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A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium matrix composites

A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium... Adv. Manuf. (2020) 8:279–315 https://doi.org/10.1007/s40436-020-00313-2 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium matrix composites 1,2 3 3 • • Ji-Peng Chen Lin Gu Guo-Jian He Received: 28 December 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2020 / Accepted: 5 June 2020 / Published online: 24 July 2020 The Author(s) 2020 Abstract Among the various types of metal matrix com- Keywords SiC /Al  Machining  Conventional  Wear posites, SiC particle-reinforced aluminum matrix compos- mechanism  Nonconventional  Performance ites (SiC /Al) are finding increasing applications in many industrial fields such as aerospace, automotive, and elec- tronics. However, SiC /Al composites are considered as 1 Introduction difficult-to-cut materials due to the hard ceramic rein- forcement, which causes severe machinability degradation Metal matrix composites (MMCs) are prepared by com- by increasing cutting tool wear, cutting force, etc. To bining a metallic matrix with hard ceramic reinforcements. improve the machinability of SiC /Al composites, many Usually, metals including aluminum, magnesium, cobalt, techniques including conventional and nonconventional titanium, copper, and various alloys of these materials can machining processes have been employed. The purpose of be adopted as a matrix. Meanwhile, the reinforcement this study is to evaluate the machining performance of material is generally a hard ceramic material, such as SiC, SiC /Al composites using conventional machining, i.e., TiC, B C[1], Si N , AlN, Al O , TiB , ZrO , and Y O p 4 3 4 2 3 2 2 2 3 turning, milling, drilling, and grinding, and using noncon- [2]. The most widely used metal matrix materials for ventional machining, namely electrical discharge machin- producing MMCs are aluminum and its alloys, because ing (EDM), powder mixed EDM, wire EDM, their ductility, formability, and low density can be com- electrochemical machining, and newly developed high-ef- bined with the stiffness and load-bearing capacity of the ficiency machining technologies, e.g., blasting erosion arc reinforcement [3]. Among numerous reinforcement mate- machining. This research not only presents an overview of rials, SiC is usually employed because it has some unique the machining aspects of SiC /Al composites using various advantages, e.g., low cost, good hardness, and high cor- processing technologies but also establishes optimization rosion resistance, compared to other reinforcements [4]. parameters as reference of industry applications. With the combined advantages of aluminum matrix mate- rials and SiC reinforcement, SiC /Al MMCs have been certified and are steadily advancing owing to their excellent properties such as high strength, low density, and high & Ji-Peng Chen wear resistance. They are widely used in the automobile cjp@njfu.edu.cn and aircraft industries, structural applications, and many School of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, Nanjing other systems [5]. Since SiC /Al composites consist of a Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, People’s Republic of metal matrix and a SiC reinforcement, different volume or China weight percentage SiC in the matrix materials forms dif- Department of Mechanical Engineering, Polytechnic ferent SiC /Al composites, e.g., 10% (mass fraction), 20% University of Milan, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, (volume fraction), 45% (mass fraction) and 65% (volume Milan 20133, Italy fraction) SiC /Al matrix composites. A typical micrograph 3 p State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration, of a SiC /Al MMC with 65% (volume fraction) SiC par- School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong ticle reinforcement is shown in Fig. 1 [6]. University, Shanghai 200240, People’s Republic of China 123 280 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 1 Micrograph of 65% (volume fraction) SiC /Al matrix com- posite [6] The specific properties of SiC make it very suitable for the production of Al MMCs [7]. However, on the pro- cessing aspect, the hard reinforcement causes an inevitable and severe problem of limiting the machining performance and rapid tool wear [8], which results in poor machin ability and cost increase [9]. Consequently, it is not surprising that SiC /Al composites are considered difficult- to-machine [10]. To date, many attempts have been made to improve the machinability of this hard material. Fig- ure 2a indicates a steady increase in the number of studies on the machining of SiC /Al composites based on available publications since the 1990s. Figure 2b depicts the distri- Fig. 2 a Publications of SiC /Al composite machining performance studies sourced from available databases and b distribution of bution of SiC /Al machinability studies conducted in industrial countries conducting SiC /Al composite machining inves- industrial countries. In Fig. 3a, the statistics of the studied tigations based on available literature SiC (volume or weight fraction) according to appearance frequency in the literature are presented, and the SiC machining (ADM) [11]. This review considers both con- fractions are classified into 10 divisions. It is indicated that ventional and nonconventional machining studies con- most studies are focused on SiC /Al composites with low ducted by numerous researchers to summarize the SiC fractions, e.g., 5%–20% (volume fraction). Neverthe- machinability performance of SiC /Al matrix composites less, in recent years, increasing attention has been paid to and to offer transferable knowledge for industry the machining investigation of SiC /Al with high-SiC application. fractions, such as 50%, 56% and 65% (volume fraction). Both conventional and nonconventional machining methods have been adopted for the processing of SiC /Al 2 Fabrication and properties of SiC /Al matrix matrix composites. Figure 3b displays the approximate composites distribution of the machining methods utilized in the studies. It can be observed that turning, milling, and dril- 2.1 Fabrication ling are the most commonly used conventional machining technologies, whereas electrical discharge machining Different fabrication techniques are used for the prepara- (EDM) is the most frequently used nonconventional tion of aluminum MMCs, e.g., stir casting, powder metal- machining technology. Besides EDM, wire EDM, and lurgy, squeeze casting, in-situ process, deposition electrochemical machining (ECM), there are some other technique, and electroplating [12]. The widely used pro- nonconventional machining technologies that have been cesses are stir casting and squeeze casting [13]. Stir casting adopted for improving the machining of SiC /Al matrix (vortex technique) is generally considered as the most composites, e.g., the newly developed arc discharge 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 281 wear and impact resistance, and high chemical resistance [7]. These excellent properties enhance the characteristics of Al-SiC composites. Consequently, SiC-related issues (e.g., fraction and size) are the key factors that are affecting the properties of SiC /Al matrix composites. It is believed that the mechanical properties of Al/SiC composites can be improved by increasing the volume fraction of SiC parti- cles in the composites [27]. The yield strength and tensile strength increase with an increase in the SiC volume fraction; however, the plasticity [28] and impact toughness of the composites [29] deteriorate. Moreover, an increase in particle size reduces the strength but increases the composite ductility [30]; thus, a finer particle size of SiC offers a greater compressive strength [31]. Hong et al. [32] showed the variation in yield strength and ultimate tensile strength of composites as a function of the volume per- centage of SiC: the yield strength ranged from 75 MPa (0% SiC-2014Al) to 210 MPa (10% (volume fraction) SiC- 2014Al) and the ultimate tensile strength ranges from 185 MPa (0%SiC-2014Al) to 308 MPa(10% (volume fraction) SiC-2014Al). Yan et al. [33] produced Al matrix com- Fig. 3 a Percentage statistics of studied SiC fractions and b distribu- posites with high-volume fractions (55%–57%) of SiC tion of machining methods utilized in studies based on available database particles using a new pressureless infiltration fabrication technology and described the properties of the SiC/Al economical one among all the available methods of Al composites as follows: density was 2.94 g/cm ; elastic MMC production, and it allows fabrication of very large modulus was 220 GPa; flexure strength was 405 MPa; -6 components. Its advantages lie in simplicity, flexibility, and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) was 8.0 9 10 /K; applicability to large volume production [14]. In this pro- thermal conductivity (TC) was 235.0 W/(mK); Poisson’s cess, the matrix material is superheated above its melting ratio was 0.23; and HV hardness was 200 N/mm . Huang temperature. The particles are also preheated at approxi- et al. [34] fabricated 30% (volume fraction) SiC/6061Al mately 1 000–1 200 C to oxidize the surface. The melted composites using a pressureless sintering technique, and matrix is then stirred at an average stirring speed of obtained the following properties: bending strength was 300–400 r/min as the vortex is formed during stirring 425.6 MPa; TC was 159 W/(mK); and CTE was 1.25 9 -5 [2, 15]. The major problem with stir casting is segregation 10 /(20–100 C). Tailor et al. [7] summarized the prop- or dusting of reinforced particles [13]. The squeeze casting erties of SiC /Al composites as follows: bending strength process combines casting and forging to overcome casting was 350–500 MPa; elastic modulus was 200–300 GPa; and -6 defects such as pitting, porosity, and segregation of rein- CTE was (6.5–9.5) 9 10 /K. forcements [16]. Squeeze casting is a nonconventional process. Solidification of the molten slurry is carried out at high squeezing pressures, which enhance the microstruc- 3 Conventional machining of SiC /Al matrix ture and mechanical properties [17, 18]. In the fabrication composites of Al MMCs, many types of aluminum alloys have been adopted, e.g., Al6061 [19], AA2124 [20], Al7039 [21], 3.1 Turning Al7075 [22], Al A359 [23], Al A356 [24], Al6351 [25], and Al2124 [26], as matrix materials. 3.1.1 Tool selection 2.2 Properties The majority of SiC /Al turning investigations were con- ducted on lathes with a series of tools, such as uncoated The machinability of MMCs differs from conventional tungsten carbide (WC) tools, polycrystalline diamond metal materials because of the abrasive reinforcement (PCD) tools [35], high-speed steel (HSS) cutting tools [36], element. It is known that SiC particles have some specific cubic boron nitride (CBN) inserts tools [37, 38], single- properties, e.g., high melting point (2 730 C), high mod- crystal diamond (SCD) tools [39], TiN-coated hard carbide ulus (250 GPa), good thermal stability, good hardness, high 123 282 J.-P. Chen et al. tools, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamond tools, and influential parameter [51]. For the CVD diamond-coated multilayer-coated carbide insert tools [40]. carbide tool, the tool wear process includes melting of the PCD cutters are the most commonly used tools. They workpiece material onto the tool surface as well as alter- are generally preferentially considered when turning high- ations of the rake face and cutting edge by the consequent volume fraction SiC /Al composites. This is because these pullout. Tool failure of smooth coatings occurs by a pro- diamond-based turning tools both increase tool life and cess including work material transfer and welding on the produce acceptable machining surfaces [41]. Durante et al. tool surface as well as regular removal of the built-up layer [42] insisted that it was possible to use only the PCD and built-up edge (BUE), inducing coating pullout, which turning tools for improving the cutter service time and exposes the relatively soft tool substrate to abrasive wear reducing the cutter changing frequency because HSS cut- caused by the hard SiC particles [52]. For the uncoated WC ters could be destroyed in several seconds, whereas con- tool, the flank wear is high due to the formation of BUE ventional and coated carbides could only work for a few and generation of high cutting forces at low cutting speeds. minutes. Karabulut and Karako [43] also advised that PCD In addition, the formation of BUE enlarges the actual rake cutting tools should be used considering their excellent angle; thus, it is found that the increment of cutting forces mechanical properties, although these tools were generally may increase the cutting tool wear in turn [53]. Manna and not cheap. On the aspect of tool cost, carbide and rhombic Bhattacharayya [54] proposed that the feed rate was less inserts have been regarded as an economical alternative sensitive to tool wear compared with the cutting speed turning solution compared to PCD or CBN tools. Sahin during turning SiC /Al with an uncoated WC cutter. For [44] reported that multicoated carbide tools with TiN as the the CBN and diamond-coated cemented carbide cutting top layer presented a better wear property than those of tools, abrasion and adhesion were observed as the pre- other cutting tools when machining SiC /Al matrix com- dominant wear mechanisms. Scanning electron microscopy posites. In addition, Errico and Calzavarini [45] found that (SEM) investigation revealed that tool flank wear was the the deposition of a thin-film CVD diamond increased the dominant wear mode. In contrast, machining of an MMC cutting performance of hard metal substrates by more than containing relatively large SiC particles (110 lm) using 100%. Meanwhile, Andrewes et al. [46] observed a faster CBN cutting tools resulted in fracture of both the cutting flank wear rate on a CVD diamond insert than on a PCD edge and nose [55]. For the SCD tool, microwear, chip- insert, but that faster wear rate could be reduced by ping, cleavage, abrasive wear, and chemical wear were the securing stronger adhesion between the carbide substrate dominant wear patterns. It was pointed out that the com- and diamond coating. bined effects of abrasive wear of SiC particles and catalysis of copper in the aluminum matrix had caused severe 3.1.2 Tool wear mechanism graphitization. Figure 4 displays SEM images of a worn SCD tool used for turning of 15% (volume fraction) SiC / The machinability of MMCs differs from that of conven- 2009Al [39]. tional materials due to the heavy cutting tool wear caused As can be observed from Fig. 5, the cutting speed, depth by abrasive elements [29]. Flank wear is the main type of of cut, feed rate, and nose radius are the main factors that wear observed on the tip tool [47]. In terms of tool wear affect tool wear significantly in most of the turning cases mechanism, Manna and Bhattacharayya [48] explained the [56]. For instance, the tool wear increases with increasing following: as the SiC particle contacted with the cutting cutting speed, depth of cut, and feed rate when turning 5%– tool, the atoms from the harder material were likely to 20% (mass fraction) SiC-reinforced MMCs using an HSS diffuse into the softer matrix during the sliding process, cutting tool [36]. When turning SiC /Al7075 MMC with which increased the hardness and abrasiveness of the multilayer TiN-coated WC inserts in a dry machining workpiece. In the rapid wear phase and steady wear phase, environment, the most significant parameter affecting tool diffusion and abrasion caused tool flank wear, respectively. flank wear was cutting speed, followed by feed rate and For the PCD tool, the tool wear that occurs on the cutter depth of cut [57]. is similar to that observed when machining other materials Based on experiments and modeling of tool deteriora- and may be interpreted as surface fatigue and a tion, it is found that the volume fraction of SiC rein- microfracture process. The wear may be exacerbated by forcement strongly influences the tool wear [58]. Higher adhesion between the tool and the workpiece [49], and percentages of SiC particles lead to higher tool wear. A vertical grooves are visible on the flank face of the tool higher surface contact rate between the SiC particles and [50]. For the TiN-coated tool, abrasion is the main tool cutting edge occurs in higher-percentage SiC /Al matrix wear mechanism and there is almost no evidence of composites [47]. During turning, when the SiC particles chemical wear; moreover, tool wear occurs on the flank gain higher kinetic energy, they will strike the tool insert face and the cutting speed is found to be the most surface, which causes severe wear [56]. Improving cooling 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 283 Fig. 4 SEM micrographs of round-edged SCD tool wear after cutting 15% (volume fraction) SiC /2009Al: a flank face, b rake face, c flank face on the tool nose and d high magnification of the rectangle in c [39] Since tool wear is an important factor that contributes to the variation in spindle motor current, speed, feed rate, and depth of cut, on line tool wear state detecting is available. By analyzing the effects of tool wear and cutting parame- ters on the current signal, models on the relationship between the current signals and the cutting parameters were established with a partial design taken from experi- mental data and regression analysis. The fuzzy classifica- tion method was used to categorize the tool wear states to facilitate defective tool replacement at the appropriate time [60]. Besides, artificial neural networks (ANNs) and the coactive neuro-fuzzy inference system are available for predicting the flank wear [61]. 3.1.3 Cutting force, chip formation, and simulation The resultant cutting force consists of components due to chip formation, ploughing and particle fracture, and dis- placement. Merchant’s shear plane analysis, slip-line field theory, and Griffith’s theory can be adopted for calculating these force components, respectively [62]. Generally, as the cutting forces increase with the flank wear of the turning inserts, the feed and depth forces show a corre- sponding increase [63]. Manna and Bhattacharayya [54] conducted a series of experiments and found that the cut- ting force was smaller at lower cutting speeds, whereas the feed force was larger at lower cutting speeds than at higher cutting speeds. Besides, the properties of the SiC particle reinforcement, such as size and volume fraction, con- tributed to the change in the cutting forces [64]. Gaitonde Fig. 5 Effects of a cutting speed and feed rate and b cutting speed et al. [65] illustrated that a combination of a high cutting and depth of cut on flank wear [56] speed with a high feed rate was advantageous for mini- mizing the specific cutting force. It was demonstrated that and lubrication has significant impacts on the flank wear, the reinforcement percentage had an increasing effect on adhesive wear, and tool breakage. It was demonstrated that the resultant force when turning SiC /Al composites [66], adequate flushing as well as excellent lubricating and and the cutting force magnitudes were also sensitive to the cooling properties would help to reduce the three-body size of reinforcement particles [67]. abrasion at the boundary zones of the minor and major The chips formed from the workpiece material will flanks [59]. indicate the material deformation behavior during 123 284 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 6 Surface of the SiC /Al chip a voids formed around the SiC reinforcements and b fractured SiC particles [69] machining [68]. Figure 6 shows that chip voids initiate three-dimensional (3D) finite element model using com- around the particles along the inner surface first, and then mercial finite element packages to predict the subsurface some SiC particles become fractured [69]. In the turning damage after machining of particle-reinforced MMCs. The process, the tool rake angle has a great influence on the particles and matrix were modeled as continuum elements chip formation. Normally, the material of the workpiece is with isotropic properties separated by a layer of cohesive removed under the tensile stress supplied by the cutting zone elements representing the interfacial layer to simulate tool with a positive rake angle. On the contrary, the the extent of particle-matrix debonding and subsequent material is removed under the compressive stress supplied subsurface damage. A random particle dispersion algo- by the cutting tool with a negative rake angle. Therefore, it rithm was applied for the random distribution of the par- can be deduced that the plastic deformation of chips occurs ticles in the composite. Duan et al. [77] also simulated the more easily when using a tool with a negative rake angle chip formation and cutting force in SiC /Al composite than a tool with a positive rake angle [70]. machining by developing a three-phase friction model that During turning of SiC /Al matrix composites, the pri- considered the influence of matrix adhesion, two-body mary chip forming mechanism should be the initiation of abrasion, and three-body rolling. The schematic of the tool- cracks from the outer free surface of the chip due to the chip interface in SiC /Al composites machining is depicted high shear stress [71]. The particles can interfere with in Fig. 7. It was found that the change in the tool-chip matrix plastic deformation and retard the growth of cracks interface friction coefficient with the particle volume formed in the chip [72]; thus, the size and volume fraction fraction and particle size was reasonable. The chip root of reinforcement significantly influence the chip formation micrographs obtained from the experiments showed that mechanism. In the case of finer reinforcement composites, two-body sliding, three-body rolling, and matrix sticking the chip segments are longer and gross fracture occurs at were the main contact forms that determined the tool-chip the outer surface of the chips only. By contrast, in coarser interface friction in SiC /Al composite machining. As reinforcement composites, complete gross fracture causes exhibited in Fig. 8, Wu et al. [78] developed a the formation of smaller chip segments [73]. Because the microstructure-based model for investigating the mecha- volume fraction of SiC increases the chip disposability, the nisms of chip formation in the machining of particulate- chip thickness ratio and shear angle increase [53], and the reinforced MMCs. The morphology and distribution of the sizes of chips are decreased during dry machining opera- particles, debonding of the particle-matrix interface, and tion [36]. Ge et al. [74] discovered that a saw-toothed chip fracture of particles and the matrix were comprehensively was formed during ultraprecision turning of SiC /Al integrated into the model. Because of the high strain and composites and the chip-formation mechanisms were strain rate throughout the cutting process, the Johnson- dynamic microcrack behavior and strain concentration. Cook (J-C) constitutive model is generally utilized to Generally, cutting force and chip formation in the describe the properties of matrix materials in simulations turning processes are complex. Simulation models have [79–82]. The J-C equation is based on experimentally been developed for a better understanding of these pro- determined flow stresses and is a function of strain, tem- cesses. For example, Kishawy et al. [75] reported an perature, and strain rate in separate multiplicative terms energy-based analytical force model for orthogonal cutting [83]. It is given by of MMCs. Dandekar and Shin [76] proposed a multistep 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 285 Fig. 7 Schematic of the tool-chip interface in SiC /Al composite machining a the tool-chip contact, b an enlarged view of matrix sticking, two- body sliding, and three-body rolling, c an enlarged view of the tool-chip contact face [77] within sampling length) [87] are generally considered. e T  T r ¼ðÞ A þ Be 1 þ C ln 1  ; Ding et al. [88] studied the machining performance of e T  T 0 m r SiC /Al composites with various types of polycrystalline where r is the flow stress, r the plastic strain, e_ the strain CBN and PCD tools; they explained that the adhesion rate, e the reference plastic rate, T and T the current 0 m property of the tool and the work material had a major temperature and material melting temperature, respec- influence on the surface finish. Sharma [89] studied the tively, T the room temperature, A, B, C, n, and m the interaction effects of various factors and reported that an material constants that can be obtained using dynamic increase in nose radius improved the SR, while the feed Hopkinson bar tensile tests. In some conditions, e.g., if the rate has a more severe effect on the SR. Davim [90] pro- strain exceeds a certain value (0.3) or under a high strain posed that the cutting velocity, cutting time, and feed rate condition (higher than 10 /s), a modified J-C consti- parameters had statistical and physical significance on the tutive model with a correction of strain and strain rate SR of the workpiece. Palanikumar and Karthikeyan [91] hardening is used for the simulation of turning of particle- insisted that feed rate was the main factor that had the reinforced MMCs [78]. A detailed summary of machining greatest influence on the SR, followed by the cutting speed models for composite materials can be found in Ref. [84]. and SiC volume fraction. Muthukrishnan and Davim [92] also supported that the feed rate has the highest statistical 3.1.4 Surface integrity and machining efficiency and physical influences on the SR, whereas Manna and Bhattacharayya [48] considered that the cutting speed, feed With turning, the machined surfaces contain many defects rate, and depth of cut had equal influences on the R and R a t of pits, voids, microcracks, grooves, protuberances, matrix values. Aurich et al. [93] suggested that high cutting speeds tearing, and so on [85]. In investigations on the machining and feed rates and moderate depths of cut needed to be surface roughness (SR), R (the arithmetic mean rough- used to decrease the thermal load of the workpiece. ness), R (the maximum peak-to-valley height of rough- Muthukrishnan et al. [35] found that the surface finish was ness) [86], and R (the maximum peak-to-valley height superior at lower feed rates and higher cutting speeds for 123 286 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 8 Simulations of distribution of principal stress under a 50 lm depth of cut [78] PCD inserts. When the cutting speed was 400 m/min, a precision turning experiments to study the influence of steady low R value could be obtained over the entire tool particle size on the surface quality and proved that the SR life, which made high-speed finishing of MMCs possible (peak-valley value) was close to the particle radius. The [94]. Ge et al. [95] reported that R of 20–30 nm could be performance of cutting tool materials has been evaluated in attained by using single-point diamond tools (SPDT) or terms of surface quality from the best to the worst, which PCD tools; moreover, the surface obtained by SPDT was are PCD, CBN, and WC (for 10%(mass fraction) SiC /Al) smoother and the number of crushed or pulled out SiC [99]. For example, while turning Al2124-SiC (45%(mass particles was fewer. Dabade et al. [96] observed the lowest fraction)) MMCs, the PCD tool performed better than the SR (R = 0.13 um) on the machined surfaces of higher- CBN tool with lower flank wear and higher surface finish fraction reinforced MMCs (Al/SiC/30p), and the maximum quality [100]. It was proposed that damage to the machined SR (R = 2.47 lm) was found on the machined surfaces of surface was related to the fracture and pluck out of SiC Al/SiC/20p composites. It was reported that the SR of the reinforcement by cutting tools [101]; specifically, the par- cutting surface decreased as the volume fraction of SiC ticles beneath the machined surface were fractured as decreased [97], and the change in size was more influential subsurface damages because of squeezing by the flank face than the volume fraction [96]. Wang et al. [98] conducted of the cutting edge [78]. Hence, the treated tool produces a 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 287 better-machined surface of MMC material than the interaction effects of various factors and reported that an untreated tool [102], and lubrication will be helpful. In increase in nose radius improved the SR while the feed rate particular, kerosene with graphite powder yields better had a more severe effect on the SR, which increased with results on SR and surface hardness compared with other the increase in feed rate. lubricants such as soluble oil, mineral oil, and pure kero- Machining efficiency is an important factor in the sene [103]. In general, the peak residual stresses and machining operation of SiC /Al composites. The opera- residual stresses at most depths beneath the machined tional cost of the machine is directly proportional to the surface are higher for heat-treated samples than those for square of the material removal rate (MRR) [56]. MRR is hot-rolled samples [104]. Concerning investigations con- determined by the rate of change in volume [106]. In the ducted by Aurich et al. [105], the use of high feed rates turning process, the value of MRR (r ) is calculated by MRR decreased the residual stress in the surface of the workpiece the following formula: r = V 9 F 9 D. Here, V is the MRR in comparison to using low feed rates. However, the sur- cutting speed (m/min), F the feed rate (mm/r), and D the face quality considerably deteriorated by using high feed depth of cut (mm). Theoretically, increasing any of V, F,or rates. As depicted in Fig. 9, Sharma [89] studied the D will significantly improve the machining efficiency. Fig. 9 Interaction effects of various factors on surface roughness (S: cutting speed, D: depth of cut, F: feed rate, and R: nose radius) a cutting speed versus depth of cut, b cutting speed versus nose radius, c depth of cut versus feed rate, and d feed rate versus nose radius [89] 123 288 J.-P. Chen et al. However, the change in cutting parameters will produce 3.2 Milling non-negligible influences on other aspects, e.g., tool life, cutting force, energy consumption, and surface quality. There are several types of milling methods, e.g., end mil- Thus, it is necessary to optimize the machining parameters ling and face milling. From an overview of the literature, it can be found that most investigations of SiC /Al composite to achieve higher efficiency without causing severe tool wear, large energy consumption, etc. Generally, optimiza- machining are focused on end milling. tion methods, e.g., ANOVA and gray relational analysis [56, 107, 108], genetic algorithms (GAs) [109], Taguchi’s 3.2.1 Tool wear optimization methodology [110–114], and response surface methodology (RSM) [115–118], have been adopted. Uncoated cemented carbide inserts, nano TiAlN coated Table 1 lists various recommended turning parameters for tools, and carbide-coated cutting tools can be adopted for industry consideration based on optimization studies from the milling of SiC /Al composites. Additionally, some Refs. [119–124]. ultrahard materials, such as CBN and PCD, are employed to avoid rapid tool wear [125]. Images of a milling cutter with an identical tool geometry are exhibited in Fig. 10 [126]. Table 1 Recommended turning parameters for industry Shen et al. [127] demonstrated that the uncoated WC-Co Tool Matrix SiC Parameter Remark milling tool sufferred the severest wear in its circumfer- fraction ential cutting edge, whereas the wear of the diamond-like PCD Al 356 5% (mass Spindle speed Surface carbon (DLC)-coated milling tool was slightly lower. [119] fraction) 1200 r/min, roughness Comparatively, the CVD diamond-coated milling tool feed rate 0.25 2.96 lm, exhibits a much stronger wear resistance. The wear on its mm/r, depth of r 37.79 MRR circumferential cutting edge is less than 0.07 mm at the end cut 1.0 mm cm /min of milling tests, which is only half of that of the DLC- HSS Al 7075 10% Feed rate range Cutting forces [120] (mass of 0.4–0.8 mm/ are coated milling tool. Huang et al. [128] conducted high- fraction) r, depth of cut independent speed milling experiments of SiC /Al composites with 20% range of cutting (volume fraction) at dry and wet machining conditions. The 0.08–0.16 mm, speed results showed that the main tool wear was abrasion on the cutting speed range of flank face, and the TiC-based cermet tool was not suit- 60–100 m/min able for machining SiC /Al composites with higher volume Carbide Al 7075 10% Cutting speed Optimum fractions and larger particles due to the heavy abrasive insert (mass range of surface nature of the reinforcement. The diamond particle size has [121] fraction) 180–220 oughness a great influence on the wear resistance of PCD tools. The m/min, feed rate range of larger the size of the diamond particle, the worse the wear 0.1–0.3 mm/r, resistance. However, when the tool wear goes into a and depth of stable wear state, the wear rate of PCD tools with different cut range of particle sizes is almost the same [129]. Wang et al. [130] 0.5–1.5 mm showed that the wear pattern of PCD tools was the flank PCD Al 7075 10% Low feed rate The best wear caused by abrasion of the SiC particles at relatively [122] (mass (0.05 mm/r) surface fraction) and high finish low cutting speeds. Since graphitization of PCD tools does cutting speed not occur at low cutting temperatures, the wear mechanism (170 m/min) of PCD tools will be abrasive and adhesive wear. Huang Carbide Al 7075 15% Cutting speed 90 The maximum and Zhou [131] also reported that the flank wear was the insert (mass m/min, feed value of tool dominant wear mode for the TiN-coated tool, cermet tool, [123] fraction) rate 0.15 mm/r, life (6.6 depth of cut min) and cemented carbide tool. The wear resistance was almost 0.20 mm, nose the same for the three different tool materials at both low radius 0.42 and high speeds. In addition, the milling speed was the mm most influential machining parameter on tool wear. With K20 Al 6025 20% Narrow region Tool: a thick increasing milling speed, the tool wear increased. The feed series (volume around 150 C Al O layer 2 3 [124] fraction) and 150 m/min on top of rate and depth of cut have slight influences on the tool as the optimum Ti(C,N) wear. As shown in Fig. 11, Ge et al. [132] reported the tool domain for layer flank wear under different working times during high-speed machining milling of a SiC/2009Al composite using a PCD tool; the 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 289 Fig. 10 Milling cutter geometry: a tool faces and b cutting corner [126] Fig. 11 PCD tool life comparison under different milling conditions [132] available tool life could exceed 240 min when a 0.1 mm the cutting force. Huang et al. [139] also detected that the tool wear criterion was chosen. It was reported that the milling forces decreased with an increase in the milling wear mechanism of diamond-coated micromills was speed, or increased with an increase in the feed rate and adhesion, abrasion, oxidization, chipping, and tipping depth of milling. The influence of milling depth on the [133], and the volume fraction and size of SiC particles milling forces in the x and y directions is the most signif- present in the aluminum alloy matrix had significant effects icant, while the influence of the feed rate on the z milling on the milling characteristics [134, 135]. forces is the most significant. Babu et al. [140] demon- strated that the cutting force components were more sen- 3.2.2 Cutting force sitive in the high-speed and full immersion condition, and it was witnessed that the cutting force obtained additional The cutting force and its impact factors in different milling undulations by both the unstable chip formation of com- investigations are generally not the same; however, the posite material and randomly distributed reinforcement machining parameters and SiC particles play a key role. particles [141]. Jayakumar et al. [136] revealed that the depth of cut and Ge et al. [142] performed high-speed milling tests on size of SiC were the key impact factors of the cutting force. SiC /2009Al composites by using PCD tools in the speed An increase in the volume fraction of SiC reinforcement range of 600–1 200 m/min. The results showed that the over the matrix results in a higher tool-work interface peak value of the cutting force (in the tool radial direction) temperature and requires a higher cutting force [137]. was in the range of 700–1 450 N. The maximum amplitude Vallavi et al. [138] observed that the cutting speed had of the cutting force vibration in the tool radial direction can negative effects on the cutting force while the axial depth reach 700 N. Figure 12 illustrates the cutting forces and of cut and the percentage of SiC showed positive effects on torque in high-speed milling of SiC /Al composites with 123 290 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 12 Cutting force versus cutting distance a F , b F , c F and d torque [143] x y z small particles and high-volume fraction by adopting PCD The reinforcement enhances the machinability in terms cutters with different grain sizes [143]. The cutting forces of both SR and lower tendency to clog the cutting tool and torque of PCD tools of larger diamond grain sizes are compared to a non-reinforced Al alloy using TiAlN-coated less than those of smaller diamond grain sizes. carbide end mill cutters [146]. Zhang et al. [147] reported that the SR of aluminum/SiC composites was smaller than 3.2.3 Surface integrity, machining efficiency, that of the aluminum metal during an end milling experi- and optimization ment, which was due to the improvement in mechanical properties of the aluminum/SiC composite resulting from The SiC reinforcement removal mode plays a decisive role the addition of SiC particles. In the precision milling of the in the formation of the machined workpiece surface [144]. composites, the generation of the machined surface is a Various defects concerning surface topography such as balance between the size effect of the Al matrix and the ploughed furrow, pits, and matrix tearing have been found removal methods of SiC particles. When the feed per tooth under different parameters, which are mainly the effect of is smaller than the minimum chip thickness of Al, the SiC particles pulled out, fractured, or crushed [145]. Fig- coating effect is dominant; when the feed per tooth is larger ure 13 depicts the machined surface morphology of than the maximal advised value calculated by the method, Al6063/SiC /65p composites. The machined surfaces are the particle cracks dominate [148]. The SR mainly depends characterized by shallow pits caused by fractured or cru- on the feed rate followed by the spindle speed, whereas the shed SiC particulates, swelling formed by pressed-in SiC depth of cut has the least influence [149]. Thus, high cut- particulates, large cavities formed from pulled-out SiC ting speeds, low feed rates, and low depths of cut are particulates, and high-frequency scratches of SiC recommended for better surface finish [150]. Obtaining a particulates. very smooth surface for a high-volume fraction and large 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 291 Fig. 13 SEM micrographs of the Al6063/SiC /65p machined surface a macromachined morphology, b scratch and microcrack, c cavity formed by SiC cracking, d shallow pit caused by SiC scratch, e cavity formed by pulled-out SiC particulate and f swelling caused by pressed-in SiC particulate [6] SiC particle workpiece is very difficult; however, a mirror- Wang et al. [151] reported that the milled SR of 65% like surface with an SR (R ) of approximately 0.1 lm can (volume fraction) SiC /Al composites decreases gradually a p still be achieved by using diamond precision milling with when the milling speed increases from 100 m/min to 250 small parameters in the range of a few micrometers [125]. m/min, and then the values remain stable. It has been demonstrated that using a CO cryogenic coolant can improve the surface quality by reducing the SR value (in face milling) [152]. Figure 14 indicates the influence of SiC fraction on the SR [153]. When the machined SR enters into a relatively stable state, the SR of machined materials with a volume fraction of 56% is the highest, and the value is the lowest when the volume fraction of SiC particles is 15%. When the volume fractions are 25% and 30%, the values of the machined SR have little difference between each other. In general, the lower the volume fraction of SiC particles, the smaller the machined SR. In terms of residual stress on the machined surface, the axial depth of cut has the highest influence, followed by the milling speed and feed rate, and the residual stress mea- sured in the feed direction indicated that the conditions of the machined Al6063 surface were all tensile, while the conditions of Al/SiC/65p were compressive [154]. During milling, the matrix material was removed in a plastic way Fig. 14 Relation curves between cutting distance and machined surface roughness (using PCD tools) [153] 123 292 J.-P. Chen et al. Table 2 Recommended parameters for the milling of SiC /Al composites Tool Matrix SiC Parameter Remark (volume fraction) End mill cutter (/ 16 mm) with 2 A356 10% Cutting speed 200 m/min, feed rate 0.1 mm/min, The minimal surface uncoated cemented carbide inserts aluminium depth of cut 0.2 mm roughness and [136] alloy cutting forces Three different cutting tools 123 L 10% SiC Uncoated tool: cutting speed 60 m/min, feed rate 0.04 Multi-layered tool (uncoated, multi-layered and nano aluminium under mm/r; multi-layered tool: cutting speed 78 m/min, 0.302 lm TiAlN coated) [135] alloy 32 lm feed rate 0.12 mm/r Carbide insert with a 0.8 mm Al7075 alloy 40% Cutting speed 170 m/min, depth of cut 0.8 mm and a Best surface quality uncoated tool nose radius [160] feed per tooth 0.08 mm/tooth. Carbide coated cutting tool inserts Al7075 alloy 5%, 10%, Spindle speed 1000 r/min, feed 0.03 mm/r, depth of The best (AXMT 0903 PER-EML TT8020) 15% cut 1 mm and 5% SiC by weight combination [43] PCD blade with carbide substrate Al6063 65% Cutting speed 300 m/min with a tool refreshment Surface R less than [161] aluminum 0.4 lm and presented a smooth machined surface. Most of the SiC the machining performance, and the presence of a ceramic reinforcements presented partial ductile removal with coating on an HSS drill did not improve its performance microfractures and cracks on the machined surface [125]. appreciably compared to standard uncoated tools. The material removal and tool wear mechanism in the The height of burrs produced during drilling was found milling of SiC /Al composites are complex. Investigations to be greater with softer materials [165]. Moreover, burr aimed at achieving a higher MRR, lower tool wear, and dimensions were smaller at a lower feed rate, higher point higher surface quality have been conducted; thus, RSM angle, and higher concentration of reinforcements [166]. [155–157], gray-fuzzy logic algorithm [158], and ANOVA The experiment conducted by Babu et al. [167] showed [159] have been adopted. Based on the literature, the rec- that the point angle had a significant influence on the ommended milling parameters for industry application are drilling performance. As the point angles of HSS and TiN- listed in Table 2 [43, 135, 136, 160, 161]. coated HSS drills increase, the damage zone increases. However, with increasing point angles of solid carbide 3.3 Drilling drills, the damage zone decreases [168]. The temperature during the cutting process plays a major role in the tool Solid carbide drills, TiN-coated HSS twist drills, PCD- wear evolution and wear mechanism [169, 170]. The heat coated drills, and CVD diamond-coated carbide tools are generation during machining is divided into plastic-defor- widely used for the drilling process. Tosun and Muratoglu mation heat and friction-induced heat. The converted heat [162] advised that solid carbide drills were the most suit- rate by plastic deformation leads to workpiece temperature able tools for drilling of 17% (volume fraction) SiC /Al variation in material forming and machining. Figure 15 composites, however, from an estimate of economic fac- shows the schematic of heat partitioning in the chip for- tors, the TiN-coated HSS drills were cheaper than the solid mation process. carbide tools. The best performance of the TiN-coated HSS Huang et al. [171] reported that the thrust force varied twist drill was obtained with a lower cutting point, higher linearly with the feed rate, while the cutting speed had no feed rate, and higher cutting speed [163]. Xiang et al. [41] significant effect on the thrust force when drilling SiC /Al suggested that when drilling high-volume fraction (e.g., composites with high-volume fractions (55%–57% SiC) 65%(volume fraction)) SiC /Al composites, the CVD dia- and large particle sizes. Hu et al. [172] developed a 3D mond-coated carbide tool should be preferred, owing to its finite element model for simulating the 3 mm diameter stable cutting force, less tool wear, and its ability to pro- peck drilling behavior of SiC /Al composites by using duce acceptable machining quality. Monaghan and O’reilly ABAQUS/Explicit. In the simulation, a J-C model was [164] compared a series of drilling tests on a 25% (volume created for the SiC /Al composites. A comparison of the fraction) SiC/Al composite with different drilling tools simulation and experimental chip formation is shown in (coated and uncoated HSS, carbide and PCD-tipped drills, Fig. 16. and solid-carbide drills). The results indicated that the As displayed in Fig. 17, many uniform and close-packed hardness of the tool material had a significant influence on abrasion marks on the chisel edge and flank face can be 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 293 logic and GAs [179, 180], Taguchi’s method [181], etc. The recommended drilling parameters for industry con- sideration are provided in Table 3 [168, 174, 178, 179, 181–183]. 3.4 Grinding Grinding can be performed as surface, cylindrical, and ductile-regime grinding. Among them, cylindrical grinding has attracted most of the research interests in the grinding of SiC /Al matrix composites. 3.4.1 Surface grinding Fig. 15 Schematic of heat partitioning in the chip formation process The material removal of SiC particles is primarily due to [170] the failure of the interface between the reinforcement and observed when drilling SiC /Al composites with high- matrix, and results from microcracks along the interface volume fractions and large SiC particle sizes using elec- and many fractures or crushed SiC particles on the ground troplated diamond drills [173]. It can be seen that the wear surface [184]. The chips can be divided into Al-matrix of the embedded diamond grit on the drill includes abrasive chips, SiC particle chips, and Al-SiC mixed chips, when wear (see Fig. 17a), pullout (see Fig. 17b), cracks initiated diamond grinding SiC /Al composites with higher volume around the particle (see Fig. 17c), and fracture (see fraction and larger particles [185]. The grindability is Fig. 17d). influenced by both the type of grinding wheel abrasive and Tosun [174] observed that the most influential parame- the type of reinforcement of workpiece material [186]. ters on the workpiece SR were the drill type and feed rate, Zhang et al. [187] compared the PCD compact (PDC) respectively. The spindle speed, drill point angle, and heat whisker with the CVD diamond whisker, and found that the treatment have been determined to be insignificant factors PDC wheel had better edge evenness, which led to good on the SR. Barnes and Pashby [175] provided strong evi- machining quality. Xu et al. [188] suggested the potential dence that through-tool cooling led to a significant of using SiC wheels for rough grinding of SiC /Al com- improvement in performance in terms of tool wear, cutting posites in consideration of their economic advantages. force, surface finish, and height of burrs produced. There is Zhong [189] reported that there was almost no subsurface another drilling process called friction drilling, which has damage except for rare cracked particles when fine grind- been adopted for SiC /Al matrix composites; it is reported ing 10% (volume fraction) SiC /Al composites with a p p that the hole quality in terms of roundness is affected by the diamond wheel. Huang et al. [129] revealed that the normal spindle speed, feed rate, and percentage of SiC in the grinding forces of SiC /Al composites were always higher workpiece [176, 177]. Currently, optimization methods are than the tangential grinding forces. With the increase in the available based on gray relational analysis [178], fuzzy grinding depth and table speed, both the normal and Fig. 16 Chip formation in simulation and experiment: a formation of two chip segments, b segment B in simulation, c segment B in experiment [172] 123 294 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 17 SEM image of worn diamond grits a abrasive wear, b pullout, c crack initiation and d fracture [173] tangential grinding forces of SiC /Al composites increased and normal components increased, and the increasing trend evidently. Due to the high hardness of SiC /Al composites, was more notable with a higher grinding depth. the thrust component of the grinding force showed a The grinding temperature increases with an increase in strongly increasing trend with wheel degradation [190]. the wheel velocity, workpiece velocity, feed rate, and depth Furthermore, with an increase in the grinding depth, both of cut. High values of the grinding parameters result in the normal grinding force and tangential grinding force high grinding temperatures due to the increase in the increased evidently [191]. energy required to grind a unit volume of material [194]. Among the different grinding wheels, the diamond When the grinding temperature exceeds 450 C, a black wheel exhibits the lowest normal force followed by the color appears on the ground surface due to the oxidation CBN wheel. Surface damages such as debonding of rein- reaction, and the residual compressive stress of the burned forcement from the metal matrix cracked reinforcement, surface layer is very high [195]. By adopting a triangular particle breakage, and cracks at the surface are the reason heat source model, the temperature distribution in the for the increased forces while grinding using the SiC wheel workpiece can be accurately and efficiently calculated [192]. Considering the plastic deformation force of the during the precision grinding of SiC /Al composites [196]. matrix material, the friction force between grits and Du et al. [197] established a microgrinding model of SiC / workpiece material, and the removal force of SiC particles, Al composites, which took into account the SiC-reinforced a grinding force model suitable for grinding holes of SiC / particle irregularity, as shown in Fig. 19, and the model Al composites with high-volume fractions was established was used to analyze the particle removal and surface for- by Lu et al. [193]. The effect of the grinding parameters on mation processes in different machining conditions. the grinding force, as shown in Fig. 18, was investigated by In the grinding of SiC /Al composites, a common Xu et al. [188]. The results indicated that the grinding problem is the formation of voids and delamination on the depth had a more significant effect on the grinding force machined surface, which is due to pulled-out reinforced than the feed speed; with increasing grinding depth and particles and aluminum matrix adhesion on the machined table feed speed, the grinding forces for both the tangential surface. The surface feature of the workpiece varies with different grinding parameters. With a larger feeding 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 295 Table 3 Recommended drilling parameters for SiC /Al composites Drill Matrix Fraction Parameter Remark 8 mm-KISTLER Al6063 10% Spindle speed 560 r/min, feed 0.05 mm/r, point Torque and SR were considered as quality [178] angle 90 targets 5 mm-solid Al 2124 17%(volume Feed rate 0.16 mm/r, spindle speed 260 r/min, The minimum surface roughness obtained carbide [174] fraction) drill point angle 130 12 mm-HSS [181] Al6063 15% Cutting speed of 150.72 m/min, feed rate of Cutting environment water, soluble oil 0.05 mm/r 5 mm-solid Al 2124 17%(volume Point angles 130, spindle speed 1 330 r/min, Carbide tool better that HSS and TiN coated carbide [168] fraction) feed rate 0.16 mm/r HSS 10 mm-solid LM25 15%(volume Spindle speed 921.0 r/min, feed rate 0.258 mm/r Metal emoval rate 5 579 mm /min, surface carbide [179] fraction) roughness 8.50 lm 3 mm-HSS [182] Al123 10%(mass Cutting speed 20 m/min, feed rate 0.04 mm/r Cryogenic treatment has positive effects on fraction) R 5 mm-PCD [183] A356/ 20% Cutting speed 50 m/s, feed 0.05 mm/r PCD tool is perfectly compatible with cutting conditions Fig. 18 Typical variation in grinding force with a grinding depth and b feed velocity [188] 123 296 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 19 Machining surface simulation of SiC /Al composites at different depths of cut [197] be the most suitable, and the coefficients of the function were fitted by the experimental SR. Pai et al. [201] claimed that the SR improved with an increase in SiC volume percentage and a decrease in depth of cut. This is because an increase in the volume percent- age of SiC will increase the hardness of the specimen, which decreases ploughing of the wheel during grinding of a 35% (volume percentage) SiC/Al matrix composite. Hung et al. [202] insisted that a coarse-grit diamond wheel was appropriate for rough grinding, whereas a fine-grit diamond wheel was suitable for fine grinding to achieve the best MMC surface integrity. Nandakumar et al. [203] obtained the best performance by using cashew nut shell oil and nano TiO -based minimum quantity lubrication (MQL), because the lubricant of an MQL system pene- Fig. 20 Predicted and experimental surface roughness [200] trated the workpiece and the wheel interface contact zone. velocity and grinding depth, more serious accumulation Rough grinding with a SiC wheel followed by fine grinding and adhesion are found [198]. Among many factors, a clear with a fine-grit diamond wheel is recommended for SiC/Al positive influence of the volume content of the hard phase MMCs [189]. on the surface finish is observed. Qualitative surface damage through particle fracture pullout appears to be 3.4.2 Mill grinding, cylindrical grinding, and ductile- regime grinding common on most of the finish machined surfaces [199]. Zhu et al. [200] established a theoretical SR model of SiC / The mill grinding uses a grinding head (sintering or plat- Al composite grinding based on a combination of the theoretical SR model of aluminum alloy and SiC, as shown ing) that replaces the milling tool to remove the workpiece material with computer numerical control (CNC) milling in Fig. 20. The exponential composition function proved to 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 297 Fig. 21 EDM of SiC/Al MMC a crater formation and b erosion and pitting on the machined surface [222] machines. This process has integrated the characteristics super-hard abrasive layer (diamond abrasive and binding embodied in a similar machining route/path as milling and agent) to increase the MRR. It is believed that appropri- multi-edge continuous cutting as grinding. The cut depth of ately increasing the feed rate and decreasing the mill- mill grinding is generally larger to achieve a higher MRR grinding depth can obtain less SR [209]. Based on opti- [204]. There are four typical chip shapes, i.e., curved chip, mizations, the following parameters are recommended: for huddled chip, schistose chip, and strip chip, among which, SiC/LM25Al (4% (volume fraction)) composites, wheel the curved and schistose chips are dominant. The chips velocity of 43.9 m/s and workpiece velocity of 26.7 m/min generated in mill grinding of SiC /Al composites are with a feed of 0.056 m/min and depth of cut of 9.1 lm irregular and uneven under the same machining conditions. [210]; for 45%(volume fraction) SiC /Al composites, During the chip forming, SiC particles can greatly inhibit wheel speed of 11.77 m/s, feed rate of 100 mm/min, and the deformation of aluminum matrix, and the different depth of cut of 0.8 mm [211]. contact positions between the SiC particles and diamond Regarding cylindrical grinding, Thiagarajan et al. [212] grit cause the SiC particles to be fractured, pulled out, and/ suggested cylindrical grinding of 4% (volume fraction) or pulled into the surface of the chip [205]. The particle SiC /Al using a 60 grit Al O wheel at a cutting velocity of p 2 3 fracture and debonding force component in the mill grinding wheel of 2639 m/min, cutting velocity of work- grinding of SiC /Al composites can be considered by piece of 26.72 m/min, feed rate of 0.06 m/min, and depth of developing a new force prediction model [206]. Yao et al. cut of 10 lm. The approach for the cylindrical grinding of [207] recommended a resin-based diamond grinding wheel Al/SiC composites can be extended with super-abrasive for 45% (volume fraction) SiC /Al composites to achieve grinding wheels such as diamond and CBN. the best SR, whereas Li et al. [208] suggested HSS with a For ductile-regime grinding, Huang et al. [213] revealed that the critical grinding depth of ductile-regime machining of SiC /Al composites decreased with increasing volume fraction of SiC particles due to the decrease in the sup- porting function of the Al alloy matrix. 4 Nonconventional machining of SiC /Al matrix composites 4.1 EDM EDM is a common nonconventional machining method, which has been widely used in the aerospace, mold, and automobile industries. During machining, a discharge channel is created, where the temperature reaches approximately 12 000 C, removing material by evapora- Fig. 22 SEM image of the hole section processed using (left) a tion and melting from both the electrode and workpiece cylinder electrode and (right) a tube electrode [224] 123 298 J.-P. Chen et al. Table 4 Recommended parameters for the EDM of SiC /Al composites Tool Matrix Fraction Parameter Remark Electrolytic copper Al 7075 0.5% SiC Voltage 47.34 V, pulse current 6 A, pulse MRR 1.196 g/min electrode of 10 mm (mass on time 8 ls, Pulse on time 9.79 ls TWR 0.001 575 g/min diameter [236] fraction) R 10.648 lm Bundled electrode (/ Al 6061 5% Current 13 A, pulse on time 700 ls, pulse Die-sinking EDM 1.2 mm) [237] SiC(volume on time 50 ls, flushing pressure 0.040 fraction) MPa Brass electrode of / Components 10% SiC Current 15 A, pulse on time 1 ms, flushing Maximizing MRR and for 2.7 mm [238] (Al-92.7%, Si- (volume pressure 0.014 MPa minimizing TWR 7.0%, Mg- fraction) 0.3%) Copper rod with an 6061 Al 15% SiC Electrode polarity negative, current 4 A, Die sinking EDM TWR was 9 mg/ array of 2 mm holes (volume pulse on time 400 ls, pulse on time min and R was 4.78 lm (multi-hole) [239] fraction) 10 ls, dielectic pressure 0.05 MPa Brass tool of 15 mm Fabricated by 20% SiC Current 5 A, pulse on time 100 ls, Duty Die sinking EDM with positive diameter and 60 mm stir-casting cycle 70%, gap voltage 40 V polarity for electrode length [240] process / 12 mm copper and LM 25% (volume Negative current 7.34 A, pulse duration Copper electrode, maximize MRR brass cylindrical fraction) 112 ls, positive: current 6.12 A, pulse with minimum TWR, SR with brass electrodes [241] duration 108 ls is higher than with copper Fig. 23 Environmental SEM microsurface textures a after EDM and b after PMEDM (40% (volume fraction) SiC/Al-Al powder) [246] [214]. The MRR and SR are regarded as two indicators of reported that an increase in weight percentage of SiC, as the EDM process, which can evaluate the time of com- well as particle size, had resulted in a decrease in MRR and pleting the material volume removal and the quality of an increase in TWR and SR. Besides the SiC particles, finished surface, respectively [215]. Additionally, the tool electrical parameters are the key factors that affect MRR, wear ratio (TWR) is also very important for EDM. TWR, and SR. Singh et al. [218] machined an A6061/10% The percentage and size of the SiC in SiC/Al MMCs SiC composite and found that with an increase in pulse on generally have a negative influence on machinability. time, the MRR, TWR, and SR increase, and the SR Karthikeyan et al. [216] revealed that an increase in the increases with an increase in gap voltage. Seo et al. [219] volume fraction of SiC decreased the MRR and increased conducted experiments on 15%–35%(volume fraction) the TWR as well as SR when performing EDM of 6%–20% SiC /Al composites and revealed that the MRR increased (volume fraction) SiC/Al composites. Dev et al. [217] with increasing product of peak current and pulse on time 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 299 up to an optimal value and then decreased drastically; the electrode was significantly greater than that of the cylinder combination of low pulse on time and high peak current led electrode. Moreover, the accuracy of EDM holes can be to a larger tool wear, higher energy, and rougher surface. It improved by using a tube electrode (rotating speed 800 was found that a high current resulted in higher thermal r/min), as shown in Fig. 22. However, the TWR of a loading on both electrodes (tool and workpiece) leading to rotating tube electrode tends to be higher and can even be a higher amount of material being removed from either increased by 11.79% compared to that of a cylinder elec- electrodes [220]. Surface integrity effects of EDM include trode [225]. Regarding the flushing adopted in the EDM of roughening of the surface by deposition of a recast layer Al/SiC composites, a higher flushing pressure hinders the and pitting of the surface by spark penetration and partic- formation of ionized bridges across the gap and results in a ulate pullout, as well as surface microcracks [221]. higher ignition delay and decreased discharge energy, As can be observed from Fig. 21, craters and erosion are thereby decreasing the MRR; however, the SR was found evident; metal loss, erosion, and crater formation depend to reduce with an increase in flushing pressure under a on the intensity of the spark. The high energy of the arc certain range [223]. Singh et al. [226] showed that more consumed during machining will increase the crater than 40% reduction in TWR and more than 28% increase in diameter, surface irregularity, and heat-affected zone MRR could be achieved by adopting compressed air for the (HAZ), and the surface will have more ridges and grooves. EDM of Al/15% SiC ceramic composite. When adopting a rotating tube electrode, an increase in the Attempts for obtaining better parameters to achieve a rotational speed of the tube electrode can produce a higher higher MRR, lower TWR, and better surface quality have MRR and better SR [223]. For instance, Yu et al. [224] been made by many researchers. The optimization of the machined microholes on a SiC/2024Al workpiece with a EDM of Al/SiC composites can be performed by ANNs cylinder electrode and tube electrode under the same [227], adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system [228], fuzzy machining conditions. The MRR of EDM with the tube logic [229], non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm [230], principal component analysis (PCA)—technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution [231], PCA—fuzzy inference coupled with Taguchi’s method [232], and RSM [233–235]. Based on optimizations, the recommended parameters are listed in Table 4 [236–241]. 4.2 Powder mixed EDM (PMEDM) PMEDM is a process variant of EDM, which is performed by adding powder into a dielectric fluid [242]. It has a different machining mechanism from conventional EDM processes. It can improve the SR and is now applied in the finishing stage [243]. The powder particles in the dielectric Fig. 24 Schematic of the WEDM process [259, 260] fluid increase the gap between the tool and the workpiece Fig. 25 Microstructure of the residual SiC particles on the surface after the WEDM process a SEM observation and b magnification of the red box area in a [265] 123 300 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 26 Cross-sectional microstructure of 65% (volume fraction) SiC /2024Al composite after the WEDM process a SEM observation result and b corresponding schematic [265] et al. [252] revealed that the PMEDM process provided a better MRR at higher values of peak current, lower con- centration of powder, mid-value of gap control, and lower value of duty cycle [253]. Optimization of machining of SiC /Al MMCs with PMEDM can be achieved by using the RSM [254], Taguchi and gray analysis [255], ANOVA [256], etc. Kumar and Davim [257] suggested an optimum set of parameters to obtain the highest MRR: powder concentration 4 g/L, pulse duration 100 ls, peak current 9 A, and supply voltage 50 V; for the lowest SR: powder concentration 4 g/L, pulse duration 100 ms, peak current 3 A, and supply voltage 50 V. 4.3 Wire EDM (WEDM) Fig. 27 Effect of discharge energy on surface roughness and material WEDM differs from conventional EDM, as the electrodes removal rate [268] are in the form of a thin wire with a diameter of 0.05–0.3 mm [258]. WEDM is also known as wire electric discharge while providing a bridging effect between the electrodes cutting. The schematic of the WEDM process is presented for an even distribution of spark energy, making the pro- in Fig. 24 [259, 260]. cess more stable [244]. Kansal [245] declared that there The electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity of was a discernible improvement in the SR of work surfaces MMCs are lower than those of unreinforced matrix alloys, after suspending the aluminum powder when machining which decrease the MRR of WEDM [261]. With an 10% (volume fraction) SiC /Al composites. Hu et al. [246] increase in the percentage of SiC particles, the machin- compared the microsurfaces machined by using EDM and ability of WEDM decreases [262]. An increase of 10% in PMEDM, as shown in Fig. 23, and the SR of PMEDM ceramic reinforcements may lead to an almost 12% decreased by approximately 31.5%. reduction in machining efficiency [263]. However, SiC /Al Compared to conventional EDM, the presence of tung- composites with high-SiC fractions can still be machined sten powder in PMEDM resulted in a 48.43% enhancement using WEDM [260, 262, 264]. Yang et al. [265] reported of MRR in the machining of AA6061/10%SiC composite the WEDM of a 65% (volume fraction) SiC/2024Al com- [247] and 42.85% reduction in the recast layer of the posite and proposed that the machining mechanism was a machined surface [248]. The thickness of white recast layer combination of melting of the Al matrix and decomposition also reduced, whereas the surface hardness was increased of SiC particles. Figure 25 illustrates the microstructure of with tungsten PMEDM [249]. Besides tungsten powder, the residual SiC particles on the surface after the WEDM carbon nanotubes (CNTs) [250] and multi-walled CNTs process. Figure 26 shows a cross-sectional microstructure [251] are also added in the dielectric to obtain excellent of the WEDM of the 65% (volume fraction) SiC/2024Al. performances in PMEDM of Al/SiC MMCs. Vishwakarma 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 301 Fig. 28 BEAM flushing device and arc discharge schematic [281] Fig. 29 Machined surface comparison a negative BEAM-20% (volume fraction) SiC/Al, b positive BEAM-20% (volume fraction) SiC/Al, c milling-20% (volume fraction) SiC/Al, d negative BEAM-50% (volume fraction) SiC/Al, e positive BEAM-50% (volume fraction) SiC/Al, f milling-50% (volume fraction) SiC/Al [281] Pramanik [266] observed a significant variation in the energy on SR and MRR during the WEDM of 45% (vol- wire diameter during machining of SiC particles reinforced ume fraction) SiC /Al [268]. It can be observed that the with 6061 aluminum alloy. The variation was mainly discharge energy presents a strong relationship with caused by the presence or absence of the matrix material machinability by affecting the SiC thermal status. coating on the wire, which might cause uncontrolled spark Different from the conventional WEDM, the dry and variation in the ability of electrolytes. Wire breakage is WEDM was adopted as an environmentally friendly a limitation on the MRR, which can be observed when modification of the oil WEDM process, in which the liquid machining Al/SiC composites. However, wire breakages dielectric is replaced by a gaseous medium. An Al 6061C can be reduced by employing higher flushing pressures, 25% SiC workpiece has been machined with dry WEDM higher pulse off times, and suitable values of servo refer- by Fard et al. [228]. Moreover, WEDM was modified to ence voltage. In general, it was suggested that large pulse machine a SiC/Al7075 MMC using a wire electrical dis- on time, high flushing pressure, appropriate wire speed and charge turning (WEDT) process. WEDT was found to have wire tension, large pulse off time, and appropriate pulse advantages over the conventional turning process [269]. current should be used to obtain optimum machining per- Many optimizations have been conducted to predict the formance [267]. Figure 27 displays the effect of discharge machining performance or improve the machinability of 123 302 J.-P. Chen et al. SiC/Al MMCs, e.g., ANN-RSM [270], RSM [271–274], [288] compared the ECM of an A356 aluminum alloy Taguchi’s approach [275], Taguchi-based hybrid gray- reinforced with 5%, 10%, and 15% (mass fraction) SiC fuzzy grade approach [276], particle swarm optimization particles. They found that the maximum MRR was [277], AHP-TOPSIS (a hybrid approach obtained by inte- obtained by applying the least voltage and least SiC con- grating the AHP with TOPSIS technique) [278], and non- tent, a moderate value of electrode feed rate, and the dominated sorting genetic algorithm [279]. highest electrolyte concentration. Senthilkumar et al. [289] illustrated that an increase in the applied voltage, flow rate, 4.4 ADM and electrolyte concentration resulted in a higher MRR. The optimized parameters for the ECM of LM25 Al/10% To some extent, ADM is similar to EDM, but ADM adopts SiC were as follows: electrolyte concentration 12.53 g/L, arc discharge whereas EDM utilizes spark discharge. electrolyte flow 7.51 L/min, applied voltage 13.5 V, feed Generally, the machining efficiency of ADM is much rate 1 mm/min. The corresponding MRR was 0.877 3 higher than that of EDM. Blasting erosion arc machining g/min and the SR was 6.566 7 lm. An optimal machining (BEAM) was one type of ADM, which was developed parametric combination for the ECM of LM25-25% (vol- recently by Zhao et al. [11]. BEAM has been adopted in the ume fraction) SiC, i.e., electrolyte concentration 22.74 g/L, processing of SiC /Al composites to improve the machin- electrolyte flow rate 7.57 L/min, applied voltage 14.8 V, ing efficiency [280]. A flushing system is necessary to and tool feed rate 0.902 mm/min, was found out to achieve conduct BEAM. Figure 28 depicts a flushing device that a maximum MRR of 0.051 3 g/min and minimum R of can be fixed on a standard tool holder [281]. 7.013 8 lm[290]. Another group of optimal parameters for Gu et al. [282] machined a 20% (volume fraction) SiC / the ECM of 10%(mass fraction) SiC/Al matrix composites Al composite and achieved a high MRR of 8276 mm /min was obtained by Dharmalingam et al. [291]. The optimal (peak current of 500 A) with a specific MRR of 16.4 mm / values for maximum MRR were machining voltage 7 V, (Amin). Compared to the EDM MRR of 140 mm /min electrolyte concentration 24 g/L, and frequency 50 Hz. The (peak current of 100 A) with a specific MRR 1.4 mm / optimal values for minimum overcut were machining (Amin) [219], the efficiency of BEAM is much higher. voltage 9 V, electrolyte concentration 18 g/L, and fre- Chen et al. [283] also conducted experiments on the quency 50 Hz. Lehnert et al. [292] adopted an electro- machining of 50% (volume fraction) SiC /Al. The results chemical precision machining process for complex revealed that even for the high-SiC fraction SiC /Al com- geometries. A voltage of 16 V and a feed rate of 0.25 mm/ posites, BEAM still could be used and the obtained MRR min to generate the geometry with the smallest extent were was as high as 7 500 mm /min. It was reported that BEAM suggested. could also be used for other difficult-to-machine materials, such as titanium alloys [284] and nickel-based superalloys 4.6 Abrasive waterjet (AWJ) cutting [285]. As shown in Fig. 29, both positive and negative polarity machining can be adopted in BEAM; however, the AWJ machining has many advantages compared to other machined surface qualities are generally not the same. machining technologies. In contrast to thermal machining Generally, positive BEAM tends to obtain a better surface processes (laser and EDM), AWJ does not induce high but a lower efficiency and higher TWR. The side effect of temperatures, and thus, there is no HAZ [293]. In the AWJ BEAM is a rough surface, but fortunately, this problem can machining process, the workpiece material is removed by be solved by adopting combined machining of CNC, as the action of a high-velocity jet of water mixed with reported by Chen et al. [281]. abrasive particles based on the principle of erosion of the material upon which the waterjet hits [294, 295]. It is 4.5 ECM believed that the AWJ machining can be a real competitor of the current techniques employed for cutting super- ECM is based on a controlled anodic electrochemical dis- abrasive materials [296]. Early in the 1990s, AWJ had been solution process of the workpiece with the tool as the used for the cutting of a 30%(volume fraction) SiC par- cathode in an electrolytic cell [286]. ticulate/6061 matrix composite plate with a thickness of By analyzing the influence of the current density in the 5.08 mm. The MMC plate was easily machined and good ECM of 10% SiC/Al MMC, it was found that feed velocity surface finish was produced [297]. Srinivas and Babu [298] could be approached by a linear function beginning in the observed the cut surfaces with SEM, as shown in Fig. 30, origin of ordinates, which led to an active dissolution of the and proposed a possible mechanism of material removal, workpiece material, at a low current density of 4 A/cm ,an which was the fracturing and ploughing of SiC and the SR of 0.65 lm was achieved. The roughness was decreased ductile fracturing of the matrix material. to 0.2 lm at 10 A/cm [287]. Kumar and Sivasubramanian 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 303 Based on experiments performed on SiC/Al matrix with limited removal rates). Padhee et al. [304] employed a composites with different SiC mass fractions (5%–20%), laser beam and drilled holes on 15% (mass fraction)SiC/Al Srinivas and Babu [299] suggested that appropriate choices matrix composites (limited to microhole drilling). of abrasive mass flow rates and jet traverse speeds were of considerable importance over other parameters such as 4.8 Jet-ECM waterjet pressure. Patel and Srinivas [300] employed an AWJ to perform similar turning of an aluminum-SiC MMC Jet-ECM is a technology for quickly and flexibly generat- and showed that AWJ could be suitable for turning MMCs ing microstructures and microgeometries in metallic parts without the problems encountered in conventional turning regardless of the material hardness and without any thermal such as tool wear. In addition, it was found that the traverse or mechanical impact [305, 306]. As indicated in Fig. 32, rate and nozzle angle influence the SR and MRR more than the electrolytic liquid is pumped through a small nozzle the SiC contents. and ejected with a mean velocity of approximately 20 m/s to form a free jet [307]. By using a pulsation-free pump, a 4.7 Laser machining (cutting) continuous supply of fresh electrolyte with constant pres- sure is assured to generate a well-defined geometrical Laser machining offers significant advantages for rough shape [305]. cut-off applications. Laser is very suitable for machining at The dissolution characteristic in the machining of SiC/ high feed rates (up to 3 000 mm/min) and can produce a cut Al MMCs utilizing Jet-ECM varies with the electrolyte with a narrow kerf width (0.4 mm). However, the quality of used. When using NaNO , the depth and width were hardly the laser-cut surface is relatively poor, e.g., striation pat- affected by the particle fraction, however, in the case of terns on the cut surface, burrs at the exit of the laser, and NaCl and NaBr, the particles significantly influenced both significant thermally induced microstructural changes can the width and depth [308]. Figure 33 shows that the be observed [293]. Sharma and Kumar [301] reported that aqueous electrolytes of NaNO and NaCl produce different the most prominent input parameters of laser cutting of electrochemical dissolution characteristics [309]. While the AA5052/SiC were cutting speed, reinforced SiC particles, diameters of the calottes created with both electrolytes are and arc radius. The formations of a recast layer and new similar, the use of NaCl electrolyte results in significantly phase Al C were detected respectively. When the rein- deeper calottes for machining times of approximately 1.5–2 4 3 forced SiC particle quantity was fixed at 20% (mass frac- s. tion) and the nozzle standoff distance was decreased from 2 mm to 1 mm, the dross height increased from 0.373 mm to 0.481 mm [302]. Figure 31 displays a group of SEM 5 Conventional and nonconventional hybrid images of surfaces cut by a laser beam process. Unburned machining of SiC /Al matrix composites SiC particles (marked in circular dashed line) and restricted flow of molten material into a downward direction can be 5.1 Laser-assisted machining (LAM) observed. The laser beam can also be utilized as a cutter or driller Compared with the conventional cutting process, LAM to conduct turning or drilling. For example, Biffi et al. [310–314] heats the workpiece with a laser beam to change [303] used a short-duration laser beam as a tool and cut a the microstructure or locally harden the material near the thread in an A359-20% SiC composite material (although cutting tool. To date, most investigations regarding LAM Fig. 30 SEM photograph showing cutting of SiC reinforcement by 60 mesh size garnet abrasives in AWJ (10%SiC -MMC) [298] 123 304 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 31 SEM micrograph showing unburned SiC reinforced particles and restricted flow (20% SiC/Al) [301] of SiC /Al matrix composites are focused on laser-assisted 5.2 Ultrasonic assisted machining (UAM) turning. Figure 34 presents a schematic of the laser-assisted UAM or ultrasonic vibration machining is a hybrid process. turning. The LAM process demonstrates a considerable It can reduce the influence of tearing, plastic deformation, improvement in the machining of MMCs through a lower and BUE in cutting and can restrain flutter, making the tool wear and thus increased tool life, as well as reduction cutting process more stable [319]. By employing an in cutting time [315]. ultrasonic-vibration source, conventional cutting processes LAM provides a higher MRR under the same SR can be modified as ultrasonic vibration–assisted processes. Typical UAM processes are ultrasonic assisted turning compared to conventional machining. LAM reduced the machining time of Al/SiC /45% MMCs by 45% due to [320, 321], ultrasonic assisted milling [322, 323], ultra- sonic assisted drilling [324, 325], and ultrasonic assisted fewer tool changes, high MRR, and longer tool life com- pared to conventional machining, the shorter machining grinding [326–328]. Ultrasonic assisted turning shows improvement in both time and longer tool life provide a 40%–50% cost saving per part, but with the additional cost of a graphite coating cutting force and surface topography compared to con- and diode laser [316]. Figure 35 illustrates a comparison of ventional turning [321]. Zhong and Lin [320] reported that tool (uncoated and coated) life for conventional machining the roughness of an MMC A359/SiC/20p surface turned and LAM. with vibration was better than that turned without vibra- Kawalec et al. [317] found a decrease in cutting force tions. In ultrasonic milling, the SiC particle removal form during LAM of aluminum matrix composites compared to can be classified into type of cut, pulled, pressed, and crack penetration; increasing the number of SiC particle cut type conventional turning. Kong et al. [318] explained that abrasive tool wear was the most dominant wear mechanism results in better surface smoothness [323]. Xiang et al. [322] reported that a superior roughness of ultrasonic for three different WC tools in the LAM of SiC /45% composites. The adhesion wear and diffusion wear were assisted milling of 65% (volume fraction) SiC/Al com- posites could be obtained at a cutting speed 160 m/min, accelerated to some extent with increasing temperature. feed rate 0.02 mm/z, and depth of cut 0.2 mm. During the ultrasonic vibration drilling, the SiC particle in the com- posites tended to break along the crystal connection boundary or suffer ductile fracture under the dynamic ultrasonic impulse, in which the cutting resistance could be reduced and the tool edge could be protected. Thereby, the drilling location precision and hole surface quality were enhanced; the wear of the drill chisel edge was effectively improved, and the drilling torque was reduced by approx- imately 30% [324]. Ultrasonic vibration produces a smaller burr height and width in the drilling of Al/SiC MMC. The burr height and width in UAM are respectively 83% and 24% lower than those in conventional drilling [325]. In ultrasonic grinding, the grinding force and SR were found Fig. 32 Principle of Jet-ECM [307] 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 305 Fig. 33 Images of calottes on EN AW 2017 ? 10% SiC particles machined with aqueous electrolytes of NaNO and NaCl [309] parameters were as follows: spindle speed 15 000 r/min, vibration amplitude 5 lm, cutting depth 15 lm, and feed rate 5 mm/min. 5.3 Other hybrid machining technologies The electrolytic in-process dressing (ELID) technique applies an electric current during the conventional grinding process. Shanawaz et al. [330] employed ELID for the machining of low fraction SiC /Al composites and found that a smoother surface could be obtained at a high current duty ratio. Yu et al. [331] obtained a high-integrity machined surface for a high-SiC fraction (56%(volume fraction)) SiC /Al composite. On the workpiece surface, Fig. 34 Schematic of the laser-assisted machining process (A heating most of the SiC particles were removed in ductile mode, area of the laser beam; B zone of machining; d workpiece diameter) and the brittle fracture of SiC particles was reduced [315] substantially. Surface-electrical discharge diamond grinding consists of diamond grinding and EDM with a rotating disk, which can enhance the MRR and produce a better surface finish [332]. Agrawal and Yadava [333] found the best combi- nation of processing 10% (mass fraction)Al/SiC, which was as follows: wheel speed 1 400 r/min, table speed 4 mm/s, in feed 20 m, current 24 A, pulse on time 50 ls, and duty factor 0.817. The waterjet-guided (WJG) laser process uses a pres- surized microwaterjet as a laser beam guide. Marimuthu et al. [334] conducted an experiment on the WJG laser drilling of 40% (volume fraction) SiC reinforced aluminum MMCs. The advantages found include high levels of hole Fig. 35 Tool life of uncoated and coated tools in conventional circularity, no HAZ, no recast layer, and no changes in machining (CM) and laser-assisted machining [316] microstructure. Electrochemical discharge machining (ECDM) combi- lower than those in ordinary grinding for the same grinding nes the actions of EDM and ECM. Liu et al. [335] parameters [326, 327]. The reduction in cutting force and employed ECDM to machine 20% (volume fraction) SiC/ SR can reach 13.86% and 11.53%, respectively [329]. Al matrix composites and revealed that smaller median and Zheng et al. [328] showed some optimum conditions for maximal debris sizes were found in the ECDM process, the grinding of 45% SiC /Al2024 composites using ultra- which indicated that the arc energy of ECDM was likely to sonic vibration. For a minimum value of SR, the 123 306 J.-P. Chen et al. be smaller than that of the EDM process (which could be (volume fraction), have attracted the attention of investi- explained from the aspect of total energy). gators. For these high-SiC fraction SiC /Al composites, turning and milling processes are generally adopted, and nonconventional processes such as EDM, BEAM, and Jet- 6 Conclusions ECM are also preferred by researchers. It is concluded that there will be more machining methods and investigations This review has summarized the aspects regarding the regarding high-SiC fraction SiC /Al composites in the machinability of SiC /Al composites with conventional future. machining, i.e., turning, milling, drilling, and grinding, and Acknowledgements This work was supported by National Natural nonconventional machining, i.e., EDM, PMEDM, WEDM, Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51975371 and 51575351), ECM, AWJ, Jet-ECM, and newly developed high-effi- Innovation and entrepreneurship project for high-level talents in ciency machining technologies. Machining efficiency, Jiangsu province (Grant No. 164040022), Youth science and tech- surface quality, and tool wear need to be first considered nology innovation fund of NJFU (Grant No. CX2018017), PNFD (a project funded by the National First-class Disciplines), and PAPD (a regardless of the machining method. With conventional project funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of machining methods, the machining efficiency tends to be Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions). enhanced by increasing machining parameters such as machining speed, cutting depth, and feed rate; however, the Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, increased parameters can easily intensify tool wear and adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as shorten tool life. Besides, different SiC fractions of SiC /Al long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the composites also present different degrees of influence on source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate the machining mechanism, tool wear mechanism, chip if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless formation, and even the machined surface integrity. Higher indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not percentages of SiC particles are more likely to result in a included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended lower machining efficiency and higher tool wear. Hence, use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted various optimization methods, i.e., ANOVA and gray use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons. relational analysis, regression models, ANN models, and org/licenses/by/4.0/. response surface methodology can be employed to find the most suitable machining condition. 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Agrawal SS, Yadava V (2015) Development and experimental micro-EDM and arc discharge study of surface electrical discharge diamond grinding of Al10 machining (ADM). wt%SiC composite. J Inst Eng 97(1):1–9 334. Marimuthu S, Dunleavey J, Liu Y et al (2019) Waterjet guided laser drilling of SiC reinforced aluminium metal matrix com- posites. J Compos Mater 53(26/27):3787–3796 335. Liu J, Yue T, Guo Z (2010) An analysis of the discharge mechanism in electrochemical discharge machining of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Advances in Manufacturing Springer Journals

A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium matrix composites

Advances in Manufacturing , Volume 8 (3) – Sep 24, 2020

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Abstract

Adv. Manuf. (2020) 8:279–315 https://doi.org/10.1007/s40436-020-00313-2 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium matrix composites 1,2 3 3 • • Ji-Peng Chen Lin Gu Guo-Jian He Received: 28 December 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2020 / Accepted: 5 June 2020 / Published online: 24 July 2020 The Author(s) 2020 Abstract Among the various types of metal matrix com- Keywords SiC /Al  Machining  Conventional  Wear posites, SiC particle-reinforced aluminum matrix compos- mechanism  Nonconventional  Performance ites (SiC /Al) are finding increasing applications in many industrial fields such as aerospace, automotive, and elec- tronics. However, SiC /Al composites are considered as 1 Introduction difficult-to-cut materials due to the hard ceramic rein- forcement, which causes severe machinability degradation Metal matrix composites (MMCs) are prepared by com- by increasing cutting tool wear, cutting force, etc. To bining a metallic matrix with hard ceramic reinforcements. improve the machinability of SiC /Al composites, many Usually, metals including aluminum, magnesium, cobalt, techniques including conventional and nonconventional titanium, copper, and various alloys of these materials can machining processes have been employed. The purpose of be adopted as a matrix. Meanwhile, the reinforcement this study is to evaluate the machining performance of material is generally a hard ceramic material, such as SiC, SiC /Al composites using conventional machining, i.e., TiC, B C[1], Si N , AlN, Al O , TiB , ZrO , and Y O p 4 3 4 2 3 2 2 2 3 turning, milling, drilling, and grinding, and using noncon- [2]. The most widely used metal matrix materials for ventional machining, namely electrical discharge machin- producing MMCs are aluminum and its alloys, because ing (EDM), powder mixed EDM, wire EDM, their ductility, formability, and low density can be com- electrochemical machining, and newly developed high-ef- bined with the stiffness and load-bearing capacity of the ficiency machining technologies, e.g., blasting erosion arc reinforcement [3]. Among numerous reinforcement mate- machining. This research not only presents an overview of rials, SiC is usually employed because it has some unique the machining aspects of SiC /Al composites using various advantages, e.g., low cost, good hardness, and high cor- processing technologies but also establishes optimization rosion resistance, compared to other reinforcements [4]. parameters as reference of industry applications. With the combined advantages of aluminum matrix mate- rials and SiC reinforcement, SiC /Al MMCs have been certified and are steadily advancing owing to their excellent properties such as high strength, low density, and high & Ji-Peng Chen wear resistance. They are widely used in the automobile cjp@njfu.edu.cn and aircraft industries, structural applications, and many School of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, Nanjing other systems [5]. Since SiC /Al composites consist of a Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, People’s Republic of metal matrix and a SiC reinforcement, different volume or China weight percentage SiC in the matrix materials forms dif- Department of Mechanical Engineering, Polytechnic ferent SiC /Al composites, e.g., 10% (mass fraction), 20% University of Milan, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, (volume fraction), 45% (mass fraction) and 65% (volume Milan 20133, Italy fraction) SiC /Al matrix composites. A typical micrograph 3 p State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration, of a SiC /Al MMC with 65% (volume fraction) SiC par- School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong ticle reinforcement is shown in Fig. 1 [6]. University, Shanghai 200240, People’s Republic of China 123 280 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 1 Micrograph of 65% (volume fraction) SiC /Al matrix com- posite [6] The specific properties of SiC make it very suitable for the production of Al MMCs [7]. However, on the pro- cessing aspect, the hard reinforcement causes an inevitable and severe problem of limiting the machining performance and rapid tool wear [8], which results in poor machin ability and cost increase [9]. Consequently, it is not surprising that SiC /Al composites are considered difficult- to-machine [10]. To date, many attempts have been made to improve the machinability of this hard material. Fig- ure 2a indicates a steady increase in the number of studies on the machining of SiC /Al composites based on available publications since the 1990s. Figure 2b depicts the distri- Fig. 2 a Publications of SiC /Al composite machining performance studies sourced from available databases and b distribution of bution of SiC /Al machinability studies conducted in industrial countries conducting SiC /Al composite machining inves- industrial countries. In Fig. 3a, the statistics of the studied tigations based on available literature SiC (volume or weight fraction) according to appearance frequency in the literature are presented, and the SiC machining (ADM) [11]. This review considers both con- fractions are classified into 10 divisions. It is indicated that ventional and nonconventional machining studies con- most studies are focused on SiC /Al composites with low ducted by numerous researchers to summarize the SiC fractions, e.g., 5%–20% (volume fraction). Neverthe- machinability performance of SiC /Al matrix composites less, in recent years, increasing attention has been paid to and to offer transferable knowledge for industry the machining investigation of SiC /Al with high-SiC application. fractions, such as 50%, 56% and 65% (volume fraction). Both conventional and nonconventional machining methods have been adopted for the processing of SiC /Al 2 Fabrication and properties of SiC /Al matrix matrix composites. Figure 3b displays the approximate composites distribution of the machining methods utilized in the studies. It can be observed that turning, milling, and dril- 2.1 Fabrication ling are the most commonly used conventional machining technologies, whereas electrical discharge machining Different fabrication techniques are used for the prepara- (EDM) is the most frequently used nonconventional tion of aluminum MMCs, e.g., stir casting, powder metal- machining technology. Besides EDM, wire EDM, and lurgy, squeeze casting, in-situ process, deposition electrochemical machining (ECM), there are some other technique, and electroplating [12]. The widely used pro- nonconventional machining technologies that have been cesses are stir casting and squeeze casting [13]. Stir casting adopted for improving the machining of SiC /Al matrix (vortex technique) is generally considered as the most composites, e.g., the newly developed arc discharge 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 281 wear and impact resistance, and high chemical resistance [7]. These excellent properties enhance the characteristics of Al-SiC composites. Consequently, SiC-related issues (e.g., fraction and size) are the key factors that are affecting the properties of SiC /Al matrix composites. It is believed that the mechanical properties of Al/SiC composites can be improved by increasing the volume fraction of SiC parti- cles in the composites [27]. The yield strength and tensile strength increase with an increase in the SiC volume fraction; however, the plasticity [28] and impact toughness of the composites [29] deteriorate. Moreover, an increase in particle size reduces the strength but increases the composite ductility [30]; thus, a finer particle size of SiC offers a greater compressive strength [31]. Hong et al. [32] showed the variation in yield strength and ultimate tensile strength of composites as a function of the volume per- centage of SiC: the yield strength ranged from 75 MPa (0% SiC-2014Al) to 210 MPa (10% (volume fraction) SiC- 2014Al) and the ultimate tensile strength ranges from 185 MPa (0%SiC-2014Al) to 308 MPa(10% (volume fraction) SiC-2014Al). Yan et al. [33] produced Al matrix com- Fig. 3 a Percentage statistics of studied SiC fractions and b distribu- posites with high-volume fractions (55%–57%) of SiC tion of machining methods utilized in studies based on available database particles using a new pressureless infiltration fabrication technology and described the properties of the SiC/Al economical one among all the available methods of Al composites as follows: density was 2.94 g/cm ; elastic MMC production, and it allows fabrication of very large modulus was 220 GPa; flexure strength was 405 MPa; -6 components. Its advantages lie in simplicity, flexibility, and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) was 8.0 9 10 /K; applicability to large volume production [14]. In this pro- thermal conductivity (TC) was 235.0 W/(mK); Poisson’s cess, the matrix material is superheated above its melting ratio was 0.23; and HV hardness was 200 N/mm . Huang temperature. The particles are also preheated at approxi- et al. [34] fabricated 30% (volume fraction) SiC/6061Al mately 1 000–1 200 C to oxidize the surface. The melted composites using a pressureless sintering technique, and matrix is then stirred at an average stirring speed of obtained the following properties: bending strength was 300–400 r/min as the vortex is formed during stirring 425.6 MPa; TC was 159 W/(mK); and CTE was 1.25 9 -5 [2, 15]. The major problem with stir casting is segregation 10 /(20–100 C). Tailor et al. [7] summarized the prop- or dusting of reinforced particles [13]. The squeeze casting erties of SiC /Al composites as follows: bending strength process combines casting and forging to overcome casting was 350–500 MPa; elastic modulus was 200–300 GPa; and -6 defects such as pitting, porosity, and segregation of rein- CTE was (6.5–9.5) 9 10 /K. forcements [16]. Squeeze casting is a nonconventional process. Solidification of the molten slurry is carried out at high squeezing pressures, which enhance the microstruc- 3 Conventional machining of SiC /Al matrix ture and mechanical properties [17, 18]. In the fabrication composites of Al MMCs, many types of aluminum alloys have been adopted, e.g., Al6061 [19], AA2124 [20], Al7039 [21], 3.1 Turning Al7075 [22], Al A359 [23], Al A356 [24], Al6351 [25], and Al2124 [26], as matrix materials. 3.1.1 Tool selection 2.2 Properties The majority of SiC /Al turning investigations were con- ducted on lathes with a series of tools, such as uncoated The machinability of MMCs differs from conventional tungsten carbide (WC) tools, polycrystalline diamond metal materials because of the abrasive reinforcement (PCD) tools [35], high-speed steel (HSS) cutting tools [36], element. It is known that SiC particles have some specific cubic boron nitride (CBN) inserts tools [37, 38], single- properties, e.g., high melting point (2 730 C), high mod- crystal diamond (SCD) tools [39], TiN-coated hard carbide ulus (250 GPa), good thermal stability, good hardness, high 123 282 J.-P. Chen et al. tools, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamond tools, and influential parameter [51]. For the CVD diamond-coated multilayer-coated carbide insert tools [40]. carbide tool, the tool wear process includes melting of the PCD cutters are the most commonly used tools. They workpiece material onto the tool surface as well as alter- are generally preferentially considered when turning high- ations of the rake face and cutting edge by the consequent volume fraction SiC /Al composites. This is because these pullout. Tool failure of smooth coatings occurs by a pro- diamond-based turning tools both increase tool life and cess including work material transfer and welding on the produce acceptable machining surfaces [41]. Durante et al. tool surface as well as regular removal of the built-up layer [42] insisted that it was possible to use only the PCD and built-up edge (BUE), inducing coating pullout, which turning tools for improving the cutter service time and exposes the relatively soft tool substrate to abrasive wear reducing the cutter changing frequency because HSS cut- caused by the hard SiC particles [52]. For the uncoated WC ters could be destroyed in several seconds, whereas con- tool, the flank wear is high due to the formation of BUE ventional and coated carbides could only work for a few and generation of high cutting forces at low cutting speeds. minutes. Karabulut and Karako [43] also advised that PCD In addition, the formation of BUE enlarges the actual rake cutting tools should be used considering their excellent angle; thus, it is found that the increment of cutting forces mechanical properties, although these tools were generally may increase the cutting tool wear in turn [53]. Manna and not cheap. On the aspect of tool cost, carbide and rhombic Bhattacharayya [54] proposed that the feed rate was less inserts have been regarded as an economical alternative sensitive to tool wear compared with the cutting speed turning solution compared to PCD or CBN tools. Sahin during turning SiC /Al with an uncoated WC cutter. For [44] reported that multicoated carbide tools with TiN as the the CBN and diamond-coated cemented carbide cutting top layer presented a better wear property than those of tools, abrasion and adhesion were observed as the pre- other cutting tools when machining SiC /Al matrix com- dominant wear mechanisms. Scanning electron microscopy posites. In addition, Errico and Calzavarini [45] found that (SEM) investigation revealed that tool flank wear was the the deposition of a thin-film CVD diamond increased the dominant wear mode. In contrast, machining of an MMC cutting performance of hard metal substrates by more than containing relatively large SiC particles (110 lm) using 100%. Meanwhile, Andrewes et al. [46] observed a faster CBN cutting tools resulted in fracture of both the cutting flank wear rate on a CVD diamond insert than on a PCD edge and nose [55]. For the SCD tool, microwear, chip- insert, but that faster wear rate could be reduced by ping, cleavage, abrasive wear, and chemical wear were the securing stronger adhesion between the carbide substrate dominant wear patterns. It was pointed out that the com- and diamond coating. bined effects of abrasive wear of SiC particles and catalysis of copper in the aluminum matrix had caused severe 3.1.2 Tool wear mechanism graphitization. Figure 4 displays SEM images of a worn SCD tool used for turning of 15% (volume fraction) SiC / The machinability of MMCs differs from that of conven- 2009Al [39]. tional materials due to the heavy cutting tool wear caused As can be observed from Fig. 5, the cutting speed, depth by abrasive elements [29]. Flank wear is the main type of of cut, feed rate, and nose radius are the main factors that wear observed on the tip tool [47]. In terms of tool wear affect tool wear significantly in most of the turning cases mechanism, Manna and Bhattacharayya [48] explained the [56]. For instance, the tool wear increases with increasing following: as the SiC particle contacted with the cutting cutting speed, depth of cut, and feed rate when turning 5%– tool, the atoms from the harder material were likely to 20% (mass fraction) SiC-reinforced MMCs using an HSS diffuse into the softer matrix during the sliding process, cutting tool [36]. When turning SiC /Al7075 MMC with which increased the hardness and abrasiveness of the multilayer TiN-coated WC inserts in a dry machining workpiece. In the rapid wear phase and steady wear phase, environment, the most significant parameter affecting tool diffusion and abrasion caused tool flank wear, respectively. flank wear was cutting speed, followed by feed rate and For the PCD tool, the tool wear that occurs on the cutter depth of cut [57]. is similar to that observed when machining other materials Based on experiments and modeling of tool deteriora- and may be interpreted as surface fatigue and a tion, it is found that the volume fraction of SiC rein- microfracture process. The wear may be exacerbated by forcement strongly influences the tool wear [58]. Higher adhesion between the tool and the workpiece [49], and percentages of SiC particles lead to higher tool wear. A vertical grooves are visible on the flank face of the tool higher surface contact rate between the SiC particles and [50]. For the TiN-coated tool, abrasion is the main tool cutting edge occurs in higher-percentage SiC /Al matrix wear mechanism and there is almost no evidence of composites [47]. During turning, when the SiC particles chemical wear; moreover, tool wear occurs on the flank gain higher kinetic energy, they will strike the tool insert face and the cutting speed is found to be the most surface, which causes severe wear [56]. Improving cooling 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 283 Fig. 4 SEM micrographs of round-edged SCD tool wear after cutting 15% (volume fraction) SiC /2009Al: a flank face, b rake face, c flank face on the tool nose and d high magnification of the rectangle in c [39] Since tool wear is an important factor that contributes to the variation in spindle motor current, speed, feed rate, and depth of cut, on line tool wear state detecting is available. By analyzing the effects of tool wear and cutting parame- ters on the current signal, models on the relationship between the current signals and the cutting parameters were established with a partial design taken from experi- mental data and regression analysis. The fuzzy classifica- tion method was used to categorize the tool wear states to facilitate defective tool replacement at the appropriate time [60]. Besides, artificial neural networks (ANNs) and the coactive neuro-fuzzy inference system are available for predicting the flank wear [61]. 3.1.3 Cutting force, chip formation, and simulation The resultant cutting force consists of components due to chip formation, ploughing and particle fracture, and dis- placement. Merchant’s shear plane analysis, slip-line field theory, and Griffith’s theory can be adopted for calculating these force components, respectively [62]. Generally, as the cutting forces increase with the flank wear of the turning inserts, the feed and depth forces show a corre- sponding increase [63]. Manna and Bhattacharayya [54] conducted a series of experiments and found that the cut- ting force was smaller at lower cutting speeds, whereas the feed force was larger at lower cutting speeds than at higher cutting speeds. Besides, the properties of the SiC particle reinforcement, such as size and volume fraction, con- tributed to the change in the cutting forces [64]. Gaitonde Fig. 5 Effects of a cutting speed and feed rate and b cutting speed et al. [65] illustrated that a combination of a high cutting and depth of cut on flank wear [56] speed with a high feed rate was advantageous for mini- mizing the specific cutting force. It was demonstrated that and lubrication has significant impacts on the flank wear, the reinforcement percentage had an increasing effect on adhesive wear, and tool breakage. It was demonstrated that the resultant force when turning SiC /Al composites [66], adequate flushing as well as excellent lubricating and and the cutting force magnitudes were also sensitive to the cooling properties would help to reduce the three-body size of reinforcement particles [67]. abrasion at the boundary zones of the minor and major The chips formed from the workpiece material will flanks [59]. indicate the material deformation behavior during 123 284 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 6 Surface of the SiC /Al chip a voids formed around the SiC reinforcements and b fractured SiC particles [69] machining [68]. Figure 6 shows that chip voids initiate three-dimensional (3D) finite element model using com- around the particles along the inner surface first, and then mercial finite element packages to predict the subsurface some SiC particles become fractured [69]. In the turning damage after machining of particle-reinforced MMCs. The process, the tool rake angle has a great influence on the particles and matrix were modeled as continuum elements chip formation. Normally, the material of the workpiece is with isotropic properties separated by a layer of cohesive removed under the tensile stress supplied by the cutting zone elements representing the interfacial layer to simulate tool with a positive rake angle. On the contrary, the the extent of particle-matrix debonding and subsequent material is removed under the compressive stress supplied subsurface damage. A random particle dispersion algo- by the cutting tool with a negative rake angle. Therefore, it rithm was applied for the random distribution of the par- can be deduced that the plastic deformation of chips occurs ticles in the composite. Duan et al. [77] also simulated the more easily when using a tool with a negative rake angle chip formation and cutting force in SiC /Al composite than a tool with a positive rake angle [70]. machining by developing a three-phase friction model that During turning of SiC /Al matrix composites, the pri- considered the influence of matrix adhesion, two-body mary chip forming mechanism should be the initiation of abrasion, and three-body rolling. The schematic of the tool- cracks from the outer free surface of the chip due to the chip interface in SiC /Al composites machining is depicted high shear stress [71]. The particles can interfere with in Fig. 7. It was found that the change in the tool-chip matrix plastic deformation and retard the growth of cracks interface friction coefficient with the particle volume formed in the chip [72]; thus, the size and volume fraction fraction and particle size was reasonable. The chip root of reinforcement significantly influence the chip formation micrographs obtained from the experiments showed that mechanism. In the case of finer reinforcement composites, two-body sliding, three-body rolling, and matrix sticking the chip segments are longer and gross fracture occurs at were the main contact forms that determined the tool-chip the outer surface of the chips only. By contrast, in coarser interface friction in SiC /Al composite machining. As reinforcement composites, complete gross fracture causes exhibited in Fig. 8, Wu et al. [78] developed a the formation of smaller chip segments [73]. Because the microstructure-based model for investigating the mecha- volume fraction of SiC increases the chip disposability, the nisms of chip formation in the machining of particulate- chip thickness ratio and shear angle increase [53], and the reinforced MMCs. The morphology and distribution of the sizes of chips are decreased during dry machining opera- particles, debonding of the particle-matrix interface, and tion [36]. Ge et al. [74] discovered that a saw-toothed chip fracture of particles and the matrix were comprehensively was formed during ultraprecision turning of SiC /Al integrated into the model. Because of the high strain and composites and the chip-formation mechanisms were strain rate throughout the cutting process, the Johnson- dynamic microcrack behavior and strain concentration. Cook (J-C) constitutive model is generally utilized to Generally, cutting force and chip formation in the describe the properties of matrix materials in simulations turning processes are complex. Simulation models have [79–82]. The J-C equation is based on experimentally been developed for a better understanding of these pro- determined flow stresses and is a function of strain, tem- cesses. For example, Kishawy et al. [75] reported an perature, and strain rate in separate multiplicative terms energy-based analytical force model for orthogonal cutting [83]. It is given by of MMCs. Dandekar and Shin [76] proposed a multistep 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 285 Fig. 7 Schematic of the tool-chip interface in SiC /Al composite machining a the tool-chip contact, b an enlarged view of matrix sticking, two- body sliding, and three-body rolling, c an enlarged view of the tool-chip contact face [77] within sampling length) [87] are generally considered. e T  T r ¼ðÞ A þ Be 1 þ C ln 1  ; Ding et al. [88] studied the machining performance of e T  T 0 m r SiC /Al composites with various types of polycrystalline where r is the flow stress, r the plastic strain, e_ the strain CBN and PCD tools; they explained that the adhesion rate, e the reference plastic rate, T and T the current 0 m property of the tool and the work material had a major temperature and material melting temperature, respec- influence on the surface finish. Sharma [89] studied the tively, T the room temperature, A, B, C, n, and m the interaction effects of various factors and reported that an material constants that can be obtained using dynamic increase in nose radius improved the SR, while the feed Hopkinson bar tensile tests. In some conditions, e.g., if the rate has a more severe effect on the SR. Davim [90] pro- strain exceeds a certain value (0.3) or under a high strain posed that the cutting velocity, cutting time, and feed rate condition (higher than 10 /s), a modified J-C consti- parameters had statistical and physical significance on the tutive model with a correction of strain and strain rate SR of the workpiece. Palanikumar and Karthikeyan [91] hardening is used for the simulation of turning of particle- insisted that feed rate was the main factor that had the reinforced MMCs [78]. A detailed summary of machining greatest influence on the SR, followed by the cutting speed models for composite materials can be found in Ref. [84]. and SiC volume fraction. Muthukrishnan and Davim [92] also supported that the feed rate has the highest statistical 3.1.4 Surface integrity and machining efficiency and physical influences on the SR, whereas Manna and Bhattacharayya [48] considered that the cutting speed, feed With turning, the machined surfaces contain many defects rate, and depth of cut had equal influences on the R and R a t of pits, voids, microcracks, grooves, protuberances, matrix values. Aurich et al. [93] suggested that high cutting speeds tearing, and so on [85]. In investigations on the machining and feed rates and moderate depths of cut needed to be surface roughness (SR), R (the arithmetic mean rough- used to decrease the thermal load of the workpiece. ness), R (the maximum peak-to-valley height of rough- Muthukrishnan et al. [35] found that the surface finish was ness) [86], and R (the maximum peak-to-valley height superior at lower feed rates and higher cutting speeds for 123 286 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 8 Simulations of distribution of principal stress under a 50 lm depth of cut [78] PCD inserts. When the cutting speed was 400 m/min, a precision turning experiments to study the influence of steady low R value could be obtained over the entire tool particle size on the surface quality and proved that the SR life, which made high-speed finishing of MMCs possible (peak-valley value) was close to the particle radius. The [94]. Ge et al. [95] reported that R of 20–30 nm could be performance of cutting tool materials has been evaluated in attained by using single-point diamond tools (SPDT) or terms of surface quality from the best to the worst, which PCD tools; moreover, the surface obtained by SPDT was are PCD, CBN, and WC (for 10%(mass fraction) SiC /Al) smoother and the number of crushed or pulled out SiC [99]. For example, while turning Al2124-SiC (45%(mass particles was fewer. Dabade et al. [96] observed the lowest fraction)) MMCs, the PCD tool performed better than the SR (R = 0.13 um) on the machined surfaces of higher- CBN tool with lower flank wear and higher surface finish fraction reinforced MMCs (Al/SiC/30p), and the maximum quality [100]. It was proposed that damage to the machined SR (R = 2.47 lm) was found on the machined surfaces of surface was related to the fracture and pluck out of SiC Al/SiC/20p composites. It was reported that the SR of the reinforcement by cutting tools [101]; specifically, the par- cutting surface decreased as the volume fraction of SiC ticles beneath the machined surface were fractured as decreased [97], and the change in size was more influential subsurface damages because of squeezing by the flank face than the volume fraction [96]. Wang et al. [98] conducted of the cutting edge [78]. Hence, the treated tool produces a 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 287 better-machined surface of MMC material than the interaction effects of various factors and reported that an untreated tool [102], and lubrication will be helpful. In increase in nose radius improved the SR while the feed rate particular, kerosene with graphite powder yields better had a more severe effect on the SR, which increased with results on SR and surface hardness compared with other the increase in feed rate. lubricants such as soluble oil, mineral oil, and pure kero- Machining efficiency is an important factor in the sene [103]. In general, the peak residual stresses and machining operation of SiC /Al composites. The opera- residual stresses at most depths beneath the machined tional cost of the machine is directly proportional to the surface are higher for heat-treated samples than those for square of the material removal rate (MRR) [56]. MRR is hot-rolled samples [104]. Concerning investigations con- determined by the rate of change in volume [106]. In the ducted by Aurich et al. [105], the use of high feed rates turning process, the value of MRR (r ) is calculated by MRR decreased the residual stress in the surface of the workpiece the following formula: r = V 9 F 9 D. Here, V is the MRR in comparison to using low feed rates. However, the sur- cutting speed (m/min), F the feed rate (mm/r), and D the face quality considerably deteriorated by using high feed depth of cut (mm). Theoretically, increasing any of V, F,or rates. As depicted in Fig. 9, Sharma [89] studied the D will significantly improve the machining efficiency. Fig. 9 Interaction effects of various factors on surface roughness (S: cutting speed, D: depth of cut, F: feed rate, and R: nose radius) a cutting speed versus depth of cut, b cutting speed versus nose radius, c depth of cut versus feed rate, and d feed rate versus nose radius [89] 123 288 J.-P. Chen et al. However, the change in cutting parameters will produce 3.2 Milling non-negligible influences on other aspects, e.g., tool life, cutting force, energy consumption, and surface quality. There are several types of milling methods, e.g., end mil- Thus, it is necessary to optimize the machining parameters ling and face milling. From an overview of the literature, it can be found that most investigations of SiC /Al composite to achieve higher efficiency without causing severe tool wear, large energy consumption, etc. Generally, optimiza- machining are focused on end milling. tion methods, e.g., ANOVA and gray relational analysis [56, 107, 108], genetic algorithms (GAs) [109], Taguchi’s 3.2.1 Tool wear optimization methodology [110–114], and response surface methodology (RSM) [115–118], have been adopted. Uncoated cemented carbide inserts, nano TiAlN coated Table 1 lists various recommended turning parameters for tools, and carbide-coated cutting tools can be adopted for industry consideration based on optimization studies from the milling of SiC /Al composites. Additionally, some Refs. [119–124]. ultrahard materials, such as CBN and PCD, are employed to avoid rapid tool wear [125]. Images of a milling cutter with an identical tool geometry are exhibited in Fig. 10 [126]. Table 1 Recommended turning parameters for industry Shen et al. [127] demonstrated that the uncoated WC-Co Tool Matrix SiC Parameter Remark milling tool sufferred the severest wear in its circumfer- fraction ential cutting edge, whereas the wear of the diamond-like PCD Al 356 5% (mass Spindle speed Surface carbon (DLC)-coated milling tool was slightly lower. [119] fraction) 1200 r/min, roughness Comparatively, the CVD diamond-coated milling tool feed rate 0.25 2.96 lm, exhibits a much stronger wear resistance. The wear on its mm/r, depth of r 37.79 MRR circumferential cutting edge is less than 0.07 mm at the end cut 1.0 mm cm /min of milling tests, which is only half of that of the DLC- HSS Al 7075 10% Feed rate range Cutting forces [120] (mass of 0.4–0.8 mm/ are coated milling tool. Huang et al. [128] conducted high- fraction) r, depth of cut independent speed milling experiments of SiC /Al composites with 20% range of cutting (volume fraction) at dry and wet machining conditions. The 0.08–0.16 mm, speed results showed that the main tool wear was abrasion on the cutting speed range of flank face, and the TiC-based cermet tool was not suit- 60–100 m/min able for machining SiC /Al composites with higher volume Carbide Al 7075 10% Cutting speed Optimum fractions and larger particles due to the heavy abrasive insert (mass range of surface nature of the reinforcement. The diamond particle size has [121] fraction) 180–220 oughness a great influence on the wear resistance of PCD tools. The m/min, feed rate range of larger the size of the diamond particle, the worse the wear 0.1–0.3 mm/r, resistance. However, when the tool wear goes into a and depth of stable wear state, the wear rate of PCD tools with different cut range of particle sizes is almost the same [129]. Wang et al. [130] 0.5–1.5 mm showed that the wear pattern of PCD tools was the flank PCD Al 7075 10% Low feed rate The best wear caused by abrasion of the SiC particles at relatively [122] (mass (0.05 mm/r) surface fraction) and high finish low cutting speeds. Since graphitization of PCD tools does cutting speed not occur at low cutting temperatures, the wear mechanism (170 m/min) of PCD tools will be abrasive and adhesive wear. Huang Carbide Al 7075 15% Cutting speed 90 The maximum and Zhou [131] also reported that the flank wear was the insert (mass m/min, feed value of tool dominant wear mode for the TiN-coated tool, cermet tool, [123] fraction) rate 0.15 mm/r, life (6.6 depth of cut min) and cemented carbide tool. The wear resistance was almost 0.20 mm, nose the same for the three different tool materials at both low radius 0.42 and high speeds. In addition, the milling speed was the mm most influential machining parameter on tool wear. With K20 Al 6025 20% Narrow region Tool: a thick increasing milling speed, the tool wear increased. The feed series (volume around 150 C Al O layer 2 3 [124] fraction) and 150 m/min on top of rate and depth of cut have slight influences on the tool as the optimum Ti(C,N) wear. As shown in Fig. 11, Ge et al. [132] reported the tool domain for layer flank wear under different working times during high-speed machining milling of a SiC/2009Al composite using a PCD tool; the 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 289 Fig. 10 Milling cutter geometry: a tool faces and b cutting corner [126] Fig. 11 PCD tool life comparison under different milling conditions [132] available tool life could exceed 240 min when a 0.1 mm the cutting force. Huang et al. [139] also detected that the tool wear criterion was chosen. It was reported that the milling forces decreased with an increase in the milling wear mechanism of diamond-coated micromills was speed, or increased with an increase in the feed rate and adhesion, abrasion, oxidization, chipping, and tipping depth of milling. The influence of milling depth on the [133], and the volume fraction and size of SiC particles milling forces in the x and y directions is the most signif- present in the aluminum alloy matrix had significant effects icant, while the influence of the feed rate on the z milling on the milling characteristics [134, 135]. forces is the most significant. Babu et al. [140] demon- strated that the cutting force components were more sen- 3.2.2 Cutting force sitive in the high-speed and full immersion condition, and it was witnessed that the cutting force obtained additional The cutting force and its impact factors in different milling undulations by both the unstable chip formation of com- investigations are generally not the same; however, the posite material and randomly distributed reinforcement machining parameters and SiC particles play a key role. particles [141]. Jayakumar et al. [136] revealed that the depth of cut and Ge et al. [142] performed high-speed milling tests on size of SiC were the key impact factors of the cutting force. SiC /2009Al composites by using PCD tools in the speed An increase in the volume fraction of SiC reinforcement range of 600–1 200 m/min. The results showed that the over the matrix results in a higher tool-work interface peak value of the cutting force (in the tool radial direction) temperature and requires a higher cutting force [137]. was in the range of 700–1 450 N. The maximum amplitude Vallavi et al. [138] observed that the cutting speed had of the cutting force vibration in the tool radial direction can negative effects on the cutting force while the axial depth reach 700 N. Figure 12 illustrates the cutting forces and of cut and the percentage of SiC showed positive effects on torque in high-speed milling of SiC /Al composites with 123 290 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 12 Cutting force versus cutting distance a F , b F , c F and d torque [143] x y z small particles and high-volume fraction by adopting PCD The reinforcement enhances the machinability in terms cutters with different grain sizes [143]. The cutting forces of both SR and lower tendency to clog the cutting tool and torque of PCD tools of larger diamond grain sizes are compared to a non-reinforced Al alloy using TiAlN-coated less than those of smaller diamond grain sizes. carbide end mill cutters [146]. Zhang et al. [147] reported that the SR of aluminum/SiC composites was smaller than 3.2.3 Surface integrity, machining efficiency, that of the aluminum metal during an end milling experi- and optimization ment, which was due to the improvement in mechanical properties of the aluminum/SiC composite resulting from The SiC reinforcement removal mode plays a decisive role the addition of SiC particles. In the precision milling of the in the formation of the machined workpiece surface [144]. composites, the generation of the machined surface is a Various defects concerning surface topography such as balance between the size effect of the Al matrix and the ploughed furrow, pits, and matrix tearing have been found removal methods of SiC particles. When the feed per tooth under different parameters, which are mainly the effect of is smaller than the minimum chip thickness of Al, the SiC particles pulled out, fractured, or crushed [145]. Fig- coating effect is dominant; when the feed per tooth is larger ure 13 depicts the machined surface morphology of than the maximal advised value calculated by the method, Al6063/SiC /65p composites. The machined surfaces are the particle cracks dominate [148]. The SR mainly depends characterized by shallow pits caused by fractured or cru- on the feed rate followed by the spindle speed, whereas the shed SiC particulates, swelling formed by pressed-in SiC depth of cut has the least influence [149]. Thus, high cut- particulates, large cavities formed from pulled-out SiC ting speeds, low feed rates, and low depths of cut are particulates, and high-frequency scratches of SiC recommended for better surface finish [150]. Obtaining a particulates. very smooth surface for a high-volume fraction and large 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 291 Fig. 13 SEM micrographs of the Al6063/SiC /65p machined surface a macromachined morphology, b scratch and microcrack, c cavity formed by SiC cracking, d shallow pit caused by SiC scratch, e cavity formed by pulled-out SiC particulate and f swelling caused by pressed-in SiC particulate [6] SiC particle workpiece is very difficult; however, a mirror- Wang et al. [151] reported that the milled SR of 65% like surface with an SR (R ) of approximately 0.1 lm can (volume fraction) SiC /Al composites decreases gradually a p still be achieved by using diamond precision milling with when the milling speed increases from 100 m/min to 250 small parameters in the range of a few micrometers [125]. m/min, and then the values remain stable. It has been demonstrated that using a CO cryogenic coolant can improve the surface quality by reducing the SR value (in face milling) [152]. Figure 14 indicates the influence of SiC fraction on the SR [153]. When the machined SR enters into a relatively stable state, the SR of machined materials with a volume fraction of 56% is the highest, and the value is the lowest when the volume fraction of SiC particles is 15%. When the volume fractions are 25% and 30%, the values of the machined SR have little difference between each other. In general, the lower the volume fraction of SiC particles, the smaller the machined SR. In terms of residual stress on the machined surface, the axial depth of cut has the highest influence, followed by the milling speed and feed rate, and the residual stress mea- sured in the feed direction indicated that the conditions of the machined Al6063 surface were all tensile, while the conditions of Al/SiC/65p were compressive [154]. During milling, the matrix material was removed in a plastic way Fig. 14 Relation curves between cutting distance and machined surface roughness (using PCD tools) [153] 123 292 J.-P. Chen et al. Table 2 Recommended parameters for the milling of SiC /Al composites Tool Matrix SiC Parameter Remark (volume fraction) End mill cutter (/ 16 mm) with 2 A356 10% Cutting speed 200 m/min, feed rate 0.1 mm/min, The minimal surface uncoated cemented carbide inserts aluminium depth of cut 0.2 mm roughness and [136] alloy cutting forces Three different cutting tools 123 L 10% SiC Uncoated tool: cutting speed 60 m/min, feed rate 0.04 Multi-layered tool (uncoated, multi-layered and nano aluminium under mm/r; multi-layered tool: cutting speed 78 m/min, 0.302 lm TiAlN coated) [135] alloy 32 lm feed rate 0.12 mm/r Carbide insert with a 0.8 mm Al7075 alloy 40% Cutting speed 170 m/min, depth of cut 0.8 mm and a Best surface quality uncoated tool nose radius [160] feed per tooth 0.08 mm/tooth. Carbide coated cutting tool inserts Al7075 alloy 5%, 10%, Spindle speed 1000 r/min, feed 0.03 mm/r, depth of The best (AXMT 0903 PER-EML TT8020) 15% cut 1 mm and 5% SiC by weight combination [43] PCD blade with carbide substrate Al6063 65% Cutting speed 300 m/min with a tool refreshment Surface R less than [161] aluminum 0.4 lm and presented a smooth machined surface. Most of the SiC the machining performance, and the presence of a ceramic reinforcements presented partial ductile removal with coating on an HSS drill did not improve its performance microfractures and cracks on the machined surface [125]. appreciably compared to standard uncoated tools. The material removal and tool wear mechanism in the The height of burrs produced during drilling was found milling of SiC /Al composites are complex. Investigations to be greater with softer materials [165]. Moreover, burr aimed at achieving a higher MRR, lower tool wear, and dimensions were smaller at a lower feed rate, higher point higher surface quality have been conducted; thus, RSM angle, and higher concentration of reinforcements [166]. [155–157], gray-fuzzy logic algorithm [158], and ANOVA The experiment conducted by Babu et al. [167] showed [159] have been adopted. Based on the literature, the rec- that the point angle had a significant influence on the ommended milling parameters for industry application are drilling performance. As the point angles of HSS and TiN- listed in Table 2 [43, 135, 136, 160, 161]. coated HSS drills increase, the damage zone increases. However, with increasing point angles of solid carbide 3.3 Drilling drills, the damage zone decreases [168]. The temperature during the cutting process plays a major role in the tool Solid carbide drills, TiN-coated HSS twist drills, PCD- wear evolution and wear mechanism [169, 170]. The heat coated drills, and CVD diamond-coated carbide tools are generation during machining is divided into plastic-defor- widely used for the drilling process. Tosun and Muratoglu mation heat and friction-induced heat. The converted heat [162] advised that solid carbide drills were the most suit- rate by plastic deformation leads to workpiece temperature able tools for drilling of 17% (volume fraction) SiC /Al variation in material forming and machining. Figure 15 composites, however, from an estimate of economic fac- shows the schematic of heat partitioning in the chip for- tors, the TiN-coated HSS drills were cheaper than the solid mation process. carbide tools. The best performance of the TiN-coated HSS Huang et al. [171] reported that the thrust force varied twist drill was obtained with a lower cutting point, higher linearly with the feed rate, while the cutting speed had no feed rate, and higher cutting speed [163]. Xiang et al. [41] significant effect on the thrust force when drilling SiC /Al suggested that when drilling high-volume fraction (e.g., composites with high-volume fractions (55%–57% SiC) 65%(volume fraction)) SiC /Al composites, the CVD dia- and large particle sizes. Hu et al. [172] developed a 3D mond-coated carbide tool should be preferred, owing to its finite element model for simulating the 3 mm diameter stable cutting force, less tool wear, and its ability to pro- peck drilling behavior of SiC /Al composites by using duce acceptable machining quality. Monaghan and O’reilly ABAQUS/Explicit. In the simulation, a J-C model was [164] compared a series of drilling tests on a 25% (volume created for the SiC /Al composites. A comparison of the fraction) SiC/Al composite with different drilling tools simulation and experimental chip formation is shown in (coated and uncoated HSS, carbide and PCD-tipped drills, Fig. 16. and solid-carbide drills). The results indicated that the As displayed in Fig. 17, many uniform and close-packed hardness of the tool material had a significant influence on abrasion marks on the chisel edge and flank face can be 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 293 logic and GAs [179, 180], Taguchi’s method [181], etc. The recommended drilling parameters for industry con- sideration are provided in Table 3 [168, 174, 178, 179, 181–183]. 3.4 Grinding Grinding can be performed as surface, cylindrical, and ductile-regime grinding. Among them, cylindrical grinding has attracted most of the research interests in the grinding of SiC /Al matrix composites. 3.4.1 Surface grinding Fig. 15 Schematic of heat partitioning in the chip formation process The material removal of SiC particles is primarily due to [170] the failure of the interface between the reinforcement and observed when drilling SiC /Al composites with high- matrix, and results from microcracks along the interface volume fractions and large SiC particle sizes using elec- and many fractures or crushed SiC particles on the ground troplated diamond drills [173]. It can be seen that the wear surface [184]. The chips can be divided into Al-matrix of the embedded diamond grit on the drill includes abrasive chips, SiC particle chips, and Al-SiC mixed chips, when wear (see Fig. 17a), pullout (see Fig. 17b), cracks initiated diamond grinding SiC /Al composites with higher volume around the particle (see Fig. 17c), and fracture (see fraction and larger particles [185]. The grindability is Fig. 17d). influenced by both the type of grinding wheel abrasive and Tosun [174] observed that the most influential parame- the type of reinforcement of workpiece material [186]. ters on the workpiece SR were the drill type and feed rate, Zhang et al. [187] compared the PCD compact (PDC) respectively. The spindle speed, drill point angle, and heat whisker with the CVD diamond whisker, and found that the treatment have been determined to be insignificant factors PDC wheel had better edge evenness, which led to good on the SR. Barnes and Pashby [175] provided strong evi- machining quality. Xu et al. [188] suggested the potential dence that through-tool cooling led to a significant of using SiC wheels for rough grinding of SiC /Al com- improvement in performance in terms of tool wear, cutting posites in consideration of their economic advantages. force, surface finish, and height of burrs produced. There is Zhong [189] reported that there was almost no subsurface another drilling process called friction drilling, which has damage except for rare cracked particles when fine grind- been adopted for SiC /Al matrix composites; it is reported ing 10% (volume fraction) SiC /Al composites with a p p that the hole quality in terms of roundness is affected by the diamond wheel. Huang et al. [129] revealed that the normal spindle speed, feed rate, and percentage of SiC in the grinding forces of SiC /Al composites were always higher workpiece [176, 177]. Currently, optimization methods are than the tangential grinding forces. With the increase in the available based on gray relational analysis [178], fuzzy grinding depth and table speed, both the normal and Fig. 16 Chip formation in simulation and experiment: a formation of two chip segments, b segment B in simulation, c segment B in experiment [172] 123 294 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 17 SEM image of worn diamond grits a abrasive wear, b pullout, c crack initiation and d fracture [173] tangential grinding forces of SiC /Al composites increased and normal components increased, and the increasing trend evidently. Due to the high hardness of SiC /Al composites, was more notable with a higher grinding depth. the thrust component of the grinding force showed a The grinding temperature increases with an increase in strongly increasing trend with wheel degradation [190]. the wheel velocity, workpiece velocity, feed rate, and depth Furthermore, with an increase in the grinding depth, both of cut. High values of the grinding parameters result in the normal grinding force and tangential grinding force high grinding temperatures due to the increase in the increased evidently [191]. energy required to grind a unit volume of material [194]. Among the different grinding wheels, the diamond When the grinding temperature exceeds 450 C, a black wheel exhibits the lowest normal force followed by the color appears on the ground surface due to the oxidation CBN wheel. Surface damages such as debonding of rein- reaction, and the residual compressive stress of the burned forcement from the metal matrix cracked reinforcement, surface layer is very high [195]. By adopting a triangular particle breakage, and cracks at the surface are the reason heat source model, the temperature distribution in the for the increased forces while grinding using the SiC wheel workpiece can be accurately and efficiently calculated [192]. Considering the plastic deformation force of the during the precision grinding of SiC /Al composites [196]. matrix material, the friction force between grits and Du et al. [197] established a microgrinding model of SiC / workpiece material, and the removal force of SiC particles, Al composites, which took into account the SiC-reinforced a grinding force model suitable for grinding holes of SiC / particle irregularity, as shown in Fig. 19, and the model Al composites with high-volume fractions was established was used to analyze the particle removal and surface for- by Lu et al. [193]. The effect of the grinding parameters on mation processes in different machining conditions. the grinding force, as shown in Fig. 18, was investigated by In the grinding of SiC /Al composites, a common Xu et al. [188]. The results indicated that the grinding problem is the formation of voids and delamination on the depth had a more significant effect on the grinding force machined surface, which is due to pulled-out reinforced than the feed speed; with increasing grinding depth and particles and aluminum matrix adhesion on the machined table feed speed, the grinding forces for both the tangential surface. The surface feature of the workpiece varies with different grinding parameters. With a larger feeding 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 295 Table 3 Recommended drilling parameters for SiC /Al composites Drill Matrix Fraction Parameter Remark 8 mm-KISTLER Al6063 10% Spindle speed 560 r/min, feed 0.05 mm/r, point Torque and SR were considered as quality [178] angle 90 targets 5 mm-solid Al 2124 17%(volume Feed rate 0.16 mm/r, spindle speed 260 r/min, The minimum surface roughness obtained carbide [174] fraction) drill point angle 130 12 mm-HSS [181] Al6063 15% Cutting speed of 150.72 m/min, feed rate of Cutting environment water, soluble oil 0.05 mm/r 5 mm-solid Al 2124 17%(volume Point angles 130, spindle speed 1 330 r/min, Carbide tool better that HSS and TiN coated carbide [168] fraction) feed rate 0.16 mm/r HSS 10 mm-solid LM25 15%(volume Spindle speed 921.0 r/min, feed rate 0.258 mm/r Metal emoval rate 5 579 mm /min, surface carbide [179] fraction) roughness 8.50 lm 3 mm-HSS [182] Al123 10%(mass Cutting speed 20 m/min, feed rate 0.04 mm/r Cryogenic treatment has positive effects on fraction) R 5 mm-PCD [183] A356/ 20% Cutting speed 50 m/s, feed 0.05 mm/r PCD tool is perfectly compatible with cutting conditions Fig. 18 Typical variation in grinding force with a grinding depth and b feed velocity [188] 123 296 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 19 Machining surface simulation of SiC /Al composites at different depths of cut [197] be the most suitable, and the coefficients of the function were fitted by the experimental SR. Pai et al. [201] claimed that the SR improved with an increase in SiC volume percentage and a decrease in depth of cut. This is because an increase in the volume percent- age of SiC will increase the hardness of the specimen, which decreases ploughing of the wheel during grinding of a 35% (volume percentage) SiC/Al matrix composite. Hung et al. [202] insisted that a coarse-grit diamond wheel was appropriate for rough grinding, whereas a fine-grit diamond wheel was suitable for fine grinding to achieve the best MMC surface integrity. Nandakumar et al. [203] obtained the best performance by using cashew nut shell oil and nano TiO -based minimum quantity lubrication (MQL), because the lubricant of an MQL system pene- Fig. 20 Predicted and experimental surface roughness [200] trated the workpiece and the wheel interface contact zone. velocity and grinding depth, more serious accumulation Rough grinding with a SiC wheel followed by fine grinding and adhesion are found [198]. Among many factors, a clear with a fine-grit diamond wheel is recommended for SiC/Al positive influence of the volume content of the hard phase MMCs [189]. on the surface finish is observed. Qualitative surface damage through particle fracture pullout appears to be 3.4.2 Mill grinding, cylindrical grinding, and ductile- regime grinding common on most of the finish machined surfaces [199]. Zhu et al. [200] established a theoretical SR model of SiC / The mill grinding uses a grinding head (sintering or plat- Al composite grinding based on a combination of the theoretical SR model of aluminum alloy and SiC, as shown ing) that replaces the milling tool to remove the workpiece material with computer numerical control (CNC) milling in Fig. 20. The exponential composition function proved to 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 297 Fig. 21 EDM of SiC/Al MMC a crater formation and b erosion and pitting on the machined surface [222] machines. This process has integrated the characteristics super-hard abrasive layer (diamond abrasive and binding embodied in a similar machining route/path as milling and agent) to increase the MRR. It is believed that appropri- multi-edge continuous cutting as grinding. The cut depth of ately increasing the feed rate and decreasing the mill- mill grinding is generally larger to achieve a higher MRR grinding depth can obtain less SR [209]. Based on opti- [204]. There are four typical chip shapes, i.e., curved chip, mizations, the following parameters are recommended: for huddled chip, schistose chip, and strip chip, among which, SiC/LM25Al (4% (volume fraction)) composites, wheel the curved and schistose chips are dominant. The chips velocity of 43.9 m/s and workpiece velocity of 26.7 m/min generated in mill grinding of SiC /Al composites are with a feed of 0.056 m/min and depth of cut of 9.1 lm irregular and uneven under the same machining conditions. [210]; for 45%(volume fraction) SiC /Al composites, During the chip forming, SiC particles can greatly inhibit wheel speed of 11.77 m/s, feed rate of 100 mm/min, and the deformation of aluminum matrix, and the different depth of cut of 0.8 mm [211]. contact positions between the SiC particles and diamond Regarding cylindrical grinding, Thiagarajan et al. [212] grit cause the SiC particles to be fractured, pulled out, and/ suggested cylindrical grinding of 4% (volume fraction) or pulled into the surface of the chip [205]. The particle SiC /Al using a 60 grit Al O wheel at a cutting velocity of p 2 3 fracture and debonding force component in the mill grinding wheel of 2639 m/min, cutting velocity of work- grinding of SiC /Al composites can be considered by piece of 26.72 m/min, feed rate of 0.06 m/min, and depth of developing a new force prediction model [206]. Yao et al. cut of 10 lm. The approach for the cylindrical grinding of [207] recommended a resin-based diamond grinding wheel Al/SiC composites can be extended with super-abrasive for 45% (volume fraction) SiC /Al composites to achieve grinding wheels such as diamond and CBN. the best SR, whereas Li et al. [208] suggested HSS with a For ductile-regime grinding, Huang et al. [213] revealed that the critical grinding depth of ductile-regime machining of SiC /Al composites decreased with increasing volume fraction of SiC particles due to the decrease in the sup- porting function of the Al alloy matrix. 4 Nonconventional machining of SiC /Al matrix composites 4.1 EDM EDM is a common nonconventional machining method, which has been widely used in the aerospace, mold, and automobile industries. During machining, a discharge channel is created, where the temperature reaches approximately 12 000 C, removing material by evapora- Fig. 22 SEM image of the hole section processed using (left) a tion and melting from both the electrode and workpiece cylinder electrode and (right) a tube electrode [224] 123 298 J.-P. Chen et al. Table 4 Recommended parameters for the EDM of SiC /Al composites Tool Matrix Fraction Parameter Remark Electrolytic copper Al 7075 0.5% SiC Voltage 47.34 V, pulse current 6 A, pulse MRR 1.196 g/min electrode of 10 mm (mass on time 8 ls, Pulse on time 9.79 ls TWR 0.001 575 g/min diameter [236] fraction) R 10.648 lm Bundled electrode (/ Al 6061 5% Current 13 A, pulse on time 700 ls, pulse Die-sinking EDM 1.2 mm) [237] SiC(volume on time 50 ls, flushing pressure 0.040 fraction) MPa Brass electrode of / Components 10% SiC Current 15 A, pulse on time 1 ms, flushing Maximizing MRR and for 2.7 mm [238] (Al-92.7%, Si- (volume pressure 0.014 MPa minimizing TWR 7.0%, Mg- fraction) 0.3%) Copper rod with an 6061 Al 15% SiC Electrode polarity negative, current 4 A, Die sinking EDM TWR was 9 mg/ array of 2 mm holes (volume pulse on time 400 ls, pulse on time min and R was 4.78 lm (multi-hole) [239] fraction) 10 ls, dielectic pressure 0.05 MPa Brass tool of 15 mm Fabricated by 20% SiC Current 5 A, pulse on time 100 ls, Duty Die sinking EDM with positive diameter and 60 mm stir-casting cycle 70%, gap voltage 40 V polarity for electrode length [240] process / 12 mm copper and LM 25% (volume Negative current 7.34 A, pulse duration Copper electrode, maximize MRR brass cylindrical fraction) 112 ls, positive: current 6.12 A, pulse with minimum TWR, SR with brass electrodes [241] duration 108 ls is higher than with copper Fig. 23 Environmental SEM microsurface textures a after EDM and b after PMEDM (40% (volume fraction) SiC/Al-Al powder) [246] [214]. The MRR and SR are regarded as two indicators of reported that an increase in weight percentage of SiC, as the EDM process, which can evaluate the time of com- well as particle size, had resulted in a decrease in MRR and pleting the material volume removal and the quality of an increase in TWR and SR. Besides the SiC particles, finished surface, respectively [215]. Additionally, the tool electrical parameters are the key factors that affect MRR, wear ratio (TWR) is also very important for EDM. TWR, and SR. Singh et al. [218] machined an A6061/10% The percentage and size of the SiC in SiC/Al MMCs SiC composite and found that with an increase in pulse on generally have a negative influence on machinability. time, the MRR, TWR, and SR increase, and the SR Karthikeyan et al. [216] revealed that an increase in the increases with an increase in gap voltage. Seo et al. [219] volume fraction of SiC decreased the MRR and increased conducted experiments on 15%–35%(volume fraction) the TWR as well as SR when performing EDM of 6%–20% SiC /Al composites and revealed that the MRR increased (volume fraction) SiC/Al composites. Dev et al. [217] with increasing product of peak current and pulse on time 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 299 up to an optimal value and then decreased drastically; the electrode was significantly greater than that of the cylinder combination of low pulse on time and high peak current led electrode. Moreover, the accuracy of EDM holes can be to a larger tool wear, higher energy, and rougher surface. It improved by using a tube electrode (rotating speed 800 was found that a high current resulted in higher thermal r/min), as shown in Fig. 22. However, the TWR of a loading on both electrodes (tool and workpiece) leading to rotating tube electrode tends to be higher and can even be a higher amount of material being removed from either increased by 11.79% compared to that of a cylinder elec- electrodes [220]. Surface integrity effects of EDM include trode [225]. Regarding the flushing adopted in the EDM of roughening of the surface by deposition of a recast layer Al/SiC composites, a higher flushing pressure hinders the and pitting of the surface by spark penetration and partic- formation of ionized bridges across the gap and results in a ulate pullout, as well as surface microcracks [221]. higher ignition delay and decreased discharge energy, As can be observed from Fig. 21, craters and erosion are thereby decreasing the MRR; however, the SR was found evident; metal loss, erosion, and crater formation depend to reduce with an increase in flushing pressure under a on the intensity of the spark. The high energy of the arc certain range [223]. Singh et al. [226] showed that more consumed during machining will increase the crater than 40% reduction in TWR and more than 28% increase in diameter, surface irregularity, and heat-affected zone MRR could be achieved by adopting compressed air for the (HAZ), and the surface will have more ridges and grooves. EDM of Al/15% SiC ceramic composite. When adopting a rotating tube electrode, an increase in the Attempts for obtaining better parameters to achieve a rotational speed of the tube electrode can produce a higher higher MRR, lower TWR, and better surface quality have MRR and better SR [223]. For instance, Yu et al. [224] been made by many researchers. The optimization of the machined microholes on a SiC/2024Al workpiece with a EDM of Al/SiC composites can be performed by ANNs cylinder electrode and tube electrode under the same [227], adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system [228], fuzzy machining conditions. The MRR of EDM with the tube logic [229], non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm [230], principal component analysis (PCA)—technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution [231], PCA—fuzzy inference coupled with Taguchi’s method [232], and RSM [233–235]. Based on optimizations, the recommended parameters are listed in Table 4 [236–241]. 4.2 Powder mixed EDM (PMEDM) PMEDM is a process variant of EDM, which is performed by adding powder into a dielectric fluid [242]. It has a different machining mechanism from conventional EDM processes. It can improve the SR and is now applied in the finishing stage [243]. The powder particles in the dielectric Fig. 24 Schematic of the WEDM process [259, 260] fluid increase the gap between the tool and the workpiece Fig. 25 Microstructure of the residual SiC particles on the surface after the WEDM process a SEM observation and b magnification of the red box area in a [265] 123 300 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 26 Cross-sectional microstructure of 65% (volume fraction) SiC /2024Al composite after the WEDM process a SEM observation result and b corresponding schematic [265] et al. [252] revealed that the PMEDM process provided a better MRR at higher values of peak current, lower con- centration of powder, mid-value of gap control, and lower value of duty cycle [253]. Optimization of machining of SiC /Al MMCs with PMEDM can be achieved by using the RSM [254], Taguchi and gray analysis [255], ANOVA [256], etc. Kumar and Davim [257] suggested an optimum set of parameters to obtain the highest MRR: powder concentration 4 g/L, pulse duration 100 ls, peak current 9 A, and supply voltage 50 V; for the lowest SR: powder concentration 4 g/L, pulse duration 100 ms, peak current 3 A, and supply voltage 50 V. 4.3 Wire EDM (WEDM) Fig. 27 Effect of discharge energy on surface roughness and material WEDM differs from conventional EDM, as the electrodes removal rate [268] are in the form of a thin wire with a diameter of 0.05–0.3 mm [258]. WEDM is also known as wire electric discharge while providing a bridging effect between the electrodes cutting. The schematic of the WEDM process is presented for an even distribution of spark energy, making the pro- in Fig. 24 [259, 260]. cess more stable [244]. Kansal [245] declared that there The electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity of was a discernible improvement in the SR of work surfaces MMCs are lower than those of unreinforced matrix alloys, after suspending the aluminum powder when machining which decrease the MRR of WEDM [261]. With an 10% (volume fraction) SiC /Al composites. Hu et al. [246] increase in the percentage of SiC particles, the machin- compared the microsurfaces machined by using EDM and ability of WEDM decreases [262]. An increase of 10% in PMEDM, as shown in Fig. 23, and the SR of PMEDM ceramic reinforcements may lead to an almost 12% decreased by approximately 31.5%. reduction in machining efficiency [263]. However, SiC /Al Compared to conventional EDM, the presence of tung- composites with high-SiC fractions can still be machined sten powder in PMEDM resulted in a 48.43% enhancement using WEDM [260, 262, 264]. Yang et al. [265] reported of MRR in the machining of AA6061/10%SiC composite the WEDM of a 65% (volume fraction) SiC/2024Al com- [247] and 42.85% reduction in the recast layer of the posite and proposed that the machining mechanism was a machined surface [248]. The thickness of white recast layer combination of melting of the Al matrix and decomposition also reduced, whereas the surface hardness was increased of SiC particles. Figure 25 illustrates the microstructure of with tungsten PMEDM [249]. Besides tungsten powder, the residual SiC particles on the surface after the WEDM carbon nanotubes (CNTs) [250] and multi-walled CNTs process. Figure 26 shows a cross-sectional microstructure [251] are also added in the dielectric to obtain excellent of the WEDM of the 65% (volume fraction) SiC/2024Al. performances in PMEDM of Al/SiC MMCs. Vishwakarma 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 301 Fig. 28 BEAM flushing device and arc discharge schematic [281] Fig. 29 Machined surface comparison a negative BEAM-20% (volume fraction) SiC/Al, b positive BEAM-20% (volume fraction) SiC/Al, c milling-20% (volume fraction) SiC/Al, d negative BEAM-50% (volume fraction) SiC/Al, e positive BEAM-50% (volume fraction) SiC/Al, f milling-50% (volume fraction) SiC/Al [281] Pramanik [266] observed a significant variation in the energy on SR and MRR during the WEDM of 45% (vol- wire diameter during machining of SiC particles reinforced ume fraction) SiC /Al [268]. It can be observed that the with 6061 aluminum alloy. The variation was mainly discharge energy presents a strong relationship with caused by the presence or absence of the matrix material machinability by affecting the SiC thermal status. coating on the wire, which might cause uncontrolled spark Different from the conventional WEDM, the dry and variation in the ability of electrolytes. Wire breakage is WEDM was adopted as an environmentally friendly a limitation on the MRR, which can be observed when modification of the oil WEDM process, in which the liquid machining Al/SiC composites. However, wire breakages dielectric is replaced by a gaseous medium. An Al 6061C can be reduced by employing higher flushing pressures, 25% SiC workpiece has been machined with dry WEDM higher pulse off times, and suitable values of servo refer- by Fard et al. [228]. Moreover, WEDM was modified to ence voltage. In general, it was suggested that large pulse machine a SiC/Al7075 MMC using a wire electrical dis- on time, high flushing pressure, appropriate wire speed and charge turning (WEDT) process. WEDT was found to have wire tension, large pulse off time, and appropriate pulse advantages over the conventional turning process [269]. current should be used to obtain optimum machining per- Many optimizations have been conducted to predict the formance [267]. Figure 27 displays the effect of discharge machining performance or improve the machinability of 123 302 J.-P. Chen et al. SiC/Al MMCs, e.g., ANN-RSM [270], RSM [271–274], [288] compared the ECM of an A356 aluminum alloy Taguchi’s approach [275], Taguchi-based hybrid gray- reinforced with 5%, 10%, and 15% (mass fraction) SiC fuzzy grade approach [276], particle swarm optimization particles. They found that the maximum MRR was [277], AHP-TOPSIS (a hybrid approach obtained by inte- obtained by applying the least voltage and least SiC con- grating the AHP with TOPSIS technique) [278], and non- tent, a moderate value of electrode feed rate, and the dominated sorting genetic algorithm [279]. highest electrolyte concentration. Senthilkumar et al. [289] illustrated that an increase in the applied voltage, flow rate, 4.4 ADM and electrolyte concentration resulted in a higher MRR. The optimized parameters for the ECM of LM25 Al/10% To some extent, ADM is similar to EDM, but ADM adopts SiC were as follows: electrolyte concentration 12.53 g/L, arc discharge whereas EDM utilizes spark discharge. electrolyte flow 7.51 L/min, applied voltage 13.5 V, feed Generally, the machining efficiency of ADM is much rate 1 mm/min. The corresponding MRR was 0.877 3 higher than that of EDM. Blasting erosion arc machining g/min and the SR was 6.566 7 lm. An optimal machining (BEAM) was one type of ADM, which was developed parametric combination for the ECM of LM25-25% (vol- recently by Zhao et al. [11]. BEAM has been adopted in the ume fraction) SiC, i.e., electrolyte concentration 22.74 g/L, processing of SiC /Al composites to improve the machin- electrolyte flow rate 7.57 L/min, applied voltage 14.8 V, ing efficiency [280]. A flushing system is necessary to and tool feed rate 0.902 mm/min, was found out to achieve conduct BEAM. Figure 28 depicts a flushing device that a maximum MRR of 0.051 3 g/min and minimum R of can be fixed on a standard tool holder [281]. 7.013 8 lm[290]. Another group of optimal parameters for Gu et al. [282] machined a 20% (volume fraction) SiC / the ECM of 10%(mass fraction) SiC/Al matrix composites Al composite and achieved a high MRR of 8276 mm /min was obtained by Dharmalingam et al. [291]. The optimal (peak current of 500 A) with a specific MRR of 16.4 mm / values for maximum MRR were machining voltage 7 V, (Amin). Compared to the EDM MRR of 140 mm /min electrolyte concentration 24 g/L, and frequency 50 Hz. The (peak current of 100 A) with a specific MRR 1.4 mm / optimal values for minimum overcut were machining (Amin) [219], the efficiency of BEAM is much higher. voltage 9 V, electrolyte concentration 18 g/L, and fre- Chen et al. [283] also conducted experiments on the quency 50 Hz. Lehnert et al. [292] adopted an electro- machining of 50% (volume fraction) SiC /Al. The results chemical precision machining process for complex revealed that even for the high-SiC fraction SiC /Al com- geometries. A voltage of 16 V and a feed rate of 0.25 mm/ posites, BEAM still could be used and the obtained MRR min to generate the geometry with the smallest extent were was as high as 7 500 mm /min. It was reported that BEAM suggested. could also be used for other difficult-to-machine materials, such as titanium alloys [284] and nickel-based superalloys 4.6 Abrasive waterjet (AWJ) cutting [285]. As shown in Fig. 29, both positive and negative polarity machining can be adopted in BEAM; however, the AWJ machining has many advantages compared to other machined surface qualities are generally not the same. machining technologies. In contrast to thermal machining Generally, positive BEAM tends to obtain a better surface processes (laser and EDM), AWJ does not induce high but a lower efficiency and higher TWR. The side effect of temperatures, and thus, there is no HAZ [293]. In the AWJ BEAM is a rough surface, but fortunately, this problem can machining process, the workpiece material is removed by be solved by adopting combined machining of CNC, as the action of a high-velocity jet of water mixed with reported by Chen et al. [281]. abrasive particles based on the principle of erosion of the material upon which the waterjet hits [294, 295]. It is 4.5 ECM believed that the AWJ machining can be a real competitor of the current techniques employed for cutting super- ECM is based on a controlled anodic electrochemical dis- abrasive materials [296]. Early in the 1990s, AWJ had been solution process of the workpiece with the tool as the used for the cutting of a 30%(volume fraction) SiC par- cathode in an electrolytic cell [286]. ticulate/6061 matrix composite plate with a thickness of By analyzing the influence of the current density in the 5.08 mm. The MMC plate was easily machined and good ECM of 10% SiC/Al MMC, it was found that feed velocity surface finish was produced [297]. Srinivas and Babu [298] could be approached by a linear function beginning in the observed the cut surfaces with SEM, as shown in Fig. 30, origin of ordinates, which led to an active dissolution of the and proposed a possible mechanism of material removal, workpiece material, at a low current density of 4 A/cm ,an which was the fracturing and ploughing of SiC and the SR of 0.65 lm was achieved. The roughness was decreased ductile fracturing of the matrix material. to 0.2 lm at 10 A/cm [287]. Kumar and Sivasubramanian 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 303 Based on experiments performed on SiC/Al matrix with limited removal rates). Padhee et al. [304] employed a composites with different SiC mass fractions (5%–20%), laser beam and drilled holes on 15% (mass fraction)SiC/Al Srinivas and Babu [299] suggested that appropriate choices matrix composites (limited to microhole drilling). of abrasive mass flow rates and jet traverse speeds were of considerable importance over other parameters such as 4.8 Jet-ECM waterjet pressure. Patel and Srinivas [300] employed an AWJ to perform similar turning of an aluminum-SiC MMC Jet-ECM is a technology for quickly and flexibly generat- and showed that AWJ could be suitable for turning MMCs ing microstructures and microgeometries in metallic parts without the problems encountered in conventional turning regardless of the material hardness and without any thermal such as tool wear. In addition, it was found that the traverse or mechanical impact [305, 306]. As indicated in Fig. 32, rate and nozzle angle influence the SR and MRR more than the electrolytic liquid is pumped through a small nozzle the SiC contents. and ejected with a mean velocity of approximately 20 m/s to form a free jet [307]. By using a pulsation-free pump, a 4.7 Laser machining (cutting) continuous supply of fresh electrolyte with constant pres- sure is assured to generate a well-defined geometrical Laser machining offers significant advantages for rough shape [305]. cut-off applications. Laser is very suitable for machining at The dissolution characteristic in the machining of SiC/ high feed rates (up to 3 000 mm/min) and can produce a cut Al MMCs utilizing Jet-ECM varies with the electrolyte with a narrow kerf width (0.4 mm). However, the quality of used. When using NaNO , the depth and width were hardly the laser-cut surface is relatively poor, e.g., striation pat- affected by the particle fraction, however, in the case of terns on the cut surface, burrs at the exit of the laser, and NaCl and NaBr, the particles significantly influenced both significant thermally induced microstructural changes can the width and depth [308]. Figure 33 shows that the be observed [293]. Sharma and Kumar [301] reported that aqueous electrolytes of NaNO and NaCl produce different the most prominent input parameters of laser cutting of electrochemical dissolution characteristics [309]. While the AA5052/SiC were cutting speed, reinforced SiC particles, diameters of the calottes created with both electrolytes are and arc radius. The formations of a recast layer and new similar, the use of NaCl electrolyte results in significantly phase Al C were detected respectively. When the rein- deeper calottes for machining times of approximately 1.5–2 4 3 forced SiC particle quantity was fixed at 20% (mass frac- s. tion) and the nozzle standoff distance was decreased from 2 mm to 1 mm, the dross height increased from 0.373 mm to 0.481 mm [302]. Figure 31 displays a group of SEM 5 Conventional and nonconventional hybrid images of surfaces cut by a laser beam process. Unburned machining of SiC /Al matrix composites SiC particles (marked in circular dashed line) and restricted flow of molten material into a downward direction can be 5.1 Laser-assisted machining (LAM) observed. The laser beam can also be utilized as a cutter or driller Compared with the conventional cutting process, LAM to conduct turning or drilling. For example, Biffi et al. [310–314] heats the workpiece with a laser beam to change [303] used a short-duration laser beam as a tool and cut a the microstructure or locally harden the material near the thread in an A359-20% SiC composite material (although cutting tool. To date, most investigations regarding LAM Fig. 30 SEM photograph showing cutting of SiC reinforcement by 60 mesh size garnet abrasives in AWJ (10%SiC -MMC) [298] 123 304 J.-P. Chen et al. Fig. 31 SEM micrograph showing unburned SiC reinforced particles and restricted flow (20% SiC/Al) [301] of SiC /Al matrix composites are focused on laser-assisted 5.2 Ultrasonic assisted machining (UAM) turning. Figure 34 presents a schematic of the laser-assisted UAM or ultrasonic vibration machining is a hybrid process. turning. The LAM process demonstrates a considerable It can reduce the influence of tearing, plastic deformation, improvement in the machining of MMCs through a lower and BUE in cutting and can restrain flutter, making the tool wear and thus increased tool life, as well as reduction cutting process more stable [319]. By employing an in cutting time [315]. ultrasonic-vibration source, conventional cutting processes LAM provides a higher MRR under the same SR can be modified as ultrasonic vibration–assisted processes. Typical UAM processes are ultrasonic assisted turning compared to conventional machining. LAM reduced the machining time of Al/SiC /45% MMCs by 45% due to [320, 321], ultrasonic assisted milling [322, 323], ultra- sonic assisted drilling [324, 325], and ultrasonic assisted fewer tool changes, high MRR, and longer tool life com- pared to conventional machining, the shorter machining grinding [326–328]. Ultrasonic assisted turning shows improvement in both time and longer tool life provide a 40%–50% cost saving per part, but with the additional cost of a graphite coating cutting force and surface topography compared to con- and diode laser [316]. Figure 35 illustrates a comparison of ventional turning [321]. Zhong and Lin [320] reported that tool (uncoated and coated) life for conventional machining the roughness of an MMC A359/SiC/20p surface turned and LAM. with vibration was better than that turned without vibra- Kawalec et al. [317] found a decrease in cutting force tions. In ultrasonic milling, the SiC particle removal form during LAM of aluminum matrix composites compared to can be classified into type of cut, pulled, pressed, and crack penetration; increasing the number of SiC particle cut type conventional turning. Kong et al. [318] explained that abrasive tool wear was the most dominant wear mechanism results in better surface smoothness [323]. Xiang et al. [322] reported that a superior roughness of ultrasonic for three different WC tools in the LAM of SiC /45% composites. The adhesion wear and diffusion wear were assisted milling of 65% (volume fraction) SiC/Al com- posites could be obtained at a cutting speed 160 m/min, accelerated to some extent with increasing temperature. feed rate 0.02 mm/z, and depth of cut 0.2 mm. During the ultrasonic vibration drilling, the SiC particle in the com- posites tended to break along the crystal connection boundary or suffer ductile fracture under the dynamic ultrasonic impulse, in which the cutting resistance could be reduced and the tool edge could be protected. Thereby, the drilling location precision and hole surface quality were enhanced; the wear of the drill chisel edge was effectively improved, and the drilling torque was reduced by approx- imately 30% [324]. Ultrasonic vibration produces a smaller burr height and width in the drilling of Al/SiC MMC. The burr height and width in UAM are respectively 83% and 24% lower than those in conventional drilling [325]. In ultrasonic grinding, the grinding force and SR were found Fig. 32 Principle of Jet-ECM [307] 123 A review on conventional and nonconventional machining of SiC particle-reinforced aluminium… 305 Fig. 33 Images of calottes on EN AW 2017 ? 10% SiC particles machined with aqueous electrolytes of NaNO and NaCl [309] parameters were as follows: spindle speed 15 000 r/min, vibration amplitude 5 lm, cutting depth 15 lm, and feed rate 5 mm/min. 5.3 Other hybrid machining technologies The electrolytic in-process dressing (ELID) technique applies an electric current during the conventional grinding process. Shanawaz et al. [330] employed ELID for the machining of low fraction SiC /Al composites and found that a smoother surface could be obtained at a high current duty ratio. Yu et al. [331] obtained a high-integrity machined surface for a high-SiC fraction (56%(volume fraction)) SiC /Al composite. On the workpiece surface, Fig. 34 Schematic of the laser-assisted machining process (A heating most of the SiC particles were removed in ductile mode, area of the laser beam; B zone of machining; d workpiece diameter) and the brittle fracture of SiC particles was reduced [315] substantially. Surface-electrical discharge diamond grinding consists of diamond grinding and EDM with a rotating disk, which can enhance the MRR and produce a better surface finish [332]. Agrawal and Yadava [333] found the best combi- nation of processing 10% (mass fraction)Al/SiC, which was as follows: wheel speed 1 400 r/min, table speed 4 mm/s, in feed 20 m, current 24 A, pulse on time 50 ls, and duty factor 0.817. The waterjet-guided (WJG) laser process uses a pres- surized microwaterjet as a laser beam guide. Marimuthu et al. [334] conducted an experiment on the WJG laser drilling of 40% (volume fraction) SiC reinforced aluminum MMCs. The advantages found include high levels of hole Fig. 35 Tool life of uncoated and coated tools in conventional circularity, no HAZ, no recast layer, and no changes in machining (CM) and laser-assisted machining [316] microstructure. Electrochemical discharge machining (ECDM) combi- lower than those in ordinary grinding for the same grinding nes the actions of EDM and ECM. Liu et al. [335] parameters [326, 327]. The reduction in cutting force and employed ECDM to machine 20% (volume fraction) SiC/ SR can reach 13.86% and 11.53%, respectively [329]. Al matrix composites and revealed that smaller median and Zheng et al. [328] showed some optimum conditions for maximal debris sizes were found in the ECDM process, the grinding of 45% SiC /Al2024 composites using ultra- which indicated that the arc energy of ECDM was likely to sonic vibration. For a minimum value of SR, the 123 306 J.-P. Chen et al. be smaller than that of the EDM process (which could be (volume fraction), have attracted the attention of investi- explained from the aspect of total energy). gators. For these high-SiC fraction SiC /Al composites, turning and milling processes are generally adopted, and nonconventional processes such as EDM, BEAM, and Jet- 6 Conclusions ECM are also preferred by researchers. It is concluded that there will be more machining methods and investigations This review has summarized the aspects regarding the regarding high-SiC fraction SiC /Al composites in the machinability of SiC /Al composites with conventional future. machining, i.e., turning, milling, drilling, and grinding, and Acknowledgements This work was supported by National Natural nonconventional machining, i.e., EDM, PMEDM, WEDM, Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51975371 and 51575351), ECM, AWJ, Jet-ECM, and newly developed high-effi- Innovation and entrepreneurship project for high-level talents in ciency machining technologies. Machining efficiency, Jiangsu province (Grant No. 164040022), Youth science and tech- surface quality, and tool wear need to be first considered nology innovation fund of NJFU (Grant No. CX2018017), PNFD (a project funded by the National First-class Disciplines), and PAPD (a regardless of the machining method. With conventional project funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of machining methods, the machining efficiency tends to be Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions). enhanced by increasing machining parameters such as machining speed, cutting depth, and feed rate; however, the Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, increased parameters can easily intensify tool wear and adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as shorten tool life. Besides, different SiC fractions of SiC /Al long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the composites also present different degrees of influence on source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate the machining mechanism, tool wear mechanism, chip if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless formation, and even the machined surface integrity. Higher indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not percentages of SiC particles are more likely to result in a included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended lower machining efficiency and higher tool wear. Hence, use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted various optimization methods, i.e., ANOVA and gray use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons. relational analysis, regression models, ANN models, and org/licenses/by/4.0/. response surface methodology can be employed to find the most suitable machining condition. 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Xiang DH, Zhi XT, Yue GX et al (2010) Study on surface Mechanical Engineering, quality of Al/SiCp composites with ultrasonic vibration high Shanghai Jiao Tong University, speed milling. Appl Mech Mater 42:363–366 China. He is currently an assis- 323. Zhi XT, Xiang DH, Deng JQ (2013) Research on high volume tant professor at School of fraction SiC /Al removal mechanism under condition of ultra- Mechanical and Electronic sonic vertical vibration. Appl Mech Mater 373/375:2038–2041 Engineering, Nanjing Forestry 324. Xu XX, Mo YL, Liu CS et al (2009) Drilling force of SiC University, China, and a visiting particle reinforced aluminum-matrix composites with ultrasonic scholar at Politecnico di Milano, vibration. Key Eng Mater 416:243–247 Italy. His research interests 325. Kadivar MA, Yousefi R, Akbari J et al (2012) Burr size include advanced manufactur- reduction in drilling of Al/SiC metal matrix composite by ing technology. ultrasonic assistance. Adv Mater Res 410:279–282 326. 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Agrawal SS, Yadava V (2015) Development and experimental micro-EDM and arc discharge study of surface electrical discharge diamond grinding of Al10 machining (ADM). wt%SiC composite. J Inst Eng 97(1):1–9 334. Marimuthu S, Dunleavey J, Liu Y et al (2019) Waterjet guided laser drilling of SiC reinforced aluminium metal matrix com- posites. J Compos Mater 53(26/27):3787–3796 335. Liu J, Yue T, Guo Z (2010) An analysis of the discharge mechanism in electrochemical discharge machining of

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