pieces of electrically
conductive materials between the electrode and work-piece, the servo system
immediately reacts and reverses the direction. The process is restored when the gap is
flushed by the dielectric fluid. When the gap becomes clear, the in-feed resumes and
cutting process continues.
The electrodes for EDM process are usually made of brass, copper, graphite and coppertungsten alloys.

Design considerations for EDM process

In EDM process, fine openings and deeper slots need to be avoided.

Very fine surface finish values should not be specified.

As the MRR of EDM process is low, the rough cutting should be done by some
other machining process and EDM machine should me made used for the
finishing operations only.


Lecture No-11
Wire Cut Electric Discharge Machining (WEDM)
The Wire Electric Discharge Machining (WEDM) is a variation of EDM and is
commonly known as wire-cut EDM or wire cutting. In this process, a thin metallic wire is
fed on-to the workpiece, which is submerged in a tank of dielectric fluid such as deionized water. This process can also cut plates as thick as 300mm and is used for making
punches, tools and dies from hard metals that are difficult to machine with other methods.
The wire, which is constantly fed from a spool, is held between upper and lower diamond
guides. The guides are usually CNC-controlled and move in the xy plane. On most
machines, the upper guide can move independently in the zuv axis, giving it a
flexibility to cut tapered and transitioning shapes (example: square at the bottom and
circle on the top). The upper guide can control axis movements in xyuvijkl.
This helps in programming the wire-cut EDM, for cutting very intricate and delicate
In the wire-cut EDM process, water is commonly used as the dielectric fluid. Filters and
de-ionizing units are used for controlling the resistivity and other electrical properties.
Wires made of brass are generally preferred. The water helps in flushing away the debris
from the cutting zone. The flushing also helps to determine the feed rates to be given for
different thickness of the materials. The schematic of wire cut EDM is shown in Figure

T WEDM process requires lesseer cutting fo
forces in maaterial remooval; hence it is
generally useed when lo
ower residu
ual stresses in the workpiece aree desired. If the
nergy/powerr per pulse is relatively low (as in fi
finishing opeerations), litttle changes iin the
properties of the materiall are expecteed due to theese low residdual stressess. The
whiich are not stress-relieve
ed earlier cann get distortted in the maachining proocess.
T selection
n of processs parameters is very crrucial, as inn some casees the workkpiece
ndergoes sig
gnificant theermal cycless that can bee very severre. These thhermal cycles can
orm recast layers and induce residual tensilee stresses onn the workkpiece whichh are
of Material
moval in Wiire-Cut EDM
n the WEDM
M process, th
he motion of wire is sloow. It is fed in the progrrammed pathh and
is cut/
removeed from th
he workpiecce accordinggly. Electriccally conduuctive
are cut by the WEDM process by thhe electro-theermal mechhanisms. Maaterial
reemoval takees place by a series of discrete disccharges betw
ween the wiire electrodee and
n the presence of a di-eelectric fluidd. The di-eelectric fluidd gets ionized in

between the tool-electrode gap thereby creating a path for each discharge. The area
wherein discharge takes place gets heated to very high temperatures such that the surface
gets melted and removed. The cut particles (debris) get flushed away by the continuously
flowing dielectric fluid.

WEDM is a non-conventional process and is very widely used in tool steels for pattern
and die making industries. The process is also used for cutting intricate shapes in
components used for the electric and aerospace industries.
Applications of Wire-Cut EDM
Wire EDM is used for cutting aluminium, brass, copper, carbides, graphite, steels and
titanium. A schematic of the cutting through wire EDM is shown in Fig. 3.11.2. The wire
material varies with the application requirements. Example: for quicker cutting action,
zinc-coated brass wires are used while for more accurate applications, molybdenum wires
are used.
The process is used in the following areas:

Aerospace, Medical, Electronics and Semiconductor applications

Tool & Die making industries.

For cutting the hard Extrusion Dies

In making Fixtures, Gauges & Cams

Cutting of Gears, Strippers, Punches and Dies

Manufacturing hard Electrodes.

Manufacturing micro-tooling for Micro-EDM, Micro-USM and such other micromachining applications.

T Subsysteems of Wiree EDM

Powerr supply.

Dielecctric system..

Wire feeding

Positioning system

T power su
upply and di-electric
ystem used iin WEDM iis very similar to that oof the
onventional EDM. The main
m difference lies onlyy in the typee of dielectricc used.
n wire cut ED
DM, a moving wire elecctrode is usedd to cut com
mplex outlinees and fine ddetails
n the requireed workpiecee. The wire is wound onn a spool annd is kept in constant tennsion.
T drive sysstem continu
uously deliv
vers the freshh wire on-too the work aarea. New w
wire is
ontinuously exposed to the workpieece hence thee wear of the wire (tool)) is not the m
isssue in WED
DM process.. The wire feeding
systeem consists of a large sspool of wiree and
ollers which direct the wire
w through the machinee. The presennce of metall contact proovides
power to the wire and gu
uides it furth
her in-order tto keep it sttraight throuughout the cuutting
nch rollers w
which providde drive andd wire tensiion, a
prrocess. The other parts are the pin

ystem to thread the wiree from the upper
to the llower guidee and a sensoor to detect w
he wire runs out or break
ameters in WEDM
T process parameters
can affeect the qualiity of machiining or cuttting or drilliing in
proccess are sho
own through
h an Ishikaawa cause-eeffect diagraam as show
wn in
fiig.3.11.3. Th
he major paraameters are as follows:

Electrrical parametters: Peak cu

urrent, pulsee on time, puulse off time and supply
ge and polariity.

Non-eelectrical parrameters: Wire speed; w

work feed ratee, machiningg time, gain and
rate off flushing.

Electrrode based parameters: Material

andd size of the w

Dielecctric System
m: Type, viscosity, and otther flow chaaracteristics


Lecture No-12
Laser Beam Machining (LBM)
Laser machining is a technology that uses a laser beam (narrow beam of intense
monochromatic light) to cut required shapes or profile or pattern in almost all types of
materials. Some of the examples include metals, ceramics, food products, leather etc. In
this process, the output of a high power laser beam is directed in a programmed manner
towards the material required to be cut. The high amount of heat thus generated either
melts, burns, or vaporizes away the material at the focused region. The process can be
used to make precise holes in thin sheets and materials. The laser beam cutting finds its
applications in a variety of fields. The fields where laser beam has been successfully used
are cloth and plastic cutting, laser marking, laser welding, laser drilling, cleaning and
surface treatments.
Principle of Laser
The word laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of
Radiation. When an atom absorbs a quantum of energy from a light source, the orbital
electron of an atom jumps to a higher energy level. The electron later drops to its original
orbit and emits the absorbed energy. If the electron, which is already at high energy level,
absorbs the second quantum of energy, it emits two quanta of energy and after emitting
the energy it returns back to its original orbit. The energy that is radiated has the same
wave length as the simulating energy. The laser material when placed in an optical cavity
and exposed to light energy keeps storing the energy. The energy initially builds up in the
laser material and finally gets emitted in the form of a highly amplified light beam. The
basic mechanism of energy transfer in laser beam is shown in Fig. 3.12.1 and laser beam
generation is schematically shown in Fig.3.12.2

off Laser Beam
T attributess of laser ligh
ht are as folllows:

It is coherent i.e. all photons that make up the beam are in phasee with each oother.
This optical
propeerty of lightt that mostlyy distinguishhes the laserr from other light
sourcee is cohereence. The laser is reggarded, quit correctly aas the first truly
cohereent light sou
urce. Other liight sources,, such as thee sun or a gass discharge llamp,
are at best only paartially coherrent.

It is highly
mated; i.e. a parallel beeam is prodduced. Lightt rays are allmost
perfecctly parallel

It is monochrom
matic means the light iss of one coolor, or of one waveleength.
Differrent media used
to stimu
ulate the phootons generaate different wavelengthss, but
each type
of laser has a speciffic wavelenggth.

Classificcation of Laser Beams

in two ways ass Continuouss mode and P
Pulse mode..
Laser beaams can be classified

mode: Thiss mode is geenerally preeferred whilee cutting strraight and m
ontoured patths (the cuttiing is fastestt).

mode: This mode is preferred
d for cutting thin materiaals, as it enabbles tight coorners
nd intricate details
to be cut without excessive bburning.

The rep
presentation of
o continuou
us and pulsed
d beam is shhown in Fig. 3.12.3

of Lasser
are two
o types of lassers used forr cutting: thee gaseous CO
O2 laser and the
state Neodymium
m-doped Yttrrium Alumin
num Garnet (Nd: YAG) laser. The


the ab
bove two typ
pes of laser are
a given below:

Co2 Laserrs: these laseers can be op

perated contiinuously andd on a pulsedd basis
Wavelengths: 10.6
6 m
Powerr up to 100 kW
d and contin
nuous wave


Nd: YAG Lasers: (Neodymium-doped, Yttrium-AluminumGarnet (Y3Al5O12))

Wavelengths: 1064 nm
Power up to 5 kW
Pulsed and continuous wave

The Co2 laser is more powerful amongst these lasers and is primarily used for cutting and
profiling. It is capable of cutting up to 25mm thick carbon steels. This laser beam,
because of the spread after its focal point, tends to create a tapered cut.
The Nd: YAG laser is suitable for drilling small holes (2-3 microns) to a depth
approximately six times diameter. It can also be used for engraving and etching. A
significant advantage of the Nd: YAG laser is that the beam can be transmitted through
fiber-optic cables. This property/characteristic makes it useful for welding applications.
Mechanism of Material Removal / Cutting using Laser Beam:
The mechanism of material removal by laser beam is given in the following steps:

Place the workpiece on the table. As there is absence of cutting forces, fewer work
holding devices are needed.

The focal point of the laser is intentionally focused onto the surface of the workpiece
for providing the heat in a concentric manner.

Due to the striking of laser beam, heat is generated at the work-piece surface and as a
result, the material vaporizes instantly, producing kerf in the material.

The movement of machine-axis is through the computer control which helps to

achieve the required profiles on the workpiece. Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) is minimal
in laser as compared to flame cutting.

To clear the molten metal that has yet not vaporized or clogged on the surface of the
workpiece, the assist gas, (inert gas or exothermic gas is used for this propose) under
pressure is passed on-to the workpiece. The use of different assist gases with different
work materials is given in table 3.12.1

ble 3.12.1: Workpiece
d Correspon
nding Assist Gases
M steel


Sttainless steell

or nitrogen ((nitrogen leeaves an











(an ineert gas becauuse of its reaactivity)
A or inert ggas

T schematiic of laser cu
utting units are
a shown inn Fig. 3.12.4 and Fig. 3.112.5. Referriing to
Figure 3.12.4
4, when pow
wer is suppliied by the P
PFN (pulse-fforming netw
work), an inntense
ulse of light (photons) iss released thrrough one ennd of the cryystal rod.

The laserr light will pass

on throu
ugh the shuttter assemblyy to the anglled mirror and down thrrough
the focussing lens to the workpieece. The laser light beam
m is cohereent and has vvery high ennergy

content. When focused on the desired surfface, laser llight createss intense heeat which caan be
further used for weld
ding, cutting and drilling
g applicationss.


Laser cuttting is being

g used in indu
ustries sincee the 1970's.

The first common

plication wass for sign-m
making, mainly cutting accrylic.

It was established as a manufactu

uring processs in the 80s

a sig
gnificant pro
ocess in everry manufactuuring econom
It is now become


The ability to cut almost all materials

No limit to cutting paths as the laser point can move in any paths.

No cutting lubricants are required

As there is an absence of direct contact between the tool and workpiece; thus no
forces are induced and as a result it is not necessary to provide the work holding
system to hold the workpiece.

The fragile materials are easy to cut on a laser without any support.

Flexibility exists in precision cutting of simple or complex parts.

There is no tooling cost or associated wear costs due to it.

Laser produces high quality cuts without extra finishing requirements.


Laser processes involve high capital investments and high operating costs.

Laser holes are tapered to some extent (approximately 1% of the drill depth)

It cannot drill blind holes to precise depths. Hence there is limitation on its thickness.

Heat affected through the lasers may change the mechanical properties of the metallic
materials and alloys

The processing time in larger holes is slower due to trepanning action (process)
involved in it.

Reflected laser lights can lead to safety hazards.

Assist or cover gases are required for safety purposes.

One of the problems associated with the conventional approach in cutting of tough
materials such as titanium alloy is that, at high cutting speeds the life of the cutting tool is
very short. As the titanium alloys are used extensively in the aerospace industry, there is
a tremendous interest and curiosity for developing this technique especially for enabling
higher cutting rates.

Laser machining is used for making very accurate sized holes as small as 5 microns in
metals, ceramics and composites without warpages. It is widely used for fine and

acccurate drilling and cu

utting of metallic
and non-metalliic materials. Electronicc and
utomotive in
ndustries alsso find exteensive appliications for laser beam machining.. The
thatt can be cut by
b laser are extended woood, plasticss, leather, glaass, ceramiccs and
fiiber optics. Fig.
F 3.12.6 shows
the scchematic of cutting glaass material through the laser


Lecture No-13
Equipment of Laser Beam Machining, Process Parameters and Safety Issues
The Laser machines or the overall Laser system has the following components:

Optics Unit: Mirrors and focusing lens.

Power supply unit

Workpiece rest table which may be fixed or may move in up to 2 directions

Scrap removal system

Assist gas system/debris removal system

Control Unit

The optics unit consists of mirror and focusing lens. Mirror is used to direct the beam
from the source to the lens. The lens focuses the beam and converts it into desired
geometry and directs it onto the workpiece. The assist gas system removes the molten
metal which does not get vaporized at the end. The control unit, which is specifically a
computer program, helps to achieve the desired shape and profile in the workpiece.
Process Parameters in Laser Beam Machining
The process parameters of LBM can be grouped in the following categories.
1. Beam geometry: beam diameter, beam power intensity
2. Target material or workpiece: Type, Composition, cut width (kerf), cut time,
mechanical properties, such as hardness, fracture properties and metallurgical
The four physical parameters of the workpiece include: Reflectivity, Specific
Heat, Thermal Conductivity and Latent Heat. (These parameters are preferred to
be lower in magnitude for increasing the process efficiency as the energy required
to melt and vaporize the material is lesser in LBM)

3. Process: Cutting, drilling, holography, enggraving and welding

ng workpiecce, moving laser unit andd fiber optic
4. Machine configurration: Movin
5. Lasing
g material: gaseous,
soliid state
T Ishikawaa cause and
d effect diag
gram is connstructed to depict the effect of vaarious
prrocess param
meters on the accuracy and
a quality oof the machiining operations by the L
prrocess. The cause and efffect diagram
m is as show
wn in Fig. 3.113.1

Safetty Issues in using Laserr as a Sourcce in any Ap


Lasers can burn and make a person blind. Hence, eyes and skin should be protected from
scattered beams. The low power lasers can also cause damage to the retina leading to

Operator should wear gas masks to protect against generated fumes.


Lecture No-14
Electrochemical Machining (ECM)
Electrochemical machining is a method of removing metal by an electrochemical process.
It is a non-traditional machining process belonging to the electrochemical category. It is
used for machining extremely hard materials or materials that are difficult to machine
using conventional methods. Its use is limited to electrically conductive materials. The
process has the capabilities of machining or cutting the intricate contours or cavities in
hard steel such as titanium, Hastelloy, Kovar, Inconel, and Carbide. External as well as
internal geometries can be machined with an electrochemical machine.
ECM is characterized as the opposite of electrochemical or galvanic coating or deposition
process. It is sometimes referred to as reverse electroplating since it removes material
instead of depositing it. In the year 1833, Faraday established the laws of electrolysis
(electroplating). The mechanism in ECM process is similar to electrical discharge
machining (EDM) concept-wise, wherein a high current is passed between the tool
(cathode) and the workpiece (anode), through a conductive fluid (electrolyte). However,
in ECM there is no tool wear.
In ECM, the metal removal takes place by electrochemical dissolution of an anodically
polarized workpiece. By using the ECM process, very hard metals can be easily shaped
electrolytically and being a chemical process, the rate of machining does not depend on
the hardness of workpiece. Soft materials can be readily used as tool materials on harder
work-pieces in ECM process since the tool doesnt wear unlike in the case of
conventional machining methods.
ECM Fundamentals
The electrolysis process being the most fundamental activity in ECM, its characteristics
are to be well understood before proceeding further into its other process details.

as the namee suggests iss a chemicaal phenomennon that occcurs betweenn two
onductors diipped in a suitable
ution when eelectric currrent is passeed between tthem.
o copper wiires, dipped in a coppeer sulphate solution aree connectedd to a
ource of dirrect current as shown in
i Fig. 3.144.1. This sollution of coopper sulphaate is
teermed as thee electrolyte and it has electrical
coonducting prroperty. The entire systeem of
ellectrolyte an
nd electrodees is called
d as the eleectrolytic ceell. As per the polarityy, the
hemical reacctions occurrring at the anode and ccathode are called as annodic or cathhodic
reeactions resp

nt from thee metallic cconductors that conducct electricityy. In
are differen
ellectrolytes, the
t current is
i carried by
y atoms or ggroup of atoms and not by the electtrons.
T atoms have
either lost or gain
ned electronns, thereby acquiring eeither positivve or
negative charrges and succh atoms are called ions.. The ions thhat carry possitive chargees are
atttracted by the
t cathode and they move
througgh the electrrolyte in thee direction oof the
positive curreent and are referred to as the cat--ions. The negatively charged ionns get

atttracted to th
he positive electrode
i.e.. anode and they are refferred to as tthe anions. Due
o the potentiial difference applied, th
he movemennt of ions is accompanieed by the floow of
ellectrons, in the
t oppositee sense to the positive cuurrent in thee electrolyte,, outside thee cell,
ass shown schematically in
n Fig. 3.14.2

n the electrop
plating process, which iss a very poppular applicaation of electtrolysis, the m
oatings are deposited on
n the surface of a cathoodically polaarized metall. An exampple of
he anodic dissolution
iss electro-poolishing. In this polishhing processs, the
hich has irregularities is made as thee anode in thhe electrolytiic cell. The w
workpiece gets po
olished and irregularities on its surrface are disssolved prefe
ferentially soo that
affter the process, the item
m gets shinin
ng effect and becomes flaat.
T ECM and
d electro-polishing process are simi lar, such thaat both are aanodic dissollution
prrocesses. The rate of metal remo
oval obtainned in the electro-polisshing proceess is
onsiderably less than th
hat required in the metaal removal pprocesses. Soome observaations
reelevant to EC
CM are:

At the anode, the metal dissolves electrochemically and its rate of dissolution
depends upon number of factors such as the ionic charge, atomic weight, the
current and the time of current passage.

The rate of dissolution is not influenced by the hardness of the workpiece material
or any other metal characteristics.

At the cathode, only the hydrogen gas is evolved. The electrode shape remains
unaltered during the electrolysis process. This is the most relevant feature of ECM
being used as a metal shaping process.

Mechanism of Material Removal in ECM

The working principle of ECM is schematically shown in Fig. 3.14.3 (a and b), the
workpiece and tool are the anode and cathode respectively. In the electrolytic cell a
constant potential difference, usually of about 10 V is applied across them. A suitable
electrolyte, for example an aqueous sodium chloride (table salt) solution is commonly
chosen. In-order to remove the products of machining, the electrolyte is pumped through
the gap between the two electrodes. The rate at which metal is then removed from the
anode is approximately in inverse proportion to the distance between the electrodes. As
the machining proceeds there is a simultaneous movement of the cathode towards the
anode. The width of the gap along the electrode length will gradually tend towards a
steady-state value. Under such conditions, a shape which is roughly complementary to
that of the cathode will be reproduced on the anode. The schematic of electrochemical
machine is shown in Fig. 3.14.4


T major ad
dvantages of the ECM prrocess are:

No heeat affected zone

is form

Hardeer metals thaan the tool caan be machinned.

The hardness of material

doess not affect th
the metal rem
moval rate.

plex shapes can
c be machined on hardd metals,

No too
ol wear occu

Burr-ffree products are obtaineed in this proocess.

There is no tool to
o workpiece contact.

There is no cutting forces, theerefore clampping is not rrequired exceept for contrrolled
motion of the worrk piece.

The products obtaained are freee from physiical and therrmal strains.

nding on thee materials, high surfacce quality leevel is attainnable (Ra < 0.02

High dimensional
l accuracies are attainablle


The co
ost of toolin
ng is high.

gy consumpttion is high: Power conssumption is more as thee ECM proccesses
operattes at high cu
urrent and reelatively low
w voltages (55-15V).

The saline
olyte poses a risk of coorrosion to the tool, woorkpiece annd the

Since special elecctrodes need to be develooped for eacch product, hhigher produuction
nomic viabillity. Dependding on the ccomplexity oof the
numbers are requiired for econ
mum producct numbers arre decided.
material, the optim

The electrode
dessign is comp
plex and haas high initiaal cost but hhowever it hhas a
long life.

Sharp corners or flat bottomss are not suittable througgh the ECM process, as there
is a tendency of th
he electrolyte to erode aw
way the sharrp profiles.


Lecture No-15

The Subsystems of Electro-Chemical Machining

Power supply.
Electrolyte circulation system.
Control system.
The Machine.

In the ECM setup, as the gap between tool and workpiece is small, a low and
constant voltage of around 10 V is applied across the electric circuit. The current density
is however high.
The electrolyte chosen is such that the shape of cathode is not changed during
electrolysis. To remove the products of machining and to reduce the undesirable effects
which may arise with the gases generated at the cathode and electrical heating, the
electrolyte is pumped at a rate of 2 to 30 m/s, through the gap between the electrodes.
The electrolyte system consists of the electrolyte storage tank, fairly strong pump, filter,
sludge removal system and treatment units.
Control of ECM process refers to a predetermined adjustment of process parameters.
Thus control of the process parameters in ECM is very vital as the rate of material
removal, surface finish and accuracy of machining depends upon the accuracy of the
control parameters. The control parameters include voltage, type of electrolyte, inlet and
outlet pressure of electrolyte, viscosity of electrolyte and the temperature of electrolyte.
The current of the electrical system in ECM under operating condition is dependent on
the above parameters and the feed rate of the tool.

The general requirements of the tool material in ECM are mentioned below:

The material used in tool-making needs to be a good conductor of electricity.

The tool should be rigid enough to take up load and the fluid pressure.

The tool should be chemically inert with the electrolyte.

The tool material should be easily formable and machinable to the desired shape.

Copper, Brass, Titanium, Copper-Tungsten and Stainless steels are most

commonly used electrode materials when the electrolyte is made of sodium or

The other materials which can be used as tool materials are aluminium, graphite,
bronze, platinum, and tungsten carbide.

The hole or cavity produced through ECM is an exact replica of the tool shape.
Thus the tool shape and its accuracy have a direct effect on the work piece

The ECM Process Parameters

The ECM process parameters can be subdivided into the following sub-categories. The
Ishikawa cause and effect diagram of ECM process parameters is shown in Fig. 3.15.1.

Power Supply: Its Type, Voltage, Current and Current density.

Electrolyte: Its type, Temperature, Flow rate, Pressure and Dilution.

Machine setting parameters: Working gap, Overcut and Feed rate.

Electrode material: Type of the material used.

ical machiniing is a tech
hnology useed for machhining metalls. It is baseed on
ellectrolysis th
hrough whicch the producct is processsed without tthe tool-worrkpiece contaact or
ny thermal influence.
T metallic workpiece is dissolvedd (Machinedd) locally thrrough
ellectricity (Electro) and chemistry
Chemical) un
until it reaches the desireed end shape. As
discussed earrlier, the material remo
oval processs in ECM ooccurs throuugh atomic level
dissolution by
y the electro
ochemical acction. The m
material remooval rate (orr machining rate)
iss thus not deependent on
n the mechan
nical or phyysical properrties of the work materiial. It
nly dependss on the atom
mic weight and
a valencyy of the workk material aand the impoortant
ondition is that the maaterial should be electrrically condductive. Thee most impoortant
feeature in ECM is thatt, it can machine
any electricallyy conductive work maaterial
irrrespective of
o its hardnesss, strength or
o even therm
mal propertiies. The variious uses of ECM

Die-Sinking operaations

Deburrring operatiions

ng operation

ding operatio
ons and

o-machining operations

T various uses
of ECM
M have been
n schematicaally shown in the follow
wing figures, Fig.
3.15.2, 3.15.3
3 and 3.15.4


Lecture No-16

Electro-Chemical Grinding
Electro-chemical grinding (ECG) is a variant process of the basic ECM. It is a
burr free and stress free material removal process, wherein material removal of
the electrically conductive material takes place through mechanical (grinding)
process and electro-chemical process. The abrasive laden grinding wheel is
negatively charged and the workpiece is positively charged. They are separated by
an electrolyte fluid. The fine chips of the material that is removed from the
workpiece (debris) stays in the electrolyte fluid, which is further filtered out.
Electrochemical grinding and electrochemical machining are similar processes
with a difference that a wheel substitutes the tool used in ECM. The wheel shape
is similar to the desired work shape. The schematic of the electrochemical
grinding is shown in fig. 3.16.1
Process of Grinding in ECM
The main feature of electrochemical grinding (ECG) process is the use of a
metallic grinding wheel which is embedded with insulating abrasive particles such
as diamond, set in the conducting material. Copper, brass, and nickel are the most
commonly used materials while aluminum oxide is a typical abrasive used while
grinding steels.
The commutator is an electrolytic spindle having carbon brushes and holds the
grinding wheel. It receives a negative charge from the DC power supply and the
workpiece is given a positive charge. In ECG process, the grinding wheel slightly
touches the workpiece. Electrolyte is supplied on-to the grinding wheel near the
workpiece such that the wheel carries it through the cutting process thereby
resulting in an electro-chemical action. A nozzle similar to the one which carries
coolant in a conventional grinding process is provided, which enables the flow of

the electrrolytic fluid to the worrk-tool contaact area. Thhe electrolytte along witth
wheel wo
orks simultan
neously in th
he process oof cutting. T
The electro-cchemical cells
thus form
med further oxidize
the su
urface of thee workpiecee. The wheell carries awaay
the formeed oxides theereby exposing the fresh metal layerss beneath thee workpiecee.
In this prrocess of EC
CG, the majjor material removal acctivity takes place by thhe
electrolytic action (arround 90%). Rest of the metal removval takes plaace due to thhe
ng with abrasives use d (embeddeed in the wheel). This
grinding action alon
mechanical action contributes to
t around 110% due too abrasive aaction of thhe
ng grinding wheel. The pressure appplied on thhe grinding w
wheel is alsso
much lessser than the conventionaal grinding pprocess. Thuss the very baasic necessitty
of frequen
nt wheel dreessings and truing as inn the case off conventionnal process is
also elimiinated.
The schem
matic of the electrochem
mical grindingg process is shown in Fiig. 3.16.1

Process Characteristics
The life of grinding wheel in ECG process is very high as around 90% of the
metal is removed by electrolysis action and only 10% is due to the abrasive
action of the grinding wheel.
The ECG process is capable of producing very smooth and burr free edges
unlike those formed during the conventional grinding process (mechanical).
The heat produced in the ECG process is much less, leading to lesser distortion
of the workpiece.
The major material removal activity in ECG process occurs by the dissolving
action through the chemical process. There is very little tool and workpiece
contact and this is ideally suited for grinding of the following categories:
Fragile work-pieces which otherwise are very difficult to grind by the
conventional process
The parts that cannot withstand thermal damages and
The parts designed for stress and burr free applications.
The applications of ECG process include the following:
In production of tungsten carbide cutting tools.
In burr-free sharpening of hypodermic needles.
In grinding of super-alloy turbine blades.
In form grinding of aerospace honeycomb metals.
In removal of fatigue cracks from steel structures that have been used for
underwater applications.
The ECG process can be applied to the following common methods of grinding.
1. Face Wheel Grinding.
2. Cone Wheel grinding.
3. Peripheral or Surface grinding.
4. Form Wheel or Square grinding.

N 5: OTH
Lecturre No-1 High
h Energy R
Rate Forming Processess
High En
nergy Rate Forming
A numbeer of metho
ods have been developeed to form m
metals throuugh the appplication of large
amounts of energy in
n a very sho
ort time interval. They aare known aare High eneergy rate forrming
processess (HERF). Many metaals tend to deform moore rapidly under the ultra-rapid load
on rates, useed in these processes.
T schemattic of the HE
ERF processs and its varriants
are show
wn in Fig. 5.1
High eneergy rates can be obtain
ned by five distinct meethods:

D to explossions made underwater.


D to underw
water spark discharge (eelectro-hydraaulic techniqques)


B some pneu
umatic (mecchanical) meeans.


D to the intternal combu
ustion of mix
xture of gasees.


B the use off rapid force magnetic fieelds (electrom
magnetic tecchniques).

atic of the H
HERF proceess Variantss
Fig. 5.1.1

Major Advantages:

It is possible to form large workpieces and difficult to form metals, with less expensive
equipment and tooling than would otherwise be required.

Another advantage of HERF is that there is less difficulty related to spring back. This is
associated with the following two factors:
1. High compressive stresses are set up in the metal when it is forced against the die, and
2. Some slight elastic deformation of die occurs under the ultra-high pressure. The latter
results in a slight over forming of the workpiece and appears like no spring-back has

Underwater explosions:
Three commonly used procedures under this are: (i) free forming, (ii) cylinder forming and (iii)
bulk-head forming. While these can be used for a wide range of products, they are particularly
suited for parts of thick materials like 10 feet diameter elliptical dome, only a tank of water in the
ground is required, with about six feet of water above the workpiece. The female die can be
made up of inexpensive material such as wood, plastic or low-melting temperature material.
Spark discharge method:
This method uses the energy from electrical discharges to shape the metal. Electrical energy is
stored in large capacitor banks and is then released in a controlled discharge, either between two
electrodes or across an exploding bridge wire. High energy shockwaves propagate through a
pressure transmitting medium and deform the workpiece material. The initiating wire can be preshaped and shockwave reflectors can be used to adapt the process to a variety of components.
The space between the workpiece and the die is usually evacuated before the discharge occurs, to
prevent the possibility of puckering due to entrapped air. The schematic of this process is shown
in Fig. 5.1.2.

The spark discharge methods are most often used for bulging operations in small parts, but parts
upto 1.3 m in diameter have been formed. Compared to explosive forming, the discharge
techniques are easier and safer, use smaller tanks and need not be performed in remote areas.




Work piece



Fig. 5.1.2 Schematic of the Spark discharge method of HERF

Pneumatic-mechanical and combustion techniques:
These are preferred when the HERF methods are applied to mass production within a plant. In a
pneumatic mechanical press, one portion of the forming die is attached to the stationary bolster
of the press bed and the other to the movable piston. Low pressure gas acts on the entire bottom
area of the piston, holding it up against a small area seal. High pressure gas is then applied to the
other side of the seal and the pressure is steadily increased. As the force pushing down (high
pressure on a small area) exceeds that pushing up (low pressure on a large area), the seal is
broken and the entire areas of the piston is exposed to high pressure gas. The piston moves
rapidly downwards, bringing the dies into contact.
Internal combustion presses operate on the same principle as that of an automobile engine. A
gaseous mixture is exploded within a cylinder, causing a piston to be driven downward in a rapid
fashion. The upper segment of the forming die is attached to the bottom of the piston. Internal
combustion pistons can produce die velocities upto 50 feet per second and cycle rates upto 60
strokes per minute. Either single or repeated blows can be used to form a part.
Electromagnetic forming (EMF):
The electromagnetic forming process is based on the principle that the EM field of an induced
current always opposes the electromagnetic field of the inducing current. A large capacitor bank

is discharged, producing a current surge through a coiled conductor. If the coil has been placed
within a conductive cylinder, around a cylinder or adjacent to a flat sheet of metal, the discharge
induces a secondary current in the workpiece, causing it to be repelled from the coil and
conformed to a die or mating workpiece. The process is very rapid and is used primarily to
expand or contract tubing or to permanently assemble component parts Coining, forming and
swaging can also be performed with electromagnetic forces.
In electroforming process, the metal is electroplated onto a pre-shaped pattern or mandrel that
has been fashioned from a material such as plastic, glass, pyrex, or other metal, such as
aluminum or stainless steel. If the pattern material is non-conductive, a conductive coating is first
applied. Then, metals such as nickel, iron, copper or silver are plated in thickness upto 15 mm.
The workpiece is stripped from the mandrel as soon as the desired thickness is obtained,.

Explosive forming can be utilized to form a wide variety of metals, from aluminum to high
strength alloys, replacing the punch by an explosive charge.

As in case of hydro-forming metal stamping process, HERF process exerts even force over
the entire surface of the metal blank. The HERF process is capable of producing components
large in size, with great details to very fine tolerances.

The HERF process is employed in Aerospace and aircraft industries apart from the
production of automotive components.

Explosives Used:
Explosives are substances that undergo rapid chemical reactions during which heat and large
quantities of gaseous products are evolved. Explosives are either solid (TNT tri-nitro toluene),
liquid (Nitroglycerine) or Gaseous mixtures. Explosives are divided into two classes; Low
Explosives are those in which ammunition is burnt out very rapidly without exploding, hence the
pressure build up is not very large and High Explosives are those which have very high rates of
reaction along with large pressure build ups. In guns and rockets for missile propulsions, low
explosives are commonly used. Table-5.1.1 shows the features of these explosives. These
explosives are in the form of granules. The typical explosives used are Blasting gelatin, RDX

(Cyclotrimethylene trinitramine, C3H6N6O6), TNT (C7H5N3O6), PETN (Pentaerythritol

tetranitrate, C5H8N12O4), Tetryl (Trinitrophenylmethylinitramine, C7H5O8N5). These explosives
have detonation velocities in the range of 7000-8400 m/s and the energy liberated is in terms of
thousands of killo Joules per kilogram of explosive used.
Table- 5.1.1 Features of Low and High Explosives
High Explosives

Method of

Low Explosives

Primary HE-ignition, spark, flame, or impact

Secondary HE-detonator, or detonator + booster


Conversion time+




upto about 40,00,000 psi

upto about 40,000 psi

+ Time required for converting a working amount of high explosive into high-pressure gaseous products

Die Materials:
Different materials are used for manufacture of dies for explosive working, for instance, high
strength tool steels, plastics, concrete etc. Relatively low strength dies are used for short run
items and for parts where close tolerances are not critical, while for longer runs, high strength die
materials are required. Kirksite and plastic (fiber glass) faced dies are employed for light forming
operations requiring low pressures and used for fewer parts. Ductile iron is used in high
pressures and for mass production, whereas concrete is used for medium pressure and large part
Explosive Forming Characteristics:

Used in very large sheets with relatively complex shapes of preferably axis-symmetric

It has low tooling costs, but high labor cost.

It is suitable for low-quantity production.

It has long cycle times.

Transmission Medium:
Energy released by the explosive is transmitted through medium like air, water, oil, gelatin,
liquid salts. Water is one of the best media for explosive forming since it is available readily,

inexpensive and produces excellent results. The transmission medium is important regarding
pressure magnitude at the workpiece. Water is more desirable medium than air for producing
high peak pressures to the workpiece.
Formability Aspects:
Formability has been defined as the ability of a sheet metal to be deformed by a specific sheet
metal forming process from its original shape to a defined shape without failure. In normal
explosive forming operations, the major characteristics of the work metal that determine
formability are ductility and toughness. It is general practice not to exceed the elongation as
determined by the tension testing in forming a part from the same metal. Table-5.1.2 shows a
comparison of formability of some metals, using annealed aluminium as a basis.
Table- 5.1.2 Formability of different materials by explosive forming


1010 Steel
5 % Cr Steel
Inconel X-750
% Scale




Advantages of Explosion Forming

If properly controlled, it can maintain tolerances.

It eliminates costly welds.

It can control the smoothness of contours.

It reduces tooling costs.

It is a less expensive alternative to super-plastic forming.




The process has high initial cost due to special equipment, dies and energy used.

In general, HERF is restricted to few materials.

The die material should be strong enough to withstand the sudden shocks.

Explosives used can be tremendously hazardous if the reactions are not controlled or
handled properly.

The surface finish and tolerances are not very high.


Lecture No-2 Rapid Prototyping Technology (RPT)

In this age of fast growth (rapid technology age), customer demands are increasing rapidly.
Customers do not like to wait. The traditional processing time needs to be shortened. It is a
Buyers market today, instead of a Sellers market as it used to be in the past. In the quest for
fast manufacturing, all non-productive times need to be eliminated. The traditional method
involves time loss on concept designing, manufacturing, assembly and testing. For example, in
case of a foundry, lot of time is spent on pattern designing, making, getting the casting done and
then evaluating its performance. This initially involves designing and redesigning, until a
satisfactory product is developed, which is a very slow process. In order to get this time
recovered, to overcome the slow trend and grow up with the requirements of the next generation,
the most logical answer to the future of design and manufacturing is the Rapid Prototyping
Technology (RPT).
Rapid prototyping (RP) is a technology wherein the physical modeling of a design is done using
a specialized machining technology. The systems used in rapid prototyping quickly produce
models and prototype parts from three-dimensional (3D) computer aided design (CAD) model
data, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan data and such data created from 3D digitizing
systems. Using an additive approach for building shapes, the systems in RP join different
materials like liquids or powder to form some physical objects. Layer by layer, the RP machines
fabricate these powdered ceramic, wood, plastic and metal powders using very small and thin
horizontal cross sections of the generated computer model. Rapid prototyping is an emerging
technology, the definition of which is derived from the key concept - making it rapid. Rapid
prototyping is creating a profound impact on the way companies produce models, prototype
parts, and tooling. A few companies are now using it to produce final manufactured parts. It is

believed that rapid prototyping shall occupy a major share in manufacturing techniques in the
years to come.
Steps in RPT

Creation of the CAD model of the (part) design,

Conversion of the CAD model into Standard Tessellation Language (STL) format,

Slicing of the STL file into thin sections,

Building part layer by layer,

Post processing/finishing/joining.

Major RP Technologies:
1. Photo Masking or Solid Ground Curing technique.
2. LOM (Laminated Object Manufacturing)
3. SLA (Stereolithography)
4. FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)
5. SLS (Selective Laser Sintering)
6. Thermo Jet Process
7. 3D Printing
8. Ballistic Particle Manufacturing (BPM)
1. Photo masking or Solid Ground Curing :
A mask is generated by electro-statically charging a glass plate with negative image of cross
section of the required part. In the meantime, a thin liquid polymer is spread across the surface of
the work-plane. The mask plate with a negative image of the liquid polymer is positioned over
the thin polymer layer and exposed under the ultraviolet laser lamp for few seconds.
All parts of the exposed photopolymer layer get solidified with one exposure. However, the area
shaded by the mask is left in a liquid form and is wiped off with vacuum suction head and
replaced by hot wax which acts as a support to the solidified polymer layer. A face mill makes
the surface of wax and polymer flat and to desired thickness. All the above steps are repeated till
final model embedded in removable wax is obtained.

2. Laminated Object Manufaccturing:

This tech
hnique is esp
pecially suitted for produ
ucing parts ffrom laminaated paper, pplastic, metaal etc.
The scheematic of an
n LOM setup
p is shown in
i Fig. 5.2.11. A laser beeam cuts the contour off part
cross-secction. Severaal such sectiions when glued
or wellded yield thhe prototypee. The layerrs are
built up by
b pulling a long, thin sheet
of pre--glued materrial across thhe base platte and fixingg it in
place witth a heated roller
that acctivates the glue. Then a laser beam
m is scannedd over the suurface
and cuts out the outtline of that layer of th
he object. Thhe laser inteensity is set at just the level
needed to
o cut throug
gh a single layer
of matterial. Then the rest of the paper iss crosshatchhed to
make it easier to breeak away laater. The base plate mooves down, aand the whoole process starts
again. Th
he sheet of material is made
ficantly wideer than the bbase plate, sso when the base
plate moves down, itt leaves a neeat rectangullar hole behiind. This scrrap materiall is wound oonto a
second ro
oller, pulling
g a new secction across the base plaate. At the eend of the bbuild processs, the
little crosshatched columns are broken awaay to free thhe object. T
The materiall used is ussually
paper, th
hough acrylicc plastic sheeet, ceramic felts can bee used. The LOM is parrticularly suiitable
for large models.

Fig. 5.2.1 Schematic

o the Lamin
nated Objecct Manufactturing process in RPT

1. Stereeolithograph
hy (SLA):
In this technology, th
he part is pro
oduced in a vat
v containinng a liquid w
which is a phhoto-curable resin
acrylate. Under the influence of light of a sp
pecific waveelength, smalll moleculess are polymeerized
Fig. 5.2.2, crreates
into largeer solid mollecules. The SLA machiine, whose sschematic iss shown in F
the proto
otypes by traacing the lay
yer cross sections on thhe surface off liquid polyymer pool w
with a
laser beaam. In the in
nitial positio
on the elevattor table in the vat is inn the top most position. The
laser beaam is driven
n in X and Y directionss by program
mme driven mirrors to ssweep acrosss the
liquid su
urface so as to
t make it solidified
to a designed depth (say,11 mm). In thhe next cyclee, the
elevated table is low
wered further. This is reepeated untill the desiredd 3-D modeel is created. The
figure sh
hows a modiffied design in
i which a contact windoow allows thhe desired arrea to be expposed
to light, masking
the area which remains liqu

matic of the Stereo
litho graphic proocess used in
n RPT.
Fig. 5.2.2

d Deposition
n Modeling::
4. Fused
In this technique, a spool of therm
moplastic fillament is fedd into a heatted FDM exttrusion headd. The
X and Y movements are controllled by a com
mputer so thaat the exact ooutline of eaach section oof the

prototypee is obtained
d. Each layeer is bonded
d to the earllier by heatiing. This meethod is ideaal for
ng hollow objjects. The scchematic of the
t FDM is shown in Fig. 5.2.3.
he object is made by sq
queezing a ccontinuous tthread of poolymer throuugh a
In this teechnique, th
narrow, heated
nozzlle that is mov
ved over thee base plate. The thread m
melts as it passes througgh the
nozzle, only
to get hardened
agaain immediaately as it touches (and sticks to) thhe layer beloow. A
support structure
is needed
for ceertain shapes, and this iss provided bby a second nozzle squeezing
out a sim
milar thread, usually of a different co
olor in order to make it eeasier to disttinguish them
m. At
the end of
o the build
d process, th
he support structure
is bbroken awayy and discaarded, freeinng the
object. The
T FDM method produ
uces models that are phyysically robuust. Wax caan be used aas the
material, but generallly models arre made of ABS
A plastic.

Fig. 5.2.3
matic of the F
FDM processs

5. Selecttive Laser Sintering
a thiin layer of powder
is ap
pplied usingg a roller. Thhe SLS usess a laser beaam to
In this method,
selectively fuse powdered materrials, such ass nylon, elasstomers and metals into a solid objeect as
shown in
n the Fig. 5.2
2.4. The CO2 laser is often used to siinter successsive layers oof powder innstead
of liquid resin. Partss are built up
pon a platform which siits just below
w the surfacce in a bin oof the
ble powder.. A beam of
o laser then
n traces the pattern on the very first layer theereby
sintering it together. The platfo
orm is furth
her lowered by the heigght of the ssecond layerr and

powder is
i again app
plied. This process is continued uuntil the parrt is compleeted. The exxcess
amount of
o powder at each layer helps
to supp
port the part during its build-up.

g. 5.2.4 Scheematic of th
he Selective Laser Sinteering processs
6. 3-D Systems:
In this sy
ystem, in orrder to build
d a part, the machine sppreads a singgle layer of powder ontto the
movable bottom of a build box. A binder is then printedd onto each layer of powder to form
m the
shape of the cross-section of the model. The bottom of thhe build boxx is then lowered by one layer
thicknesss and a new layer of pow
wder is spreaad. This proocess is repeaated for everry layer or ccrosssection of
o the modell. Upon com
mpletion, thee build box is filled witth powder, ssome of whiich is
bonded to form the part,
and som
me of which
h remain loosse. The stepps involved iin the processs are
shown in
n Fig. 5.2.5.

Fig. 5.2.5
atic of the 33-D systems
7. Therm
mo Jet Proccess:
This tech
hnique uses an inkjet printing
d with a binnder materiaal to bind ceeramic and other
powders spread by ro
oller prior to
o application
n by a sprayy gun. Wax pparts producced in this syystem
can be ussed as sacrifi
ficial patternss for investm
ment casting. The main aadvantage off the methodd is in
the produ
uction of reelatively com
mplex castin
ngs without the need foor a tooling, and hencee cost
effective. Complex metal
parts may
m be produ
uced from coomputer aideed design (C
CAD) models in a
y short perio
od of time. Wax
W patterns need to be ffinished to a high standaard. One prooblem
with the system is th
he requiremeent of a support system. The suppoort system leeaves undulaations
on all do
ownward facing surfacess of the patteern. Thereforre, the suppoorts need to be removedd, and
surfaces are required
d to be cleaaned by han
nd. This proocess is best suited to small numbber of
complex parts that would
otherrwise requirre a significcant amountt of coring to accommodate
undercut features.
uring (BPM):
8. Ballisstic Particle Manufactu
M system uses
piezo-drriven inkjet mechanism
m to shoot ddroplets of molten materials
which geet cold-weldeed together on
o a previou
usly depositeed layer. A laayer is createed by movinng the
droplet nozzle
in X and Y direcctions. The base-plate
iss lowered byy a specifiedd distance after a
layer is formed,
and a new layerr is created on the top oof the previoous one; finnally the moddel is

Rapid manufacturing may be considered as an extension of Rapid-Prototyping technology. It
involves automated production of parts by instructions directly fed by the CAD data which is
modeled earlier. Currently, only a few final products are prepared by these machines. This
technology is not suitable for mass production but for small batches and one-off production
articles, it is cheaper since no tooling is involved. Some of the final components that are
produced are: customized dinner-wares, helmets for individual heads (customized), jewellery
patterns, spark erosion electrodes and reverse engineering parts.
Applications of RPT:

It is mainly used in modeling, Product Design and Development,

Reverse Engineering applications,

Short Production Runs and Rapid Tooling,

In medical applications, RPT is used to make exact models resembling the actual parts of a
person, through computer scanned data, which can be used to perform trial surgeries,

RP techniques are used to make custom-fit masks that reduce scarring on burn victims,

Selective laser sintering (SLS) has been used to produce superior socket knees,

Very tiny, miniature parts can be made by electrochemical fabrication,

In jewelry designs, crafts and arts.

Future developments:

As the Rapid Prototyping Technology gets further advanced, it can lead to substantial
reduction in build-up time for manufacturing.

Further improvement in laser optics and motor control can improve the accuracy.

The development of new materials and polymers so that they are less prone to curing and
temperature induced warpages.

Much anticipated development is the introduction of non-polymeric materials including

metals, ceramics, composites and powder metallurgy.

Developments in ceramic composites can further increase the range of rapid prototyping.

Currently, the size is also a restriction; capability for larger parts shall be expected in the near

Currently, the demand is low and with the further technology advancement, awareness and
training, this can be increased.

Advancement in computing systems and viability to support net designs from a distant
country to be fed directly on the RP machines for manufacturing is a new possibility.

Limitations and Challenges ahead:

Unfamiliarity with the application of RPT exists. Therefore, its complete adaptability and
how exactly this new and advanced technology will be of help and is not known.

In view of high equipment cost, very few organizations can invest in these new machines.

Currently, RPT is more limited to modeling, specimen making and designing.

The RPT is at present limited to making of paper and plastic type products only.

Replacing steel by composites is still not easy and people fear its implications.

RP companies usually limit the marketing efforts and industry awareness; hence most
engineering and manufacturing professionals are not fully aware of the RP potentials.

The Fig. 5.2.6 indicates some common appliances, wherein the blades of fan, covers and
components of oven, projectors are made by the rapid manufacturing techniques.

F 5.2.6 So
ome applica
ations of Raapid Manufaacturing


Lecture No-3 Microwave Processing of Materials

Microwave processing is a relatively new and emerging area in material processing. It has bright
prospects as an unconventional manufacturing technique in the years to come. Application of
microwaves in material processing is one of the significant developments in researches in
material processing which is gaining popularity day by day. The use of microwaves to process
absorbing materials was studied intensively in the 1970s and 1980s and has now been applied to
a wide variety of materials. The metals were earlier considered not viable to process through
microwaves owing to the fact that they primarily reflect microwaves at room temperature but
recent research activities, however indicate that it is possible to process metals under certain
conditions. The microwave processing of materials provides a new approach to improve the
physical properties of materials. It offers an alternative for processing materials that are hard to
process using conventional means.
There are a number of processing advantages and environmental benefits that can be derived
from the use of microwave processing. Some of these advantages include:

Microwave processing is a green manufacturing process (environmentally safe), significantly

fast and hence tends to be highly economical (energy saving).

Microwaves have been effectively and efficiently used for processing of ceramics and
composite materials which are otherwise difficult to process through conventional processes.

In microwave processing, fine microstructures and improved mechanical properties are

observed with reduced processing cycles.

Conceived almost 50 years ago, microwave energy was developed primarily for
communications; its application was later extended to some areas of processing such as cooking
foods, tempering, thawing, and curing of wood, rubber products etc. However, a considerable

development has taken place in the last two decades. Today, microwaves are being extensively
used not only in industrial applications but also in domestic appliances.
In microwave processing, heat is generated internally within the material instead of originating
from external sources. Heating is rapid as the material is heated by energy conversion rather than
energy transfer. There is a 100% conversion of electromagnetic energy into heat. In conventional
thermal processing, energy is transferred to the material through conduction, convection and
radiation of heat from the surface of the material. On the other hand, microwave energy is
delivered directly to materials through molecular interaction with the electromagnetic field.
Significant advantages in material processing through microwaves have been observed in respect
of savings in processing time, product uniformity, grain size control and consequent property
enhancement etc. Microwave energy has been in use for variety of applications for over five
decades, however, in the last few years more advancements and applications like ceramic
sintering were noticed.
Microwave heating/ processing of material depends on dielectric and magnetic properties.
Microwaves are not form of heat; rather form of energy that is converted into heat energy.
Microwaves are electromagnetic waves with wavelengths in the range of 10 mm to 300 mm.
Microwaves generally refer to signals with frequency in the range of 0.3 GHz to 300 GHz. The
most common microwave frequency used for materials research is 2.45 GHz. The Federal
Communications Commission has issued the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) frequency
bands used for industrial microwave heating. These frequencies are indicated in the Table 5.3.1.
A frequency of 2.45 GHz is used for the domestic microwave ovens. Figure 5.3.1 shows the
electromagnetic spectrum along with the range of microwaves.
Table 5.3.1: Permitted frequencies and wavelength bands:
Frequency (MHz)

Wavelength (m)

Area Permitted



Great Britain



North & South America



Other parts, including India





Di-electric heating

Millimeter waves MICROWAVES

Rear Bands


Radio frequencies

10 cm
10 m
100 m
Frequency (Hz)
3 X 1010 3 X 109 3 X 108 3 X 107 3 X 106
13.56 MHz
900 MHz
Principal frequencies allotted
2.45 GHz
for industrial use
27.12 MHz
433.9 MHz
433.9 MHz

Fig. 5. 3.1 The electromagnetic spectrum

Microwaves have unmatched application potential in wireless communication as well as in
material processing. They can be reflected, absorbed and/or transmitted by materials. Reflection
and absorption require interaction of the microwaves with the material. A brief comparison
between conventional heating and microwave heating is illustrated in Table 5.3.2.

Table 5.3.2: Conventional and microwave heating.


Conventional Heating

Mechanism In
of heating



Microwave Heating

processing, In microwave heating, energy is delivered

thermal energy is delivered to the directly to the material through molecular

surface of the material by radiant interaction with the electromagnetic field.
and/or convection heating and is Here, heating is due to the transfer of
transferred to the bulk of the material electromagnetic energy to thermal energy
via conduction/convection.

and the mechanism is energy conversion

rather than heat transfer. The Microwave

interaction is through either polarization or
conduction process.

Here the heating is gradual and there Since


is no volumetric heating concept.





material and supply energy, heat can be

generated throughout the volume of the
material resulting in volumetric heating.
Hence, it is possible to achieve rapid and
uniform heating of thick materials.


of In conventional heating, slow heating Rate of heating is much faster.


rates are selected to reduce steep

thermal gradient leading to processinduced stresses. Thus, there is a
balance between processing time and
product quality.


From the outer surfaces into the The thermal gradient is in the reverse

of heating

core/center of the bulk.

fashion as that of conventional heating,

that is the highest temperature is generally
observed in the core/center of the bulk.


There is uneven heating on different During microwave processing, microwaves


areas, leading to uneven quality.

transfer energy throughout the whole

volume of the material. This helps to
reduce processing time and enhance the
product quality.

Rate of

The processing time is more.

Relatively faster.

Polarization and Conduction:
There are two most widely accepted mode of interaction of microwaves with materialspolarization and conduction. The polarization involves short range displacement of the charges
through formation and rotation of electric poles, while the conduction requires long range

transportt of the charg

ges. Like lassers, microw
waves are higghly coherennt and polariized. Microw
obey thee laws of op
ptics. Howev
ver, unlike laser heatinng, microwaave heating is fundamenntally
different from conveentional heatting processses. The eneergy absorbeed by the m
material durinng its
on with miccrowaves is generally manifested
ass heat. The electric fielld decreasess as a
function of the distance from the
t surface of the matterial as eneergy is absoorbed withinn the
material,. Different types
of Miccrowave-Maaterial interacctions are illlustrated in the Figure 55.3.2.
The power absorbed in microwav
ve processin
ng is given byy:


where, P = power absorbed

in watts,
= reson
nant frequenccy in hertz,
=dielectric loss off material, an
E= magn
nitude of elecctric field in volts/meter.

Ma terial Type




Low loss insuulator)




((Lossy Insulator)

Partial to


Partial to

trix= Low loss insulator
Fibeer/additives = aabsorbing


ation of miccrowaves in
nto differentt materials.
Fig. 5.3.2

Unique benefits and distinctive features of Microwave Processing:

Microwaves have the potential to process materials/ products that are difficult or impossible to
produce reliably by conventional methods. In addition to being a cost effective, clean and
environment friendly process, microwave processing has some unique benefits and features as

Penetrating radiation which helps in controlling the electric field distribution,

Precise, rapid and uniform internal (volumetric) heating,

Differential coupling (selective heating) of materials, and

Self-limiting reactions.


Lecture No-4 Microwave Appications and New Trends
Basics of microwaves, microwave material processing and major benefits of microwave material
processing have been briefly presented in the previous session. There are numerous advantages of
this technique. Untill few years back, microwaves were primarily used for communications and
mostly in food processing. The heating application got extended to tempering and thawing, and
curing of wood and rubber etc. Recent research activities indicate that it is possible to process even
metallic materials including powder metals, pure metals and alloys under certain conditions in a
2.45 GHz microwave field. Application of microwave energy has now been extended to many
other areas, which include
1. Controlled nucleation and crystal growth,
2. Drying and Synthesis of materials,
3. Some areas using mw effects also called non thermal mw effects such as enhancing
chemical reaction rates, structural densification and enhancement in material diffusion,
4. The most recent application of microwaves has been in the field of metallic materials for
sintering, brazing/joining and melting,
5. Several common steel compositions, pure metals and refractory metals have been sintered in
microwaves to nearly full density with improved mechanical properties,
6. Many commercial powder-metal components of various alloy compositions including iron and
steel, copper, aluminum, nickel, Mo, Co, Ti, W, Sn, etc., and their alloys have also been
sintered in microwaves producing better properties than their conventional counterparts.

Industrial Applications of Microwaves:

In the 1970s and 80s, microwave processing was mostly confined to absorbing materials and
food processing areas.

Until 2000, Microwave processing of materials was mostly confined to ceramics,

semiconductors, inorganic and polymeric materials.

In the Parallam process (developed by McMillan-Bloedel), the penetrating nature of

microwave energy is used to rapidly and uniformly cure thick, cross-sectional, polymer: wood
composite beams as they are pultruded continuously through a die.

Sintering, Joining and Cladding are some of the important areas where microwave energy has
found substantial applications.

Table 5.4.1 shows some common applications and uses of Microwaves.

Table-5.4.1: Some common applications of microwaves in material processing


Material/ Process
Potatoes, cakes.

Chemical Reactions Neutralization of toxic substances, devulcanization of scrape rubber,

pyrolysis of wastes, oxidation of Sulphur.

Food grains, vegetables, meat.

Curing/ Hardening

PVC, PUF, Epoxy resin, Polyester, Plaster of paris, cement, cellulosic

membranes, wood gluing with adhesive, epoxy laminates, bakelite etc.

Dye Fixation

Yarn, Fabrics.


Paper, film, coating, casting moulds, ceramic powders, pharmaceutical

products, wood, coke, etc.

Sintering using microwaves:

Sintering is a process quite commonly used in powder metallurgy. Conventionally, it involves
heating a powder or a powder-mix in a blended form in a furnace so that it acquires the necessary
strength. Microwaves were used in sintering in 1968, when Tinga and Voss first reported the use of
it for ceramics. Consequently, several researchers continued work on sintering using microwaves.
According to Nishitani (1979) by adding a few percent of electrically conducting powders, the
heating rates of refractory ceramics can be considerably enhanced. It was only in the year 1998 that
Agrawal et al. have attempted microwave sintering of steel FC208 and FN208 to near net shape.
Agrawal (2000) have reported sintering of powder metals, pure metals, alloys and inter-metallic in a

microwave field in 15-30 minutes. Later in 2004, the sintering of Tungsten and its alloys was
successful through microwaves at 1400 C in 20 minutes, and by 2008, sintering of molybdenum to
full density at 1650 C in less than 5 minutes was reported. Sintering of Aluminium was reported in
the year 2008. Some major findings in the sintering area are grouped and shown in Table 5.4.2

Table 5.4.2: Major findings on MW Sintering

Reported by

Major Findings

Zhou et al.,

Sintering of W-Ni-Fe powder at varying heat rates were experimented; at the


heating rate of 80 C/min, the best combination of micro-structure and mechanical

performance was observed.

Mondal et al., Attempted sintering of premixed and pre-alloyed 90W-7Ni-3Cu through


microwave and conventional way; results showed higher density, micro-hardness

and fine microstructures without micro cracks.


Carried out sintering of 316L and ferritic (434L) stainless steels (SS) through

et al., 2008

conventional and microwave mode with upto 1.5 % graphite addition. They
reported higher corrosion resistance and improved corrosion properties.


Completed sintering of Al, Mg and Solder alloys. The tensile testing of the sintered

et al., 2008

products showed better properties in the microwave sintered conditions than the
conventionally sintered ones.

Rajkumar and

Copper-graphite composites were prepared using microwave heating without any

Arvindan, 2009 cracks.


Mo powder sintering was done using microwave radiation with 98% density.

et al., 2008
Sunil Ratna et Sintering of micro and nano-crystalline WC-12Co powders through microwave
al., 2009

were made and the samples yielded better properties than conventional sintering.

Microwave Joining of non-metallic materials:

Trans Welding Institute (TWI) has successfully used a modified microwave multimode cavity for
welding polymers at 2.45 GHz. The applicator was capable of irradiating the entire component and
produce complex 3-D joints. Welds are typically created in less than one minute. Microwave heating

has been extensively used for joining ceramics and ceramic composites. Ifthikar Ahmed and his coresearchers, in the year 1997, joined SiC ceramics and composites using polymer precursor at 1000
C in around 90 minutes. In India, in the year 1999, Aravindan and Krishnamurthy successfully
joined sintered alumina 30% - zirconia ceramic composites using sodium silicate powder glass as an
interlayer. Ahmed and Elias in the year 2001 have reported microwave joining of 48% alumina-32%
zirconia-20% silica ceramics which yielded higher joint strength than the base metal. Meek and
Black in the year 2001 have also reported joining of alumina-alumina ceramic using commercial
sealing glass interlayer. Binner and his group of researchers have reported the joining of alumina,
silicon carbide and yattria-doped partially stabilized zirconia rod specimens in the year 1995.
Microwave Joining, Coating and Cladding:
In spite of significant progress, there had been very limited reports on microwave joining of metallic
materials. The main reason was due to the misconception that all metals reflect microwaves and/ or
cause plasma formation. This was later overcome and in the last few years, metallic joining has been
successfully reported. Some studies conducted of microwave processing of metals are as indicated as

Sallom and his co-researchers in the year 2005 have reported the brazing of gamma TiAl with
Ag-based filler metal.

Bartmatz and his group have patented the brazing of titanium carbide tip to diamond cutter at
1000 C by using braze powder as interface layer in the year 2000.

Siores and Diego (1995) have reported the joining of thin steel specimen in the range of 0.1 to
0.3 mm in an inert atmosphere.

Agrawal et al. (2006) have reported joining of regular steel and cast iron in a microwave field in
2-3 minutes using a braze powder.

At the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, microwave joining of bulk metals has been
successfully carried out since 2007 onwards. Joining of bulk copper, stainless steel-316L (SS316L) etc. were carried out successfully. Fig.5.4.1 a and b, show some sample joints of Cu and
stainless steel joined using the microwave energy.

The development of coating and cladding using microwaves is also an emerging research area. In
the last decade only few research groups have reported their works on coating and cladding using

owave energ
gy. Table-5.4
4.3 reports some
of the developmennts in coatingg and claddiing using
MW energy in th
he recent yeaars.



Fig. 5.4..1 Microwav

ve joining of
o metallic materials:
(aa) Bulk Cop
pper, (b) Staainless Steell (316 L)
(Courttesy: IIT Rooorkee)

Table-5..4.3 Develop
pments in m
microwave ccladding.
d by



al. With
h the microw
wave exposu
ures for 60 too 90 mins, pporous thin coatings (~ 42 m)


and dense
thick coating
(~ 66
61 m) of A
Al2O3 on Al ssubstrate werre developedd.


NiAll coatings weere successfu

fully developped on Ti subbstrate.


Coatting was exp

perimented for
fo TI-Al allooy using miccrowave raddiation. The rreported

and Saylo

coatiing of frictio
on reducing alloys usingg CuNiIn poowder on Tii-6Al-4V haad much


betteer properties than its conventional suubstitutes.

Recent developmen
t in Claddin
ng on Metalllic Substrattes:

g microwav
ve hybrid heating
processing tecchnique, meetallic coatiing with suubstantial
ness on meetallic substrates have been recenntly develooped at the Indian Insstitute of
nology Roorrkee (IITR).

Substtantial reseaarch activitiees on microw

wave coatinng and claddding have allso been carrried out.
The Fig.
F 5.4.2 demonstrates the
t cladding developed iin the researrch laboratorry at IIT Rooorkee.

The WC-Co
d and EWAC clad on S.S.
S has beenn successfullly carried oout using hoome MW
applicator at 900
0 W at the Microwave Materials P
Processing L
Laboratory aat IIT Roorrkee very
ntly and the same
has beeen shown in Fig. 5.4.3.

On subsequent testing,
this developed clad
was foound to be m
metallurgicaally bonded with the
metalllic substratee.

The developed
cllad was freee from visiblle cracks andd contained significantlyy less porosity in the
rangee of around 1.02%.

This has develop

ped a new era
e in microw
wave processsing of mettals and hass a future prromise to
me a major environment
t friendly pro
ocessing fielld for differeent materialss.

Fig. 5.4.2 Imagee of microwa

ave clad of WC-Co
on stainless steeel. (Courtessy: IIT Roorrkee)

Fig. 5.4
4.3 Image off transversee section of EWAC
dding on SS
S-316. (Courrtesy: IIT Roorkee)