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An experimental investigation on micro machining of fine-grained graphite

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Industrial applications of the micro milling process require sufficient experimental data from various micro tools. Research has been carried out on micro milling of various engineering materials in the past two decades. However, there is no report in the literature on micro milling of graphite. This paper presents an experimental investigation on micro machinability of micro milling of moulded fine-grained graphite. Full immersion slot milling was conducted using diamond-coated, TiAlN-coated and uncoated tungsten carbide micro end mills with a uniform tool diameter of 0.5 mm. The experiments were carried out on a standard industrial precision machining centre with a high-speed micro machining spindle. Design of experiments (DoE) techniques were applied to design and analysis of the machining process. Surface roughness, surface topography and burrs formation under varying machining conditions were characterized using white light interferometry, SEM and a precision surface profiler. Influence of variation of cutting parameters including cutting speeds, feedrate and axial depth of cut on surface roughness and surface damage was analysed using ANOVA method. The experimental results show that feedrate has the most significant influence on surface roughness for all types of tools, and diamond tools are not sensitive to cutting speed and depth of cut. Surface damage and burrs analysis show that the primary material removal mode is still brittle fracture or partial ductile in the experimental cutting conditions. 3D intricate micro EDM electrodes were fabricated with good dimensional accuracy and surface finishes using optimized machining conditions to demonstrate that micro milling is an ideal process for graphite machining.

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Correspondence to Dehong Huo.

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Huo, D., Lin, C. & Dalgarno, K. An experimental investigation on micro machining of fine-grained graphite. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 72, 943–953 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-014-5730-x

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  • Micro machining
  • Micro milling
  • Moulded fine-grained graphite
  • Design of experiments
  • Micro EDM electrode