Using machining force feedback to quantify grain size in beta titanium

Suárez Fernández, Daniel and Jackson, M. and Crawforth, P. and Fox, K. and Wynne, B. P. (2020) Using machining force feedback to quantify grain size in beta titanium. Materialia, 13. 100856. ISSN 2589-1529 (

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The fluctuating forces on the cutting tool generated during machining of β processed Ti-17 alloy are shown to contain sufficient information to enable measurement of β grain size to an equivalent accuracy of standard etching methods. Three orthogonal forces were gathered, cutting force tangential to the rotation, the force in the feed (radial) direction, and the normal force in the longitudinal axis. Each individual force produced a microstructure image with a high level of contrast but in some cases did not fully highlight all features as shown in the optical image of the equivalent area. By normalising and combining the three forces into a vector, followed by noise reduction, a high-resolution image with sufficient detail to undertake grain size measurements using the linear intercept was produced. The measured grain size differed by no more than 5% with respect the grain size measured in the etched micrograph. It is believed that the forces which have a higher proportion of elastic response in their total values, i.e., the feed and normal forces, produced the higher contrast images, indicating that elastic stresses produce the highest contrast between grains and plastic strains smear out the grain to grain variation.