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Close-contact melting as a subtractive machining process

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This study assesses the feasibility of close-contact melting for machining low melt point materials. The primary results of interest are the width and uniformity of the cut and the resistance force at the contact surface. The theoretical gap size and resistance force is derived around a cylindrical heating element with given material properties, temperatures, heating element dimensions, and cutting speed. A differential equation for the gap size is developed and solved numerically. An approximate closed form solution is found for molten wax velocity in the gap. The momentum equation is then solved to find the pressure and shear stress distributions in the gap. Resistance force against the cylinder is derived. The theory is derived for the width and uniformity of the cut and how it may be controlled with a computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine. A series of experiments that were performed to verify the theory.

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Correspondence to Paul Mayer.

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Mayer, P., Moaveni, S. Close-contact melting as a subtractive machining process. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 37, 980–995 (2008).

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  • Close-contact melting
  • Machining
  • Cutting
  • CNC