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27 August 2015 Aspects of ultra-high-precision diamond machining of RSA 443 optical aluminium
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Optical aluminium alloys such as 6061-T6 are traditionally used in ultra-high precision manufacturing for making optical mirrors for aerospace and other applications. However, the optics industry has recently witnessed the development of more advanced optical aluminium grades that are capable of addressing some of the issues encountered when turning with single-point natural monocrystalline diamond cutters. The advent of rapidly solidified aluminium (RSA) grades has generally opened up new possibilities for ultra-high precision manufacturing of optical components. In this study, experiments were conducted with single-point diamond cutters on rapidly solidified aluminium RSA 443 material. The objective of this study is to observe the effects of depth of cut and feed rate at a fixed rotational speed on the tool wear rate and resulting surface roughness of diamond turned specimens. This is done to gain further understanding of the rate of wear on the diamond cutters versus the surface texture generated on the RSA 443 material. The diamond machining experiments yielded machined surfaces which are less reflective but with consistent surface roughness values. Cutting tools were observed for wear through scanning microscopy; relatively low wear pattern was evident on the diamond tool edge. The highest tool wear were obtained at higher depth of cut and increased feed rate.
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Z. Mkoko and K. Abou-El-Hossein "Aspects of ultra-high-precision diamond machining of RSA 443 optical aluminium", Proc. SPIE 9575, Optical Manufacturing and Testing XI, 95750A (27 August 2015);

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