Abstract

This study examined the physics of loose abrasive microgrinding (grinding with micron and submicron sized abrasives). More specifically, it focused on the transition from brittle to ductile mode grinding which occurs in this region of abrasive sizes. Process dependency on slurry chemistry was the primary area of emphasis and was studied for diamond abrasives varying in size from 3.0 to 0.75 μm on both ULE and Zerodur, with emphasis on ULE. Ductile mode grinding was achieved with smaller abrasives, as expected, however two significant discoveries were made. The first observation was that by simply changing slurry chemistry, it was possible to induce the transition from brittle fracture to ductile mode grinding in ULE. This transition point could be intentionally moved about for diamonds 3.0–0.75 μm in diameter. For any given abrasive size within these limits, either brittle fracture or ductile removal may be achieved, depending on the slurry used to suspend the diamonds. Several slurries were studied, including water, a series of homologous n-alcohols, and other solvents chosen for properties varying from molecular size to dielectric constant and zeta potential. The study revealed that this slurry dependency is primarily a Rebinder effect. The second finding was that a tremendous amount of surface stress is introduced in loose abrasive ductile mode grinding. This stress was observed when the Twyman Effect in ULE plates increased by a factor of 4 in the transition from the brittle to the ductile mode. An assessment of the cause of this stress is discussed.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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