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Assessment of wear micromechanisms on a laser textured cemented carbide tool during abrasive-like machining by FIB/FESEM


The combined use of focused ion beam (FIB) milling and field-emission scanning electron microscopy inspection (FESEM) is a unique and successful approach for assessment of near-surface phenomena at specific and selected locations. In this study, a FIB/FESEM dual-beam platform was implemented to docment and analyze the wear micromechanisms on a laser-surface textured (LST) hardmetal (HM) tool. In particular, changes in surface and microstructural integrity of the laser-sculptured pyramids (effective cutting microfeatures) were characterized after testing the LST-HM tool against a steel workpiece in a workbench designed to simulate an external honing process. It was demonstrated that: (1) laser-surface texturing does not degrade the intrinsic surface integrity and tool effectiveness of HM pyramids; and (2) there exists a correlation between the wear and loading of shaped pyramids at the local level. Hence, the enhanced performance of the laser-textured tool should consider the pyramid geometry aspects rather than the microstructure assemblage of the HM grade used, at least for attempted abrasive applications.


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The work was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the Individual Research Grant (425923019) “Laser Surface Textured Cemented Carbides for Application in Abrasive Machining Processes”.

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Correspondence to Shiqi Fang.

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Shiqi FANG. He is a research fellow in production engineering at the Saarland University, Germany. He graduated from the University of Science and Technology Beijing, China, and the Ecole Centrale de Lyon France, and received his doctorate from the Saarland University, Germany, and the Technical University of Catalonia-Barcelona Tech, Spain. Dr. Fang was awarded the Erasmus Mundus fellow, Marie-Curie fellow, and Alexander von Humboldt fellow. His research mainly focuses on tool materials for high precision machining, surface engineering, and tribology.

Dirk BÄHRE. He is the head of the Institute of Production Engineering, Saarland University. He studied mechanical engineering and received his Dr.-Ing. title at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. He worked for the Robert Bosch company with responsibility for the development of manufacturing technologies. His research foci include machining processes for high precision, tool technology, and tool innovation. He is responsible for organizing international conferences on Production Engineering such as the International Symposium on Electrochemical Machining Technology (INSECT) and International Materials Research Meeting in the greater region (IMRM). He is a member of the executive board of the European School of Materials (EUSMAT).

Luis LLANES. He is a full professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Technical University of Catalonia-Barcelona Tech (UPC), Spain, and current director of UPC School of Professional and Executive Development. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania (USA). His research interests include mechanical integrity and damage assessment of hardmetals, advanced ceramics, and hard coatings. He is currently co-chairman of the European Hard Materials Group (EuroHM) and shares responsibility for organizing the International Conference Series on the Science of Hard Materials (ICSHM). He is also a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials since 2006.

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Fang, S., Bähre, D. & Llanes, L. Assessment of wear micromechanisms on a laser textured cemented carbide tool during abrasive-like machining by FIB/FESEM. Friction 9, 656–664 (2021).

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  • focused ion beam (FIB)
  • field-emission scanning electron microscopy inspection (FESEM)
  • cemented carbides
  • laser surface texturing
  • abrasive machining processes
  • wear