Influence of Grain Size on Grinding Response of Alumina

H. H. K. Xu, L. Wei, and S. Jahanmir, “Influence of Grain Size on Grinding Response of Alumina,” J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 70(1996) 1307-1313.

The effect of grain size on the grinding response, i. e., grinding forces, surface roughness, and grinding-induced subsurface damage, is investigated in a series of alumina ceramics with the average grain size ranging from 3 to 35 μm. The grinding forces are measured as a function of depth of cut in surface grinding. It is found that the grinding forces decrease as the grain size is increased from 3 to 9 μm. But at larger grain sizes, the grinding forces are independent of the grain size. Subsurface damage in grinding is observed using a bonded-interface sectioning technique. The subsurface damage is found to consist of intragrain twin/slip bands and intergranular microcracks. The density of grinding-induced subsurface microcracks increases with the grain size. In addition to using optical microscopy on the sections of the ground specimens, a nondestructive thermal wave measurement technique is used directly on the ground surfaces for the detection of grinding-induced subsurface microcracks. The grain size dependence of the microcrack density estimated from the thermal images is found to agree with the results obtained using the bonded-interface technique.

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