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ULTRA SONIC MACHINING (USM)

[1] HISTORY
1927:
Wood and Loomis Noted Prospects of using High Frequency Sound Waves for
Machining
1945:
History of USM began with a Patent granted to an American Engineer Lewis
Balamuth
1951-52: First Report on Equipment and Technology
1954:
First Machine Tool using Ultra Sonic Principle Constructed
Initially Used as Finishing Operation for the Electro Spark Machined Components
Can be used to Machine Hard and/or Brittle Materials having Rockwell Hardness on C
scale > 40
Can be used for both Electrically Conducting and Non-Conducting Materials
Non-Chemical and Non-Thermal in Nature Materials are Not Altered Chemically and
Metallurgically
Characterized by Low MRR and no or Very Little Surface Damage to the Work Material

[2] ALTERNATIVE NAMES: USM is also Known as


Slurry Drilling
Ultra Sonic Drilling
Ultra Sonic Cutting
Ultra Sonic Grinding
Ultra Sonic Impact Grinding
Ultra Sonic Dimensional Machining
Ultra Sonic Abrasive Machining

[3] PROCESS PRINCIPLE

Electrical Energy of High Frequency is


Converted into Mechanical Vibrations
through a Transducer.
Mechanical Vibrations are Transmitted
to Abrasive Particles in the Slurry via
an Energy-Focusing Device or
Horn/Tool Assembly.
Horn is also Known as
Sonotrode,
Concentrator,
Acoustic Coupler,
Tool-holder,
Velocity/Mechanical
Transformer.
Normally, Transducers Vibrate in
Longitudinal or Compressive Mode
but can get Lateral or Transverse
Vibrations also.
Transducer can either be
Magnetostrictive
or
Piezoelectric

Basic Scheme Of Ultra Sonic Machining (USM) Process

[4] USM PROCESS EQUIPMENT: Main Elements of a USM Machine are


[1] Acoustic Head;
[2] Feeding Unit;
[3] Tool;

[4] Abrasive Slurry

[4.1] ACOUSTIC HEAD: To Produce and Propagate the Vibrations in the Tool. The Most Important
Part
[4.1.1] POWER SUPPLY: A High Power Sine-Wave Generator
Converts Low Frequency Electrical Power (50 Hz) to High
Frequency (~20 kHz)
Electrical Power
Offers Control Over both Frequency and Power of the Generated
Signal
Power Range can be 40 W to 2,400 W

[4.1.2] TRANSDUCER: To Convert High Frequency Electrical Energy into High Frequency
Mechanical Energy
Can be Based on TWO Different Principles: Piezoelectric and
Magnetostrictive

Piezoelectric or
Electrostrictive Transducers

Magnetostrictive Transducers

Work on the Principle of Piezoelectric Effect


Piezoelectric Effect: Change in Dimensions
(Strain) when Electric Current is Passed or
Vice Versa

Work on the Principle of Magnetostriction


Magnetostriction or Piezomagnetism: Change in
Dimensions of a Ferromagnetic Objects due to
Change in the Magnetic Field

Piezoelectric
Materials:
Zirconate Titanate

Magnetostrictive Materials: Iron, Nickel or Nickel


Alloys, Alfer (13%Al, 87% Fe), Hypernik (50%Ni,
50%Fe); Permalloy (40% Ni, 60% Ni), Permendur
(49% Co, 2% V, 49% Fe)

Quartz,

Lead

Exhibit High Electromechanical Conversion


Efficiency
(up to 96%), Therefore No Need for Water
Cooling

Low Electromechanical Conversion Efficiency


(20 to 35%), Therefore Require Water Cooling

Low Power Capacity (900 W)

Higher Power Capacity (2,400 W)

Have Adaptability to Rotary Operations

Rugged but have High Reliability

Achievable Magnitude of Change in Length is Limited to 0.025 mm

MAGNETOSTRICTION or PIEZOMAGNETISM: Change in Dimensions due to Magnetization


The Dimensional Change can be Positive or Negative in a Direction Parallel to the Magnetic Field
The Change is Independent of Direction of Magnetic Field
Magnetostriction can be Explained by Domain Theory.
[Domains or Dipoles are the Very Small Elements of Material in the Order of 10 -8 to 10-9 cm3]
Under Sufficient Magnetic Field, the Magnetic Moments of the Atoms (or Magnetic Dipoles or Domains) try to
Orient in a Direction Easier for Magnetization and Coinciding with the Directions of Crystallographic Axes. This
Causes the Material Either to Expand (+ve Magnetostriction) or Contract (-ve Magnetostriction) till All the Magnetic
Domains Become Parallel or Magnetically Saturated.
Most of the Materials Exhibit +ve Magnetostriction but for Ni it is ve Magnetostriction
Magnetostrictive Property Deteriorates with Higher Temperature and Completely Ceases above Curie
Temperature
Magnetostrictive Material in an Alternating Field Vibrates at the Twice the Frequency of the Field.

[4.1.3] TOOL HOLDER or HORN or SONOTRODE or CONCENTRATOR or ACOUSTIC COUPLER


To Hold and Attach the Tool to the Transducer
To Amplify the Amplitude of Vibrations According to the Cutting Requirements Through the Principle of
Resonance
To Transmit Sonic Energy to the Tool
Must be Detachable.
MATERIALS: Material should have Good Acoustic Properties and Highly Resistant to Fatigue Cracking
Titanium: Best Acoustic Properties but Cannot be Successfully Brazed
Monel: Acoustic Properties are Same as that of Titanium; Can be Brazed; Most Commonly Used
Stainless Steel: Has Low Fatigue Strength; Limited to Low Amplitude Applications
CROSS-SECTION: Four Types
Exponential
Conical
Stepped
Catenoidal

Catenoidal

Concentrator is simply a Convergent Wave Guide for Designed Amplitude at its Far End
It is Made Resonating to Obtain Sufficient Amplitude of Vibrations
[Achievable Amplitude of Vibrations from Transducer does not Exceed 3-5 Microns
while at Tool End it should be 5-75 microns]
The Concentrator Becomes a Volume Resonator Tuned to the Same Frequency which Produces the Best
Condition for Maximum Power Transfer
Maximum Change in Dimension (Elongation/Contraction) Corresponds to a Magetostrictor Length Equal to the Half
of the Wavelength (l = 0.5), Therefore Length of Propagation is made Half Wavelength or Multiple of it

C 1 E

; where
f
f
Speed of Sound in the Magetostrictor Material (m/s)
Frequency of Changes in the Magnetic Field (s 1 )
Young's M odulus of Magnetostrictive Material (MPa)
Density of Magnetostrictive Material (kg/m 3 )

Wavelength
C
f
E

1
2l
l Length of the Magnetostrictor

The Resonance Frequency , f r

[4.1.4] TOOL:
To Minimize the Tool Wear, it Should be Constructed of Strong but Ductile Material
Commonly Used Materials: Brass, Mild Steel, Stainless Steel
For Hole Drilling: Music wire, Stainless Steel, or Hypodermic Needles
Harder the Tool Material Faster the Tool Wear Rate
Depending upon the Abrasive Used, Workpiece, and Tool Material the MRR/TWR can Range from 1 to 100
More Wear at the End, Wear at Sides is 10%
Aluminum Wears 10 times and Brass Wears 5 times Faster than Steel Tools
Area of the Tool Tip Influences the Penetration Rate, Smaller the Contact Area Better the Abrasive Flow under
Tool and Higher the Penetration Rate
Tool Should be as Short and Rigid as Possible
For Hollow Tools, the Internal Contour Should be Parallel to the External one to Ensure Uniform Wear
Thickness of any Wall or Projection should be at Least Five Times the Abrasive Grain Size and should Not be
Less than 0.5 to 0.8 mm
Longer Flow Path Gives Inefficient Cutting due to Poor Scavenging
Most Desirable Method of Attaching the Tool to the Toolholder is Silver Brazing as it Minimizes the Fatigue
Problem Associated with Screw Attachment
Allowances should be Provided to Compensate for the Overcut Produced by the Process
Diameter of the Tool = Desired Diameter 2 Abrasive Particle Size
Diameter of the Circle Circumscribed about the Tool should not be More than 1.5 to 2 times diameter of End of
Concentrator

[4.2] Feeding Unit: To Apply the Working Force during the Machining Operation

[4.3] Abrasive Slurry


ABRASIVES: Should be Harder than the Material being Machined
Selection Criteria: Hardness, Usable Life, Cost, and Particle Size.
Most Commonly Used Abrasives
Boron Carbide (B4C): Best and Most Efficient but Expensive
Silicon Carbide (SiC): Used for Glass, Germanium and Other Ceramics
Corundum (Al2O3):
Diamond Dust: Used for Cutting Diamond and Rubies
Boron Silicarbide: Newly Discovered and the Most Efficient; Abrasive Power is 10% More than B 4C.
Why Abrasives in Slurry Form ?

To Carry Abrasive to the Cutting Zone and Wash Away the Worn Abrasives and Swarf from the Cutting Zone
Liquid Help in Material Removal due to Cavitation Effect during Return Stroke of the Tool
Liquid Helps in Evenly Distribution of Abrasive Particles into the Working Gap
Acts as Coolant

Desirable Characteristics of Liquid Medium


Density should be Approximately Equal to that of Abrasives
Good Wetting Properties to Wet Workpiece, Tool, and Abrasives
High Thermal Conductivity to and Specific Heat for Efficient Removal of Heat from Cutting
Low Viscosity to Carry Abrasives
Non-Corrosive to Avoid Corrosion of Workpiece and Tool
Most Commonly Used Fluids:
Water: Most Commonly Used
Benzene:
Glycerol:
Oils:
MRR Tends to Decrease with Increasing Viscosity

[6] PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS


[6.1] AMPLITUDE of VIBRATIONS (A)
Miller [1957]; Goetze [1956]: MRR A
2
Rosenberg et al [1964]; Pentland and Ektermanis [1965]: MRR A
0.75
Shaw [1956]: MRR A
Neppiras and Foskett [1957]: Non-Linear Relationship between MRR and Amplitude of Vibrations
Wang and Rajurkar [1996]: MRR A n ; where n 1 2

[6.2] FREQUENCY of VIBRATIONS (f):


Shaw [1956]; Miller [1957]; Goetze [1956]; Cook [1966]:
0.5
Neppiras and Foskett [1957]: MRR f
Wang and Rajurkar [1996]: MRR f 1.6

MRR f

[6.3] ABRASIVE PARTICLE SIZE (d): Existence of Optimum Size of Abrasive Particles has been
Confirmed by
Neppiras and Foskett [1956] Experimentally: Non-Linear Relationship
Nair and Ghosh [1985]; and Wang and Rajurkar [1996] Theoretically
Goetze [1956]: Linear Relationship

[6.4] STATIC FEED FORCE (Fs): An Optimum Value Exists Because Initially MRR Increases with an
Increase in Static Feed Force but after a Certain Limit MRR Starts Decreasing due to Crushing
and Impaired Motion of Abrasive Particles.

[6.5] ABRASIVE SLURRY CONCENTRATION (C av): MRR Improves with Slurry Concentration but
Saturation Occurs at 30 40%.

[6.6] INDENTATION RATIO i.e. Hardness Ratio of Workpiece and Tool ():MRR Decreases
with Indentation Ratio

MRR Also Increases with Higher Brittleness of Workpiece Material, Slurry Pressure, and Decrease in Carrier Fluid Viscosity

[7] APPLICATIONS of USM PROCESS


[7.1] MATERIALS APPLICATIONS: No Limitation on the Range of Materials Except that they Should
Not Dissolve in Slurry Media or React with it
Pure Substances: Metals - Al, Ti, W
Semi-conductors
Carbon, Graphite
Alloys: Brass, Steel, Tool Steel, Stainless Steel, Ti-Alloys
Ferrite
Ceramics: Glass, Refractories, Quartz, Precious Mineral Stones Ruby, Sapphire, Diamond
Composites: Sintered Carbide
Miscellaneous: Porcelain, Plaster of Paris, Calcium, Rocks, Teeth and Bones
[7.2] SHAPE APPLICATIONS:

Hole Drilling of Any Shape


Blanking or 2D Profile Cutting
Cavity Sinking or Through Cavity Making
Trepanning
Parting-Off
Piercing of Dies
Slot Cutting
Deburring
Grinding
Lapping
Engraving
Coining

[8] SUMMARY of PROCESS CAPABILITIES or OPERATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS of USM PROCESS


Type
Finishing
Capabilities

Capability/Characteristics
Surface Roughness [CLA in m]

0.4 - 1.6

Dimensional Tolerance or Accuracy [ m]

12.5 25.0

Minimum Corner Radii (mm)

0.025

Minimum Overcut (mm)

Twice the Size of Abrasive Particles

Minimum Surface Damage


(m)

Drilling
Capabilities

Cutting
Capabilities

Economic
Aspects

Common Value/Range

Chemical Damage

NO

Mechanical Damage

25

Thermal Damage

NO

Hole Diameter (mm)

0.13 3.18

Aspect Ratio

0.1 2.5

Hole Depth (mm)

1.5 51

Minimum Taper (m /mm)

5.0

Maximum No. of Holes that can be Drilled Simultaneously

10

Minimum Angle of Inclination Hole Axis with Surface

900

Width of Cut (mm)

0.07

Thickness of Cut (mm)

1.5 51.0

Range of Cutting Rate (mm/min)

0.025 25.0

Initial Investment or Capital Cost

Low

Tooling and Fixtures Cost

Low

Power Consumption Cost

Medium

Tool Consumption Cost or Tool Wear Rate

Medium

[9] SUMMARY of PROCESS CHARACTERISTICS and PARAMETERS of USM PROCESS

Parameter

Common Value/Range

Mechanism of Material Removal

Brittle Fracture Caused by Impact of Abrasive Particles due


to Tool Vibrating at High Frequency

Tool Material

Brass, Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, Music wire and


Hypodermic Needles

Abrasives

B4C, SiC, Al2O3, Diamond

Medium

Water, Benzene, Glycerol, Oils

Tool-Workpiece Gap

25 40 m

Process
Paramete
rs

Vibration Amplitude

5 100

Vibration Frequency

10 40 kHz

Mean Size of Abrasive


Particles

0.007 0.15 mm [100 2,000 Mesh Size]

Volumetric Concentration
of Abrasive Particles in the
Slurry

5 50%

Static Feed Force

4.5 45 N

[10] ADVANTAGES and LIMITATIONS of USM PROCESS

[10.1] ADVANTAGES:
Possibly Safest among all the Conventional and Non-Conventional Machining
Processes as there is No Cutting, Voltage, Burning, Chemical Reaction, or
Dangerous Mechanical Motions
USM Can Even Not Cut Skin due to its Ductility
No Effect on Material Structure

[10.2] LIMITATIONS:
Low MRR
Tool Wear
Not Suitable for Soft Materials
Small Aspect Ratio (up to 2.5 for accurate holes)
Bottom of a Cavity Cannot be Machined Flat as very Few Active Grains Come Under the
Tool
Tendency of the Drilled Hole to Break Out at the Bottom due to Static Load and Vibration
Amplitude
Poor Machining Accuracy: Accuracy of the Machined Component may be Lost due to
Lateral Vibrations
Slurry may Pollute the Environment
Possible Sticking of Abrasive Particles may Necessitate Cleaning Operation