Comparative investigation on using cryogenic machining in CNC milling of Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy

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Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy is one of the most important materials in industry, 80% of which is used in aerospace industry. Titanium alloys are also notoriously difficult-to-machine materials owing to their unique material properties imposing a major bottleneck in manufacturing systems. Cryogenic cooling has been acknowledged as an alternative technique in machining to improve the machinability of different materials. Although milling is considered to be the major machining operation for the manufacture of titanium components in aerospace industries, studies in cryogenic machining of titanium alloys are predominantly concentrated on turning operations. To address this gap, this article provides an investigation on the viability of cryogenic cooling in CNC end-milling of aerospace-grade Ti-6Al-4V alloy using liquid nitrogen in comparison with traditional machining environments. A series of machining experiments were conducted and surface roughness, tool life, power consumption, and specific machining energy were investigated for cryogenic milling as opposed to conventional dry and flood cooling. Analysis revealed that cryogenic machining using liquid nitrogen has the potential to significantly improve the machinability of Ti-6Al-4V alloy in CNC end-milling using solid carbide cutting tools and result in a paradigm shift in machining of titanium products. The analysis demonstrated that cryogenic cooling has resulted in almost three times increased tool life and the surface roughness was reduced by 40% in comparison with flood cooling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-494
JournalMachining Science and Technology: An International Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2016


  • CNC milling
  • cryogenic end milling
  • cryogenic machining
  • machinability
  • Titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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