Investigation of the effects of cryogenic machining on surface integrity in CNC end milling of Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy

Alborz Shokrani, Vimal Dhokia, Stephen Newman

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This paper presents the first comprehensive investigations on the effects of cryogenic cooling using liquid nitrogen on surface integrity of Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy workpiece in end milling operations. Titanium is classified as a notoriously difficult-to-machine material, where its machining is characterised by poor surface integrity and short tool life. Increasing productivity, whilst meeting surface integrity requirements for aerospace and medical titanium-based components has always been a challenge in machining operations. Cryogenic machining using super cold liquid nitrogen at
-197°C is a method to facilitate heat dissipation from the cutting zone and reduce the chemical affinity of workpiece and cutting tool materials and therefore improving machinability. Since milling is one of the major machining operations for aerospace components, this study is concentrated on cryogenic milling. The effects of cryogenic cooling on surface integrity are compared to conventional dry and flood cooling in end milling Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy. A series of machining experiments were conducted at various combinations of cutting parameters. Surface roughness and microscopic surface integrity were investigated and subsurface microhardness was measured for each sample. The analysis indicated that cryogenic cooling has resulted in up to 39% and 31% lower surface roughness when compared to dry and flood cooling methods respectively. Furthermore, microscopic surface defects were significantly reduced as a result of cryogenic. The investigations indicated that cryogenic cooling considerably improves surface integrity in end milling of Ti-6Al-4V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-179
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Processes
Early online date21 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Cryogenic machining
  • cnc milling
  • end milling
  • Titanium
  • Surface integrity


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