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Nano-scale machining of polycrystalline coppers - effects of grain size and machining parameters

Jing Shi1*, Yachao Wang1 and Xiaoping Yang2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108, USA

2 EBU Global Manufacturing Engineering Department, Cummins Inc., Columbus, IN 47202, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:500  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-500

Published: 22 November 2013


In this study, a comprehensive investigation on nano-scale machining of polycrystalline copper structures is carried out by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Simulation cases are constructed to study the impacts of grain size, as well as various machining parameters. Six polycrystalline copper structures are produced, which have the corresponding equivalent grain sizes of 5.32, 6.70, 8.44, 13.40, 14.75, and 16.88 nm, respectively. Three levels of depth of cut, machining speed, and tool rake angle are also considered. The results show that greater cutting forces are required in nano-scale polycrystalline machining with the increase of depth of cut, machining speed, and the use of the negative tool rake angles. The distributions of equivalent stress are consistent with the cutting force trends. Moreover, it is discovered that in the grain size range of 5.32 to 14.75 nm, the cutting forces and equivalent stress increase with the increase of grain size for the nano-structured copper, while the trends reserve after the grain size becomes even higher. This discovery confirms the existence of both the regular Hall–Petch relation and the inverse Hall–Petch relation in polycrystalline machining, and the existence of a threshold grain size allows one of the two relations to become dominant. The dislocation-grain boundary interaction shows that the resistance of the grain boundary to dislocation movement is the fundamental mechanism of the Hall–Petch relation, while grain boundary diffusion and movement is the reason of the inverse Hall–Petch relation.

Nano-scale machining; Grain size; Molecular dynamics simulation; Inverse Hall–Petch relation; Cutting forces; Grain boundary