Technological Innovations in Machining of Inconel 718: A State of the Art

Technological Innovations in Machining of Inconel 718: A State of the Art

Vivek Aggarwal (Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Punjab, India), Rajiv K. Garg (Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Punjab, India) and Sehijpal Singh Khangura (Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Punjab, India)
DOI: 10.4018/ijmmme.2015040102
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In this paper, a thorough review has been presented on the latest research work carried out for the enhancement of machining performance of one of the most commonly used superalloys that is, Inconel 718. The thermal energy has been frequently utilized for improving machinability characteristics of Inconel 718. The review of available literature indicates that plasma, laser, and electric discharge have been the major sources used for the enhancement of tool life, material removal rate, surface integrity, and reduction of cutting forces during machining of Inconel 718. However, a very few efforts have been made as regards to the use of wire electrical discharge machining and other energies like mechanical, electrochemical, and chemical for machining of this material. Moreover, the reported work on machining of Inconel 718 is largely focused on drilling operations. There is ample scope for research work on various other machining operations using alternative energies to gain more insight into machining of Inconel 718 and other similar superalloys.
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Thermal Energy Based Processes

These processes use thermal energy to erode the material from the workpiece by fusion or vaporization. Initially, the conventional heat sources such as furnaces, torches or induction heating were explored. But now the unconventional techniques based on plasma, laser heating and electric spark discharges are employed. The most commonly used thermal energy based processes are plasma arc machining, laser beam machining, electric discharge machining and wire electrical discharge machining. The thermal energy based processes may cause metallurgical and physical damage to the new work surface. Sometimes, the resulting surface finish is so poor that the successive processing may be essential. In the following text, the latest developments on the application of plasma, laser, electric discharge and wire electrical discharge machining for enhancing the machinability capabilities of Inconel 718 have been presented.

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