Evaluation of surface integrity in micro drilling process for nickel-based superalloy

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    This study focuses on the mechanical drilling of micro-holes in Inconel 718 alloy under wet cutting conditions. Qualitative and quantitative mechanical and metallurgical characterization of the surface and subsurface region was undertaken using nanoindentation, backscatter electron microscopy, electron backscatter diffraction microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The analysis revealed three different zones, namely, a highly deformed nanostructured surface layer containing ultra-fine and high aspect ratio grains drawn out by large scale deformation, a deformed subsurface layer and finally the unaffected parent metal. The nano-hardness, plastic deformation, microstructure and crystal misorientation were assessed. The correlation between the modified surface and subsurface layers and the cutting conditions was established. The phenomena behind the formation of the different zones were investigated. The results suggest that subsurface alterations are driven by thermo-mechanical loading, causing plasticity and grain refinement by excessive shearing local to the cut surface.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)465-476
    Number of pages12
    JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
    Issue number5-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Micro drilling
    • Nickel alloy
    • Surface and subsurface deformation
    • Surface integrity


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