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Micro-Machining: Challenges And Opportunities

Micro-Machining: Challenges And Opportunities

Luo Xichun and Chang Wenlong from Centre for Precision Manufacturing at University of Strathclyde, and Sun Jijing from Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering at Heriot Wat University explore recent novel advancements in micromachining technologies. 


Micro-machining is an enabling technology for the manufacture of micro-products in which functional features, or at least one dimension, are in the order of μm. This is pivotal to our economy, as micro-products, such as micro displays, micro batteries, and micro fluidics are becoming well-established in all major areas of our daily life and can already be found across a broad spectrum of applications, especially in the automotive, aerospace, photonics, renewable energy, and medical instrument sectors.

Nowadays micro-machining technologies are clearly advancing towards economical manufacturing of customised high precision 3D micro-products made of a variety of materials, including difficult-to-machine materials such as glass, sapphire, ceramics, and hard steels, etc. This proposes significant research challenges in terms of process control, but also provides great opportunities for the research and development new advanced micromachining technologies in areas such as modelling, hybrid micro-machining, and in-line/on-machine metrology, to name a few.

Pushing Boundaries: Micro-Machining Difficult Materials

Adopting difficult-to-machine materials for emerging 3D micro-products proposes a great challenge to micro-machining technology. The so-called “size effect” material removal mechanism in micro-machining is different from that of conventional machining.

Li et al. applied molecular dynamics simulations to gain an in-depth understanding of formation mechanism of surface roughness and residual stress of single crystal cerium in ultra-precision diamond turning process. Their studies revealed that dislocation and lattice distortion were two factors that govern the formation of surface roughness and residual stress.


Read more here at Page 25.





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