24 January 2017

Advantages and disadvantages of ultrasonic machining

Ultrasonic machining also called ultrasonic vibration machining is a machining process in which, in the presence of abrasive particles, the material is removed from a part's surface by low amplitude and high-frequency vibration of a tool against the material surface. Let us have a deep insight into the pros and cons of ultrasonic machining in this article. 

Advantages of ultrasonic machining : 

  • Ultrasonic machining can be used to drill circular or non-circular holes on very hard materials like stones, carbides, ceramics and other brittle materials.
  • Machining of non-conducting materials like glass, ceramics and semi-precious stones easily.
  • The cost of metal removal is low.
  • As there is no heat generation in this process, there is no change in the physical properties of the job during machining.
  • There are no residual stresses in the machined workpiece.
  • This machining method produces highly accurate profiles and good surface finishes.
  • The operation of the equipment is quite safe and noiseless.
  • Free from burrs and distortions.
  • Good surface finish and structural integrity.

Disadvantages of Ultrasonic Machining :

  • The major limitation of the ultrasonic machining process is its comparatively low metal cutting rates. 
  • Power consumption is high. 
  • The depth of cylindrical holes is presently limited to 2.5 times the diameter of the tool. 
  • Wear of tool increases so sharp corners become rounded. 
  • The grain size and abrasive slurry are also the correct dimensions. 
  • Periodic replacement of slurry is necessary for efficient cutting operations.
  • The choice of tool metal is one of the most important decisions making for optimization of metal removing and tool cost.
  • Replacement of tool is required for accurate machining as the high wear rate of the tool results in poor dimensional accuracy.
  • Initial machining and tooling costs are very high.
  • This process is not suitable for heavy metal removal operations.
  • Softer materials give much difficulty in machining.
  • Limited sized cavities are produced by this machining process.
  • Minimum depth of the hole is achieved.