Laser Assisted Machining with Integrated Dynamic Tooling
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6201 East Oltorf St., Suite 400, Austin, TX, 78741
AbstractCeramics materials have great potential in a wide variety of applications but their use is often limited by the associated high cost of machining. To alleviate this Nanohmics Inc. and Dr. Y. C. Shin of Purdue University propose to apply the recently developed technique of laser assisted machining (LAM) coupled with a specially designed dynamic tooling system to develop a means of easily, rapidly and cost effectively machining complex Zirconia and/or Silicon Nitride parts. Dr. Shin has been leading the commercial development of LAM and has pioneered processing methodologies for these materials as well as several others. Typically each ceramic requires different machining parameters but under the proper conditions these materials can be machined very rapidly (in some cases faster than steel) with no thermal damage and no chipping or other common machining related damage. LAM is dramatically different than standard ceramic machining processes. From a cost perspective machining time is drastically cut, tool wear is minimized and the number of scrapped parts is greatly decreased. Initial capital costs are reasonable and maintenance costs minimal. Amortization of the capital cost over the quite long lifetime of the laser will add little to the cost/part.
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