This paper discusses a technique for reducing subsurface damage and/or increasing material removal rate (MRR) in ceramics grinding. An indentation damage model shows that intermittent unloading can produce a lateral crack before the median crack fully develops. It shows that upon reloading, the lateral crack shields against further median crack penetration. Furthermore, intermittent unloading produces shielding even for oblique indentation events and intermediate locations of lateral cracks. Single-grit scratch tests provide experimental validation of the beneficial effects of intermittent unloading. A magnetostrictive actuator modulated the workpiece to create the intermittent unloading. Simulation studies predict that force per grit can be doubled under modulated conditions without an increase in normal damage in the finished workpiece. Our experimental observations show a 62% increase in MRR with minimal associated increase in depth of penetration of the median crack. Alternatively, the experimental results also show that modulations could be used to reduce the depth of median crack penetration by 24% at the same MRR. In addition, we observed that damage depth increases with an increase in the ratio of cutting speed to modulation frequency. Finally, both depth of cut modulation and cutting direction modulation were effective in reducing subsurface damage.
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