What Is Ultrasonic Machining? | Working Principle of Ultrasonic Machining | Parts of Ultrasonic Machining

All About Ultrasonic Machining

What Is Ultrasonic Machining?

What Is Ultrasonic Machining?

Ultrasonic machining is a process of fabrication that removes material from the surface through a high frequency, low amplitude vibration of an instrument against the material surface, the presence of fine abrasive particles.

The ultrasonic machining process is a non-traditional machining process that is used for both conducting and non-conducting materials for machining.

This machinings process can be used to machine materials that cannot be machined by a conventional machining process.

Ultrasonic machinings are mainly used in brittle materials. As the name suggests, the machining process uses ultrasonic vibrations in the range of 20 to 30 kHz.

Ultrasonic waves are defined as inaudible sounds with high frequency for humans. The frequency of the ultrasonic wave is generally greater than 20 kHz.

These high-frequency vibrations combined with slurry are used in the ultrasonic machining process. In this machining process, an abrasive solution is used.

There are four types of abrasive solutions: –

  • Aluminum Oxide.
  • Silicon Carbide
  • Boron Carbide
  • Diamond Dust

These four types of solutions are used in ultrasonic machining based on the material to be mechanized. Aluminum oxide is very light in nature & loses its intensity very quickly.

Diamond dust is the hardest of these four slurries and is used for machining very brittle materials.

Silicon carbide and boron carbide have a hardness between diamond dust & aluminum oxides.

Two slurries can be used individually, or mixtures of these two can be used as slurry. Ultrasonic machining works on the basis of machining magnetostrictive action.

In magnetostrictive action, when we send a frequency to the transducer, the transducer will change these frequencies to vibration.

These transducers are a kind of electromagnets; when we provide it with an electric signal, it converts it into mechanical vibration.

It will operate at more than 20,000 oscillations per second. It is a silent process because the human ear cannot hear this high frequency, and hence it is called ultrasonic frequency.

Therefore, the machining process is called ultrasonic machining. The equipment used in this process will be of soft metal so that we can easily give any shape to the tool.

The cavity produced in machining will be proportional to the size of the tool. Therefore the tool is selected from soft metal so that it can be molded into any shape.

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Working Principle of Ultrasonic Machining:

Working Principle of Ultrasonic Machining

Functioning of ultrasonic machining The difference between the tool and the workpiece is 0.25 mm. The device is made of ductile material.

Between the tool and the workpiece, there is a solution of abrasive. This material will flow away from the machining area, making the flow of the slurry tool slightly thinner to create a perpendicular hole.

The abrasive is embedded in the tool, and during the downward travel of the tool, removing the abrasive material hammers the workpiece—the rate decreases due to the difficulty in flushing when the viscosity of the carrier fluid material increases.

The increasing frequency will increase MRR as the number of effects per unit time will increase. By increasing the amplitude, the MRR will increase as the speed of the abrasive increases.

The amplitude of the vibration varies from 5 to 75 μm, and the frequency can vary from 19 to 25 kHz. By increasing the concentration of the abrasive, the effect will be in more places which increases the MRR.

As the size of the abrasive increases, an effect will be seen over a larger area. But when the sizes increase beyond certain values, the speed of the abrasive will decrease.

But when the concentration increases beyond a certain value, the MRR decreases due to a collision between the abrasive momentum.

Electric currents at high frequency (in the ultrasonics range, i.e., 18 kHz to 40 kHz) are used to generate mechanical vibrations of low amplitude and high frequency.

The mechanical vibrations generated are used for surface machining of a part in the presence of abrasives grain particles in the form of slurry.

The slurry flows across the equipment and workpiece when the tool presses against the W / P, the slurry containing the abrasive particle chips from the material from the surface.

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Parts of Ultrasonic Machining:

Parts of Ultrasonic Machining

#1. Power Supply

This machining process usually requires a current power supply ranging from 50 to 60 Hz. So, an AC power supply is available to start the process.

#2. Transducers

This transducer is of magnetostrictive type. After being converted into a magnet, this transducer will change the frequency in mechanical vibrations by acting on the basis of magnetostrictive action.

This transducer will vibrate in an upward and downward motion.

#3. High-Frequency Generator

A high-frequency generator is also called an ultrasonic power supply or electronic oscillator. It is commonly used to convert conventional power supplies to 50 Hz or 60 Hz to high-frequency electrical energy.

Frequencies of 20 to 40 kHz are most commonly used. These frequencies are then supplied to the electrical transducer.

#4. Ultrasonic Amplitude Transformer or Tool Horn

It is also known as a tool concentrator. The transducer-generated vibration amplitude with a range of approximately 0.025 millimeters is not sufficient for machining.

It is used to increase the amplitudes of the vibrations. It also directs and concentrates the vibration towards the tooltip.

The tool is attached to the lower end of this tool horn which will help in removing the material. The tool is connected to the horn of the tool by welding or screw or brazing, or soldering.

#5. Cooling Mechanism

On top of the transducer, a system exists for cooling purposes. Coldwater is entered through an entrance gate and will receive heat from the transducer and avoid exit.

For cooling purposes, there is a casing around the transducer, and water will flow inside this casing.

#6. Tools

The equipment used in ultrasonic machining is usually made of a strong hardening and brittle material that does not fail under brittle fracture & ductile such as tungsten carbide, stainless steel, titanium, copper, etc.

The tools are used to remove materials from the workpiece. The devices are manufactured in the same shape as the cavity required to form on the surface of the workpiece.

#7. Tool Holder

A tool holder is used to hold the tool.

#8. Nozzle

The nozzle is made of tungsten material. Tungstens are used to make a nozzle because the slurry coming from the pump can damage the nozzle if it is made from a soft material; it is made from a hard material such as tungsten.

#9. Solution

Typically silicon carbide, boron carbide, and mixed alumina solutions containing hard abrasive particles in water or oil are continuously provided in the machining area.

#10. Pumps

The pump is used to supply the abrasive solution on the nozzle.

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Working of Ultrasonic Machining:

Working of Ultrasonic Machining

This high-frequency input supplies fed to the electromechanical transducer, which converts this energy into an ultrasonic vibration causing the device to vibrate in the longitudinals directions. The horn is the intermediaries between the transducer & the tool holder.

The horn is used to increase the amplitude of the vibration generated by the transducer, and these vibrations are then focused and directed at the instrument.

When an AC supply is provided to a high-frequency generator, this increases the frequency of the input supply from 20 to 40 kHz. The tool holder grabs the device as it vibrates.

As the equipment vibrates, the abrasive slurry is fed with the help of a pump at a constant rate between the surface of the tool and the workpiece.

Then the tool is pressed very lightly on the workpiece so that there is enough space for the slurries to flow between the tool and the workpieces.

The size generated in the workpiece due to the removal of materials will be the same as the size of the tool.

As the vibrating device is pressed onto the workpiece, the high kinetic energy of the vibration is transmitted to these abrasive particles, & these abrasive particles are applied to the surface of the workpiece, and the material is removed from the workpiece due to microscopic friction.

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Applications of Ultrasonic Machining:

Applications of Ultrasonic Machining

Here, the different applications of ultrasonic machining are as follows

  • This machining is used to machine hard & brittle materials such as carbides, ceramics, glass, etc.
  • It is used in the machining of die and tools of drill and wire drawing machines, etc.
  • They were used in the manufacture of silicon nitrite turbine blades.
  • It is used to cut diamonds into desired shapes.
  • This machining uses machining of non-conductive rigid materials that cannot be mechanized by ECM or EDM due to poor conductivity.

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Advantages of Ultrasonic Machining:

Advantages of Ultrasonic Machining

Here, the different advantages of ultrasonic machining are as follows

  • This process is used for both circular & non-circular holes such as carbides, ceramics, etc.
  • This machining process does not require a heating workpiece.
  • If workpieces are sensitive to thermal fluctuations, they can be machined safely because this machining process produces very little heat.
  • It is suitable for both conductive & non-conductive materials.
  • A semi-skilled operator can operate the machine.
  • High accuracy can be achieved. The end product is a very well-crafted and structured result.
  • It is a less burr and less distortion process.

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Disadvantages of Ultrasonic Machining:

Disadvantages of Ultrasonic Machining

Here, the different disadvantages of ultrasonic machining are as follows

  • This may prove to be slower than traditional machining processes.
  • It is difficult to make deep holes due to the restricted movement of the suspension.
  • Choosing the right tool geometry to make holes of a certain dimension is difficult. The holes created by the side cuttings can be large-sized.
  • High equipment wears due to the continuous flow of abrasive slurry.
  • This process is limited to a small-sized machined surface.
  • This process can only be used for machine materials with a hardness greater than 45 HRC.
  • Drilling deep holes are difficult, as slurry movement is restricted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Ultrasonic Machining Equipment

Ultrasonic oscillation of the tool promotes free cutting of material, greatly reducing the force applied to the tool as well as the workpiece during processing. Manufacturer of standard and custom ultrasonic machining equipment. Products include ultrasonic, induction, impulse, vibration, spin, and hot plate welders.

Ultrasonic Machining

Ultrasonic machining is a subtractive manufacturing process that removes material from the surface of a part through high frequency, low amplitude vibrations of a tool against the material surface in the presence of fine abrasive particles.

Application of Ultrasonic Machining

Applications of ultrasonic machining are:

  • Machining of articles of very precise and complex shape.
  • Drilling round holes of any size.
  • Grinding brittle materials.
  • Outline of holes.
  • Engraving
  • Trepanning and Coining
  • Threading
  • Cutting and breaking hard materials.
  • Glasses, ceramics machining.
  • Machining of precision mineral stones, tungsten.
  • To pierce the die and separate operation.
  • These are precise enough to be used in the manufacture of micro-electro-mechanical system components such as micro-structured glass wafers.
  • Diamonds are cut to the desired shape.

Advantages of Ultrasonic Machining

The advantages of ultrasonic machining are:

  • This process is used for drilling both spherical and non-spherical holes in very hard materials like carbides, ceramics, etc.
  • This process is best suited for brittles materials.
  • The machining operation is simple & takes less time.
  • This process is economical.
  • Glass, ceramic, tungsten ground semi-precious stones can be machined.
  • Semi-skilled operators can operate the machine.
  • Better efficiencies can be achieved.
  • Good surfaces finish.
  • This is suitable for both conducting and non-conducting materials.
  • High accuracy can be achieved.

Ultrasonic Machining Process and Applications

The ultrasonic machining process is used for machining hard and brittle materials like glass, ceramic, etc. It is used for drilling of non-circular holes in hard metals. Its is used for trepanning, threading and coining. It is used for machining very precise shapes.

Benefits of Ultrasonic Machining in Precision Manufacturing

Ultrasonic machining is able to produce high-tolerance parts because there is no distortion of the worked material. The absence of distortion is due to no heat generation from the sonotrode against the work piece and is beneficial because the physical properties of the part will remain uniform throughout.

Ultrasonic Machining Vs. Traditional Machining Methods

Bullen’s Ultrasonic Machining process had many advantages over traditional machining. The process is non-thermal, non-chemical, and non-electrical, leaving the chemical and physical properties of the workpiece unchanged. This low-stress process translates into high reliability for your critical applications.

Top-Rated Ultrasonic Machining Equipment Suppliers

As an AI language model, I don’t have access to real-time data, so I can’t provide the most current information. However, I can mention some well-known ultrasonic machining equipment suppliers as of my last update in September 2021. Please note that the rankings and ratings may have changed since then, so it’s essential to conduct your research to find the most up-to-date information.

  1. DMG MORI: DMG MORI is a globally recognized manufacturer of advanced machining equipment, including ultrasonic machines.
  2. Telsonic: Telsonic is a prominent supplier of ultrasonic machining equipment and technology for various industries.
  3. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation: Mitsubishi Electric is a well-established company that offers a wide range of industrial machinery, including ultrasonic machining solutions.
  4. KERN Microtechnik: KERN specializes in precision machining and micromachining technology, which may include ultrasonic machining capabilities.
  5. Hielscher Ultrasonics: Hielscher is known for producing ultrasonic equipment and technology for various industrial applications.

Ultrasonic Machining Tool Materials and Design

The primary considerations for ultrasonic machining tool materials and design include:

  1. Tool Material:
    • Titanium: Titanium is a common choice for ultrasonic machining tools due to its excellent strength-to-weight ratio and ability to dampen vibrations.
    • Tool Steel: High-speed tool steels with good wear resistance are also used for ultrasonic machining tools.
    • Tungsten Carbide: Tungsten carbide is a hard material that provides good wear resistance and durability.
  2. Tool Shape:
    • The tool’s shape is critical to the efficiency and accuracy of ultrasonic machining. Common tool shapes include:
      • End mills: For general milling and contouring operations.
      • Drills: For creating holes in the workpiece.
      • Sonotrodes: The tool used in ultrasonic welding, which can be adapted for machining applications.
  3. Resonance and Vibration Damping:
    • The tool must be designed to resonate at the ultrasonic frequency, typically around 20 kHz or higher. This resonance helps amplify the tool’s amplitude and enhance material removal.
    • At the same time, effective vibration damping mechanisms are implemented to reduce unwanted vibrations that could lead to tool damage.
  4. Cooling and Lubrication:
    1. Ultrasonic machining generates heat during the process, which can affect tool life and machining accuracy. Cooling and lubrication systems are employed to dissipate heat and improve tool life.
  5. Wear Resistance:
    • Tools used in ultrasonic machining should have good wear resistance to withstand the abrasive action of the workpiece material.

Ultrasonic Machine Uses

Ultrasonic cleaners are suitable for cleaning a wide variety of materials, including metals, glass, rubber, ceramics and some hard plastics. An ultrasonic parts cleaner is especially useful for removing tightly-adhered contaminants from intricate items with blind holes, cracks and recesses.

Explain Ultrasonic Machining Process

Ultrasonic machining, also called ultrasonic drilling, is a subtractive fabrication process that uses high-frequency vibrations and abrasive particles to remove small amounts of material from a workpiece’s surface.

Usm Working Principle

The tool is made up of ductile material. Between tool and workpiece, there is a slurry of abrasive. Abrasive gets embedded into the tool and during the downward journey of the tool, abrasives hammer the workpiece, removing material.

What Is Ultrasonic Welding Machine?

Ultrasonic welding uses ultrasonic energy at high frequencies (20–40 kHz) to produce low amplitude (1–25 μm) mechanical vibrations. The vibrations generate heat at the joint interface of the parts being welded, resulting in melting of the thermoplastic materials and weld formation after cooling.

Ultrasonic Machine Benefits

Ultrasound therapy can give your tissues the deep heat they need to relieve tissue tension. In fact, the ultrasound affects soft tissue cell metabolism. When the ultrasound increases blood flow, it makes the cells more receptive to healing fluids.

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