To assess the feasibility of the laser assisted machining (LAM) process for the machining of difficult-to-machine materials such as structural ceramics, experiments were performed on silicon nitride workpieces for a wide range of operating conditions. Data for cutting forces and surface temperatures indicate that the lower bound of the material removal temperature for avoidance of cutting tool and/or workpiece fracture corresponds to the YSiAlON glass transition temperature (920–970°C). As temperatures near the cutting tool increase to values above the glass transition temperature, the glassy phase softens, facilitating visco-plastic flow and, correspondingly, the production of semi-continuous or continuous chips. The silicon nitride workpiece machined had a surface roughness of at the nominal LAM operating condition. Examination of the machined surfaces and chips reveals no detectable sub-surface cracking or significant changes in microstructure, respectively. Relative to grinding, the most significant advantage of LAM is its ability to achieve much larger material removal rates with high workpiece surface quality and reasonable levels of tool wear. [S1087-1357(00)00704-8]
Experimental Evaluation of the Laser Assisted Machining of Silicon Nitride Ceramics
Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received Sept. 1998; revised Dec. 1999. Associate Technical Editor: M. Elbastawi.
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Rozzi, J. C., Pfefferkorn , F. E., Shin, Y. C., and Incropera, F. P. (December 1, 1999). "Experimental Evaluation of the Laser Assisted Machining of Silicon Nitride Ceramics ." ASME. J. Manuf. Sci. Eng. November 2000; 122(4): 666–670. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1286556
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