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jou rnal homep age : ht t p: // ees .e lse vi er. com/ci rp/ def a ult . asp

composites

A. Di Ilio a,*, A. Paoletti a, D. DAddona (2)b

a

b

Department of Materials and Production Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy

A R T I C L E I N F O

A B S T R A C T

Keywords:

Grinding

In-process measurement

Metal matrix composite

In this paper, some relationships for modelling force components, cutting energy and workpiece surface

roughness in grinding of metal matrix composites, are proposed. To this end, experimental data obtained

from tests carried out on a horizontal surface grinder are employed. Grinding wheels based upon alumina

abrasive were used and aluminium alloy samples reinforced with silicon carbide were ground. The

empirical models obtained could be utilised to predict how the cutting parameters affect the grinding

process and the machining quality of these non-traditional materials. The inuence of shape, orientation

and content of the reinforcement on material grindability is taken into consideration.

2009 CIRP.

1. Introduction

2. Experimental tests

several industrial applications is due to their high specic strength

and stiffness, as well as high temperature resistance. In order to

make these applications possible, MMC components need to be

formed into the desired shapes and nished to the required

dimensions and tolerances. Metal matrix composites are given

their required shape by brazing, bonding, powder metallurgy

techniques, casting, metal spraying and by forming operations

such as bending, swaging, drawing and extrusion. Although

advances have been made in near-net-shape technology, nishing

operations are often required to obtain dimensional tolerance as

well as good surface nish. Machining of these new materials

requires tool materials of very high wear resistance because the

reinforcement is extremely abrasive [1]. Among traditional

machining processes, grinding operation is important for MMCs,

since it could be applied also in heavy-duty machining, in addition

for obtaining desired dimensional tolerances and surface quality.

Up to the present, a lot of work has been carried out to understand

the mechanisms of grinding conventional materials by analysing

the process as an interaction system between the surface of the

wheel and the workpiece [2,3]. On the contrary, there are only few

investigations on the grindability of metal matrix composites,

most of them concerning the role of reinforcement and the

inuence of grinding wheel abrasive on the process [48]. Since

grinding is a complex manufacturing process with a lot of

quantities which inuence each other, modelling can be a useful

tool to the comprehension and simulation of the process itself. In

this work some empirical relationships for predicting how the

grinding parameters affect the grinding force, the specic grinding

energy and the workpiece surface roughness are presented.

a grinding wheel based upon alumina abrasive, type 32A 46-IV. The

cutting parameters adopted were: wheel peripheral speed,

ys 2022 m=s; depth of cut, ae = 0.010.09 mm; workpiece speed,

yw 150310 mm=s. The experimental apparatus consists of a

horizontal spindle surface grinder equipped with a two components

piezoelectric dynamometer, clamped to the grinding table. A coupled

charge device (CCD)-camera system was placed on the head of the

grinding machine in order to obtain an on-line assessment of

progressive tool wear. A mechanical prolometer was employed to

measure the workpiece surface roughness off-line. The decreasing

cutting ability of the wheel during the grinding of MMCs may be

caused by the following phenomena: (1) break out and fragmentation of grains due to abrasion of reinforcement; (2) attrition wear of

the active grains; (3) clogging of the wheel caused by the adherence

of the chips. The last two forms of damage determine the formation

of wear ats on the wheel surface [5,6]. These at worn areas form

highly reecting zones on the wheel active surface, which can be

detected by means of a CCD-camera, provided with a perpendicularly

incident light beam. In fact, in this condition, the wear ats reect the

light perpendicularly, while other zones of the wheel surface produce

the scattering of light, thus reducing the light fraction which returns

to the sensor. The materials employed for tests are aluminium alloys

series 2009 and 6061 reinforced with different volume percentage of

silicon carbide in form of powders and whiskers. The code Al-xxxx/

SiC-yyR denotes an aluminium alloy series xxxx, containing yy

% volume content of reinforcement in form of Powders (R replaced

with P) or Whiskers (R replaced with W). All experimental data were

obtained adopting dry conditions and constant dressing parameters

of the grinding wheel. Consequently, the proposed models do not

take the inuence of grinding uid and dressing conditions into

consideration. For all experimental runs, almost three replicates

were carried out and the mean value of each set of data was

employed in order to process empirical relationships.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 0862 434318; fax: +39 0862 434303.

E-mail address: antoniomaria.diilio@univaq.it (A. Di Ilio).

0007-8506/$ see front matter 2009 CIRP.

doi:10.1016/j.cirp.2009.03.023

292

3. Modelling

Table 1

Coefcients of Eq. (1).

because their development requires less effort than physical

models. However, every empirical model can be employed for the

description of only one machining application. The coefcients of

the empirical models have been determined with the aid of

regression analysis methods on the basis of a number of

experimental results. Regression analysis is the generic term for

any mathematical statistical method that aims to nd a functional

interrelation between dependent random variables (measured

data points) and one or more independent random variables. The

independent variables are represented by the input parameters of

the grinding process that are the setting parameters. The output

parameters and the machining results respectively, are the

dependent variables [3]. In this work empirical equations are

determined by carrying out regression analysis of experimental

results by using the least square method.

Material

f1

f2

f3

f4

Al-2009/SiC-20P

Al-2009/SiC-15W

43

50

94

114

67

85

4

7

The relevant literature offers many approaches to this eld of

modelling. Generally, since close relationships between force

components exist, it is possible to make no distinction between

the models for describing normal forces and those describing

tangential components, as these forces can be brought into relation

to each other through the grinding force ratio. The relationship

between the normal, F 0n , and tangential, F 0t , components of the

grinding force per unit width of grinding wheel for the MMCs under

test is shown in Fig. 1. The values refer to a wheel perfectly sharp, i.e.

they have been measured in the rst pass after the wheel dressing

operation; therefore they do not take into account of the changes in

grinding wheel topography due to the progressive degradation

which occurs as the number of passes increases.

As can be seen, the relationship between the force components is

linear and the slopes of the regression equations are 1.55 for the

composite Al-2009/SiC-20P (regression coefcient, Rsq = 0.99) and

1.65 for the composite Al-2009/SiC-15W (Rsq = 0.98). The ratio of the

specic normal force to the specic tangential one keeps constant

regardless of changes of equivalent chip thickness (heq ae yw =ys ).

This fact means that, for the composite materials under test, the

ductile behaviour of the metallic matrix is predominant on the

brittle one of the ceramic reinforcement. In fact in grinding of

ceramics, the chip formation is characterised by cracking and

propagation of cracks, resulting that the ratio of normal to tangential

force presents quite strong non-linearity. For ductile materials, the

chip formation is due to plastic deformation and it could be

considered as a stable process. The analysis of the experimental

results obtained in this work has shown that the normal and

tangential components of the specic force may be fairly well

approximated by a polynomial relationship of the equivalent chip

thickness, such as Eq. (1) relating to the normal component:

F 0n f 1 h3eq f 2 h2eq f 3 heq f 4

(1)

Fig. 2. Specic normal and tangential forces as a function of the equivalent chip

thickness.

square method, are reported in Table 1, while Fig. 2 shows the

resulting trends of the grinding forces as a function of the

equivalent chip thickness.

The processing of the experimental results has allowed to

hypothesize the following model which takes into account the

inuence of the cutting parameters:

n

F 0n C 1 am

e q

(2)

coefcients C1, m and n, obtained by the regression analysis, are

shown in Table 2.

The above-mentioned force models are based on the assumption of a stationary grinding process. The inuence of the grinding

time and the resulting changes in grinding wheel topography can

be taken into account considering the specic material removal

(V 0w ). Fig. 3 shows the inuence of the specic material removal on

the trend of the specic normal force.

The non-stationary behaviour of the grinding force can be

ascribed to the increasing degradation of the wheel as the number of

passes increases. In the case of MMCs under test it has been found

that the main responsible of wheel degradation is the clogging

produced by the tough matrix [6]. The following relationship,

Table 2

Coefcients of the forces models.

Material

C1

Al-2009/SiC-20P

Al-2009/SiC-15W

265

593

0.79

0.86

0.19

0.28

293

results, shows a force model which takes the grinding time into

consideration during machining of Al-2009/SiC-20P composite:

F 0n 535 a0:72 q0:36 V 0w 0:12

(3)

It has been found in the investigation, that the grinding force reduces

with increasing the material hardness, which in turn depends on the

volume content of reinforcement. However, since the hardness also

depends on dimensions and distribution of the particles inside the

matrix, it is difcult to establish a clear relationship between the

grinding forces and the volume content of reinforcement.

3.2. Grinding energy models

The energy spent during grinding causes the heating of the

ground surface, which leads to the risk of material damage. The

specic grinding energy, U, dened as F 0t ys =ae yw , can be

considered to consist of cutting, which includes chip formation and

plowing contributions, and sliding components, according to the

following formula [9]:

U U ch U plowing U sliding

(4)

removal rate per unit width are reported.

Experimental results may be interpolated by curves exhibiting

the following structure:

U C 2 ae yw p

(5)

respectively, for the composite Al-2009/SiC-20P, and 57 and 0.49,

respectively, for the composite Al-2009/SiC-15W. At low removal

rates, the specic grinding energy is quite large, while it decreases

at higher removal rates tending towards a limit value which

depends on the workpiece material. As it is known, the specic

tangential cutting force F 0t;c is equivalent to that of a perfectly sharp

wheel, where the at area fraction is equal to zero. The evaluation

of F 0t;c requires the development of a force trend as a function of

wear at area percentage, A, as shown in Fig. 5 for the composite

Al-2009/SiC-15W.

In this diagram, the intercepts of the ordinate axis allow to

evaluate the values of the specic tangential cutting force, in

accordance with the method proposed by Malkin [9]. As can be

seen from Fig. 5, for the MMCs under test, the tangential force is

almost unaffected by the wheel degradation, which is mainly

caused by clogging of adhered chips. On the contrary, the normal

force is markedly affected by the wheel degradation, as shown in

Fig. 3, therefore the proportionality between F 0n and F 0t shown in

Fig. 1 is lost as the grinding wheel becomes dull. The trends

reported in Fig. 5 evidence that the contribution of sliding to the

tangential force, and hence to the energy expended for grinding, is

minimum. However, in order to estimate more accurately the

fraction of tangential force due to chip formation, F 0t;c , the

coefcients of the linear regression equations for the trends of

Fig. 4. Specic grinding energy as a function of the removal rate per unit width.

Table 3

Coefcients of the regression lines of the tangential force as a function of the at

area percentage.

Q 0w (mm3/mm s)

Slope

Intercept, F 0t;c

7.5

10.5

15.0

27.0

0.07

0.09

0.19

0.17

8.17

9.31

9.75

15.6

calculated and reported in Table 3.

The values of F 0t;c reported in Table 3 have been used to calculate

the specic grinding energy for cutting, Uc, dened as

Uc

F 0t;c ys

;

ae yw

From the results shown in Fig. 6, the specic chip formation

energy, Uch, which is actually expended by material removal, can

be approximately estimated to be equal to 10 J/mm3.

3.3. Surface roughness models

In MMCs grinding, the morphology of the ground surfaces is

characterised by the presence of side ow ploughing marks and

scratches and by areas which evidence high plastic deformation

and lack of ridges. It has been noted that the zones with high plastic

deformation decrease for materials which exhibit higher hardness

values. Similarly to conventional materials grinding, one starting

point for empirically relating surface roughness to the grinding

parameters is to assume a direct correlation with the equivalent

chip thickness, which, as suggested in ref. [9], assumes the form:

Ra C 3 hxeq

(6)

values of which were determined by applying a regression analysis

of the experimental data and are shown in Table 4. Fig. 7 reports in

Fig. 6. Specic grinding energy for cutting as a function of the removal rate per unit

width.

294

Table 4

Values of the constants for surface roughness models.

Material

C3

C4

Al-2009/SiC-20P

Al-2009/SiC-15W

0.69

1.36

0.16

0.27

2.63

15.2

0.15

0.26

0.22

0.40

the Rockwell B hardness is given by:

Ra 0:007 HRB 1:16

Fig. 7. Surface roughness as a function of the equivalent chip thickness.

of the equivalent chip thickness for the two composites under test.

As can be noted, the composite reinforced with powder exhibits

a better surface nish than that reinforced with whiskers,

nevertheless both composites have almost comparable hardness

values. In fact, the Rockwell Hardness B (HRB) is equal to 67.6 1.5

for the composite Al-2009/SiC-20P and to 69.5 1.5 for the

composite Al-2009/SiC-15W.

The differences in roughness values can be ascribed to a lower

notch effect associated with the roundness of the powder. Eq. (6)

assumes that the inuence of depth of cut and workpiece speed

have the same effect on roughness. Indeed, it has been found that

the roughness depends in a different manner on these machining

parameters, therefore the regression using the following equation

was performed:

Ra C 4 aye qz

(7)

where C4, y and z are coefcients, the values of which are reported

in Table 4.

Also for roughness, the inuence of grinding time can be taken

into account by considering the specic material removal, through

the following empirical equation:

Ra 7:66 a0:13

q0:36 V 0w 0:09

e

(8)

composite. As can be seen, the inuence of the grinding time is

almost negligible with respect to that of the cutting parameters.

For the composite reinforced with powder, the surface roughness

has shown a decreasing linear trend as a function of the hardness of

the workpiece material, as evidenced in Fig. 8.

(9)

inversely related to the material hardness, it is possible to establish

a correlation between surface roughness and specic tangential

force, as reported in Fig. 9.

The resulting regression equation is:

Ra C 5 F 0t C 6

(10)

and C5 = 0.41 and C6 = 0.25 for the composite Al-2009/SiC-20P. The

above data have been obtained for different values of the specic

material removal, while constant grinding parameters have been

adopted. Consequently, the diagram also represents the trend of the

surface roughness as a function of the specic grinding energy.

4. Conclusions

An investigation on the modelling of the grinding process of

MMCs, based on empirical relationships, was proposed. Empirical

models can help to understand the process and grinding xture

design. The conclusions obtained can be summarised as follows:

(1) the relationship between the normal and the tangential

components of grinding force is linear; (2) the sliding component

of the specic grinding energy is almost negligible with respect to

the cutting component, which shows a decreasing exponential

trend as the removal rate increases; (3) the workpiece surface

roughness can be related with the equivalent chip thickness

through a power relationship; it shows a decreasing linear trend as

the hardness of workpiece material increases.

References

[1] Cronjager L, Meister D (1992) Machining of Fibre and Particle-reinforced

Aluminium. Annals of the CIRP 41(1):6366.

[2] Tonshoff HK, Peters J, Inasaki I, Paul T (1992) Modelling and Simulation of

Grinding Processes. Annals of the CIRP 41(2):677688.

[3] Brinksmeier E, Aurich JC, Govekar E, Heinzel C, Hoffmeister HW, Klocke F, Peters J,

Rentsch R, Stephenson DJ, Uhlmann E, Weinert K, Wittmann M (2006) Advances in

Modeling and Simulation of Grinding Processes. Annals of the CIRP 55:667696.

[4] Zhong Z, Hung NP (2002) Grinding of Alumina/Aluminium Composites. Journal

of Materials Processing Technology 123:1319.

[5] Zhu Y, Kishawy HA (2004) Inuence of Alumina Particles on the Mechanics of

Machining Metal Matrix Composites. International Journal of Machine Tools &

Manufacture 45:389398.

[6] Di Ilio A, Paoletti A, Tagliaferri V, Veniali F (1996) An Experimental Study on

Grinding of Silicon Carbide Reinforced Aluminium Alloys. International Journal

of Machine Tools & Manufacture 36/6:673685.

[7] Di Ilio A, Paoletti A (2000) A Comparison Between Conventional Abrasives and

Superabrasives in Grinding of SiC-Aluminium Composites. International Journal

of Machine Tools & Manufacture 40(2):173184.

[8] Kwak JS, Kim YS (2008) Mechanical Properties and Grinding Performance on

Aluminium-Based Metal Matrix Composites. Journal of Materials Processing

Technology 201:596600.

[9] Malkin S (1989) Grinding TechnologyTheory Applications of Machining with

Abrasives. Ellis Horwood Limited, West Sussex.

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