Energy Conscious Cryogenic Machining of Ti-6Al-4V Titanium Alloy

Alborz Shokrani, Vimal Dhokia, Stephen Newman

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Manufacturing and, in particular, machining are responsible for a significant portion of global industrial energy consumption (25%). Previous research has shown that precise selection of cutting parameters can improve the energy consumption of machining processes. Cryogenic machining has attracted significant attention for improving the machinability of difficult-to-machine materials while also eliminating the environmental and health issues associated with the use of cutting fluids. Despite the advantages, there is a considerable research gap in cryogenic milling operations. This article investigates the effect of cryogenic cooling using liquid nitrogen in end milling of Ti-6Al-4V. A robust and rigorous methodology was developed and a series of machining experiments were conducted using a combination of cutting parameters repeated at dry, flood and cryogenic cooling environments. The investigations indicated that cryogenic cooling considerably reduce tool wear when compared to dry and flood cooling while allowing for using higher cutting speeds. The cutting tool used for cryogenic machining at 200 m/min cutting speed, 0.03 mm/tooth feed rate and 5 mm depth of cut showed minimum flank wear. Furthermore, the investigations demonstrated that using the machine’s coolant pump in flood cooling resulted in higher power and energy consumption than dry and cryogenic cooling. This article clearly shows that higher material removal rates are required in order to minimise specific machining energy. Therefore, since cutting speed is limited in dry machining, cryogenic machining is the most favourable as higher cutting speeds can be used. Using cryogenic machining at 200 m/min cutting speed resulted in an 88% reduction in energy consumption of the machine tool as compared to flood cooling at 30 m/min while minimum tool wear (10 µm) was detected. This clearly demonstrates the significant capabilities of cryogenic machining when compared with more conventional machining approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1690-1706
Number of pages17
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number10
Early online date26 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Cryogenic machining
  • Tool wear
  • Computer numerical control (CNC)
  • Milling
  • end milling
  • Power consumption
  • Energy consumption


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