Progressing towards sustainable machining of steels : a detailed review

Ishfaq, Kashif and Anjum, Irfan and Pruncu, Catalin Iulian and Amjad, Muhammad and Kumar, M. Saravana and Asad Maqsood, Muhammad (2021) Progressing towards sustainable machining of steels : a detailed review. Materials, 14 (18). 5162. ISSN 1996-1944 (

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Machining operations are very common for the production of auto parts, i.e., connecting rods, crankshafts, etc. In machining, the use of cutting oil is very necessary, but it leads to higher machining costs and environmental problems. About 17% of the cost of any product is associated with cutting fluid, and about 80% of skin diseases are due to mist and fumes generated by cutting oils. Environmental legislation and operators’ safety demand the minimal use of cutting fluid and proper disposal of used cutting oil. The disposal cost is huge, about two times higher than the machining cost. To improve occupational health and safety and the reduction of product costs, companies are moving towards sustainable manufacturing. Therefore, this review article emphasizes the sustainable machining aspects of steel by employing techniques that require the minimal use of cutting oils, i.e., minimum quantity lubrication, and other efficient techniques like cryogenic cooling, dry cutting, solid lubricants, air/vapor/gas cooling, and cryogenic treatment. Cryogenic treatment on tools and the use of vegetable oils or biodegradable oils instead of mineral oils are used as primary techniques to enhance the overall part quality, which leads to longer tool life with no negative impacts on the environment. To further help the manufacturing community in progressing towards industry 4.0 and obtaining net-zero emissions, in this paper, we present a comprehensive review of the recent, state of the art sustainable techniques used for machining steel materials/components by which the industry can massively improve their product quality and production.