In the modern field of metalworking, mechanical method of working with steel alloys is constantly evolving. However, technological progress contributes to the emergence of new, high-tech materials that can hardly be subjected to mechanical stress. Therefore, many productions began to switch to a completely new, high-tech treatment. Ultrasonic machining is a decent example of a modern technology that can not only solve complicated manufacturing tasks, but also be cost-effective. The article is prepared in collaboration with Hilsonic experts, representing the ultrasound technologies-focused company, known for the ultrasonic cleaner lineup in the local UK market.
Ultrasonic method of processing is one of the varieties of slotting material handling. The removal of the surface layer with the product is carried out through the emergence of micro cracks under the influence of ultrasound vibrations. The main primary quality of ultrasonic treatment in metals considers the possibility of working on a non-conductive material and an opaque type. As well as the positive characteristics of this method of working with materials, one can designate the absence of residual stress at the end of the working process, which can cause formation damage (cracks) to the product surface. Sonication method is used when dealing with fragile components such as agate stone, plaster-based materials, diamond products and gypsum elements.
Technological principle of ultrasonic treatment of metals is pouring a special abrasive material into a working sector. The working sector is considered to be a clearance between the vibrating stimulus from high-end cutting tool and the surface of the workpiece that is processed. Abrasive grains from the beat oscillations on the article surface cause damage to the upper layer. For ultrasonic treatment on the material such abrasive materials as silicon and elements boron carbide are used. As for the abrasive liquid for treatment zone – plain water is used.
The tools, which constitute the feed fluctuations in ultrasonic metal processing, are made of viscous components, which greatly reduces wear. Materials for cutting tools are not sensitive to the effects of shock type loads. Under the influence of vibration the particles begin to split and thus formed abrasive slurry, fed in the processing sector. The suspension elements bear fresh abrasive grain component and remove a layer of material. Operating frequency for the ultrasonic treatment ranges at 22 KHz, which reduces noise during the implementation of technical operations. The surface of the material during exposure to the working tool copies its shaped outlines.
Productive time between ultrasonic processes depends on the accuracy of the implementation of the basic processes that make up the ultrasonic treatment of metals. The first intensive process is the introduction of abrasive particles under the impact loads that cause the removal of a thin layer from the surface of the workpiece. Another optional process performs regular circulation and replacement of the abrasive material directly in the processing sector. Impairments or a drop in intensity of executing one of these processes leads to reduction of the level of efficiency of the whole sonication.