Laser-Assisted Milling of Zirconia with Systematically Determined Machining Conditions
Toru Kizaki†, Yusuke Ito, Naohiko Sugita, and Mamoru Mitsuishi
Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
Yttria-stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystal (Y-TZP) is a promising material for dental restoratives. Although grinding or polishing with diamond tools is widely used to machine Y-TZP, the processing efficiency and cost of the process are problematic. In this study, we applied laser-assisted machining (LAM) to Y-TZP, in which non-diamond tools were used. Unlike LAM applied to other materials, decrease of the fracture toughness at elevated temperatures which is a unique feature of the Y-TZP was adopted as a key mechanism for machinability enhancement. In addition, a systematic method to determine the LAM conditions was proposed. In this study, we explain the LAM condition-determining method, which is based on numerical simulations of the temperature distribution. Secondly, the determining method was evaluated through a series of LAM experiments to obtain the appropriate LAM conditions. Using the determined conditions, LAM of Y-TZP was demonstrated to be effective; the thrust force was reduced by 51.3% and the tool wear was significantly reduced, while no cracks formed on the Y-TZP.
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