Grinding of hardened steels using optimized cooling
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Grinding - the final machining process of a workpiece - requires large amounts of cutting fluids for the lubrication, cooling and removal of chips. These fluids are highly aggressive to the environment. With the technological advances of recent years, the worldwide trend is to produce increasingly sophisticated components with very strict geometric and dimensional tolerances, good surface finish, at low costs, and particularly without damaging the environment. The latter requirement can be achieved by recycling cutting fluids, which is a costly solution, or by drastically reducing the amount of cutting fluids employed in the grinding process. This alternative was investigated here by varying the plunge velocity in the plunge cylindrical grinding of ABNT D6 steel, rationalizing the application of two cutting fluids and using a superabrasive CBN (cubic boron nitride) grinding wheel with vitrified binder to evaluate the output parameters of tangential cutting force, acoustic emission, roughness, roundness, tool wear, residual stress and surface integrity, using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to examine the test specimens. The performance of the cutting fluid, grinding wheel and plunge velocity were analyzed to identify the best machining conditions which allowed for a reduction of the cutting fluid volume, reducing the machining time without impairing the geometric and dimensional parameters, and the surface finish and integrity of the machined components.