Title: Laser and lathe thread cutting of aluminium metal matrix composite

Authors: C.A. Biffi, E. Capello, B. Previtali

Addresses: Mechanical Engineering Department, Politecnico di Milano, Via La Masa 1, 20156, Milano, Italy. ' Mechanical Engineering Department, Politecnico di Milano, Via La Masa 1, 20156, Milano, Italy. ' Mechanical Engineering Department, Politecnico di Milano, Via La Masa 1, 20156, Milano, Italy

Abstract: Aluminium metal matrix composites (Al MMC) with silicon carbide (SiC) particle reinforcement are promising materials due to their characteristics, such as lightweight and high wear resistance. However, their diffusion is limited by difficulties arising both in obtaining semi-finished parts and in finishing operations such as drilling and thread cutting. This paper is aimed at comparing two alternatives in thread cutting of Al MMC reinforced by SiC, the first being traditional lathe thread cutting, the other the emerging laser ablation process. The initial workpiece is a tensile test specimen obtained by investment casting process, whereas the composite was obtained mixing molten aluminium with 20% of SiC particles using the double stir method. Benefits and difficulties of using the indicated production technologies to obtain threads are presented.

Keywords: aluminium metal matrix composites; composite machinability; silicon carbide reinforcement; laser ablation; lathe thread cutting.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMMM.2009.027327

International Journal of Machining and Machinability of Materials, 2009 Vol.6 No.3/4, pp.250 - 269

Published online: 20 Jul 2009 *

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