This paper examines the transition between brittle and ductile mode in loose abrasive microgrinding (grinding
with micron and sub-micron sized abrasives). The work was directed specifically at understanding loose abrasive
grinding dependency on slurry fluid chemistry and the swlace stresses that are introduced in the grInding process.
Several slurry fluids were investigated including water, a homologous series of n-alcohols, and several other organics
selected for various properties including molecular size and dielectric constant. Chemistry was found to play a major
role in the process; in fact, by simply changing slurry fluid composition, it was possible to induce the transition from
brittle fracture to ductile mode grinding in ULE (Corning Code 7971 Titanium Silicate Low Expansion Glass). Data
revealed that the dependency ofloose abrasive grinding on slurry chemistry can best be explained as Rebinder-Westwood
chemo-mechanical effects [1,2,3,4]. It was also observed that the grinding surface stresses, known as the Twyman effect,
increased dramatically in the transition from brittle to ductile mode grinding.