Silicon nitride is a high-performance ceramic used for high-temperature structural applications due to its elevated strength, fracture toughness and corrosion resistance. These properties make this material extremely difficult to machine, leading to component costs that can be prohibitive in many fields where its characteristics could provide improvements in performance. In order to overcome manufacturing limitations, a new technique is proposed in this paper: a hybrid solution that combines laser and conventional cutting tools where the laser source induces controlled cracking into the surface of the material. By properly selecting the laser parameters (laser power, scanning speed, etc.), the crack depth can be smaller than the machining depth of cut. Cracking can be performed in a preceding phase so that no thermal load is induced in the inserts, while maximum cutting load is reduced, thus increasing tool life.
Guerrini, G., Fortunato, A., Melkote, S. N., Ascari, A., & Lutey, A. H. A. (2018). Hybrid laser assisted machining: A new manufacturing technology for ceramic components. In Procedia CIRP (Vol. 74, pp. 761–764). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2018.08.015