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Laser-assisted turning of components made of silicon-nitride ceramics

: Klocke, F.; Bausch, S.

Kneringer, G.:
Powder Metallurgical High Performance Materials. Proceedings 15th International Plansee Seminar. Vol. 2: P/M hard metals
Reutte: Plansee AG, 2001
International Plansee Seminar <15, 2001, Reutte>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPT ()
laser-assisted machining; laser-assisted turning; laserunterstützte Bearbeitung; laserunterstütztes Drehen; Laserintegration in Werkzeugmaschinen; laser integration; silicon nitride; Siliziumnitrid; ceramics; Keramik

The manufacture of high-precision parts made of silicon-nitride ceramic, such as roller bearing rings or valves, currently involves finishing in the form of time and cost intensive grinding operations. This has resulted in demands for the development of more efficient machining techniques and for the subsequent provision of these within a manufacturing environment. A prototype of a precision lathe with an integrated high power diode laser for laser-assisted turning has been developed at the Fraunhofer IPT in close co-operation with industrial partners. When the workpiece is heated continuously by the laser, the resultant localised material softening enables the ceramic to be machined using a defined cutting edge. The application of this technique allows complex silicon nitride ceramic parts with surface qualities of up to Ra = 0.3 µm to be produced considerably more flexibly than before, with no requirement for cooling lubricant.