Cutting is the foundation of manufacturing in industry. The main cutting objects include metals, ceramics, glasses, compositions, and even biological materials such as tissues and bones. The special properties of each material such as hardness, ductility, brittleness, and heat conductivity lead to either a large cutting force or a high cutting temperature. Both of these factors result in poor machinability due to rapid tool wear or break or unsatisfactory surface integrity of the material finishing surface using the conventional cutting (CC, conventional cutting) types. In nature, snakes have their own way of reducing heat accumulation on their body when moving on the hot desert surface. They move forward along an “S”-type path, so that the bottom of their body separates from the desert intermittently. In this way, the separation interval both reduces the cutting heat accumulations and effectively achieves cooling by allowing the air to go through. In addition, the acceleration of Odontomachus monticola
’s two mandibles when striking a target can reach 71,730 g m/s2
within 180 ms, which can easily break the target surface by the transient huge impact. Therefore, based on a snake’s motion on the desert surface and Odontomachus monticola
’s striking on the target surface, respectively, an ultrasonic-frequency intermittent cutting method, also called “snake-type” vibration cutting (SVC, snake-type vibration cutting), was proposed in this study. First, its bionic kinematics were analyzed, then the SVC system’s design was introduced. Finally, cutting experiments were conducted on a common and typical difficult-to-cut material, namely titanium alloys. Cutting force, cutting temperature, and the surface integrity of the material finishing surface were measured, respectively. The results demonstrated that, compared to conventional cutting methods, SVC achieved a maximum of 50% and 30% reductions of cutting force and cutting temperature, respectively. Moreover, the surface integrity was improved both in surface roughness and residual stress state.
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