Development and Rheological Characterisation of Abrasive Flow Finishing Medium for Finishing Macro to Micro Features
Technological advancement demands the manufacturing of components with a fine surface finish at a minimal cost. This scenario acts as the driving force for the research communities to develop economic finishing processes. Abrasive flow finishing (AFF) is one of the advanced finishing processes employed for finishing, deburring, radiusing and recast layer removal from the workpiece surfaces. AFF process uses a finishing medium that acts as a deformable tool during the finishing process. It is the rheological properties of the medium that profoundly influences the end surface finish obtained on the workpiece after the AFF process. In the current work, an attempt is made to develop an economic AFF medium by using viscoelastic polymers i.e., soft styrene and soft silicone polymer. Detailed static and dynamic characterisation of the medium is carried out. Later, to study the finishing performance of the developed medium, AFF experiments are performed for the finishing of macro and micro feature components. The experimental study showed that the nano surface finish could be achieved by varying the viscosity of the developed medium. Developed medium achieved 89.06 per cent improvement in surface roughness during finishing of tubes (macro feature component), while 92.13 per cent and 88.11 per cent surface roughness improvement is achieved during finishing of microslots and microholes (micro feature component), respectively.
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