Machining induced surface integrity in titanium and nickel alloys: A review

Durul Ulutan, Tugrul Ozel
Manufacturing Automation Research Laboratory, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rutgers University, 96 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA, Received 27 September 2010; revised 2 November 2010; Accepted 3 November 2010. Available online 24 November 2010.


Titanium and nickel alloys represent a significant metal portion of the aircraft structural and engine components. When these critical structural components in aerospace industry are manufactured with the objective to reach high reliability levels, surface integrity is one of the most relevant parameters used for evaluating the quality of finish machined surfaces. The residual stresses and surface alteration (white etch layer and depth of work hardening) induced by machining of titanium alloys and nickel-based alloys are very critical due to safety and sustainability concerns.

This review paper provides an overview of machining induced surface integrity in titanium and nickel alloys. There are many different types of surface integrity problems reported in literature, and among these, residual stresses, white layer and work hardening layers, as well as microstructural alterations can be studied in order to improve surface qualities of end products. Many parameters affect the surface quality of workpieces, and cutting speed, feed rate, depth of cut, tool geometry and preparation, tool wear, and workpiece properties are among the most important ones worth to investigate. Experimental and empirical studies as well as analytical and Finite Element modeling based approaches are offered in order to better understand machining induced surface integrity. In the current state-of-the-art however, a comprehensive and systematic modeling approach based on the process physics and applicable to the industrial processes is still missing. It is concluded that further modeling studies are needed to create predictive physics-based models that is in good agreement with reliable experiments, while explaining the effects of many parameters, for machining of titanium alloys and nickel-based alloys.

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