Molecular dynamics simulation model for the quantitative assessment of tool wear during single point diamond turning of cubic silicon carbide

Saurav Goel, Xichun Luo, Robert L. Reuben

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88 Citations (Scopus)


Silicon carbide (SiC) is a material of great technological interest for engineering applications concerning hostile environments where silicon-based components cannot work (beyond 623 K). Single point diamond turning (SPDT) has remained a superior and viable method to harness process efficiency and freeform shapes on this harder material. However, it is extremely difficult to machine this ceramic consistently in the ductile regime due to sudden and rapid tool wear. It thus becomes non trivial to develop an accurate understanding of tool wear mechanism during SPDT of SiC in order to identify measures to suppress wear to minimize operational cost.

In this paper, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation has been deployed with a realistic analytical bond order potential (ABOP) formalism based potential energy function to understand tool wear mechanism during single point diamond turning of SiC. The most significant result was obtained using the radial distribution function which suggests graphitization of diamond tool during the machining process. This phenomenon occurs due to the abrasive processes between these two ultra hard materials. The abrasive action results in locally high temperature which compounds with the massive cutting forces leading to sp(3)-sp(2) order-disorder transition of diamond tool. This represents the root cause of tool wear during SPDT operation of cubic SiC. Further testing led to the development of a novel method for quantitative assessment of the progression of diamond tool wear from MD simulations. Crown Copyright (C) 2011 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-408
Number of pages7
JournalComputational Materials Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • MD simulation
  • Single point diamond turning
  • Single crystal silicon carbide
  • Tool wear

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