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Thermodynamics of Manufacturing Processes—The Workpiece and the Machinery

Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Texas at Austin, EnHeGi Research and Engineering, Austin, TX 78712, USA
Inventions 2019, 4(2), 28;
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermodynamics in the 21st Century)
PDF [791 KB, uploaded 15 May 2019]


Considered the world’s largest industry, manufacturing transforms billions of raw materials into useful products. Like all real processes and systems, manufacturing processes and equipment are subject to the first and second laws of thermodynamics and can be modeled via thermodynamic formulations. This article presents a simple thermodynamic model of a manufacturing sub-process or task, assuming multiple tasks make up the entire process. For example, to manufacture a machined component such as an aluminum gear, tasks include cutting the original shaft into gear blanks of desired dimensions, machining the gear teeth, surfacing, etc. The formulations presented here, assessing the workpiece and the machinery via entropy generation, apply to hand-crafting. However, consistent isolation and measurement of human energy changes due to food intake and work output alone pose a significant challenge; hence, this discussion focuses on standardized product-forming processes typically via machine fabrication. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermodynamics; manufacturing; product formation; entropy; Helmholtz energy; irreversibility thermodynamics; manufacturing; product formation; entropy; Helmholtz energy; irreversibility

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Osara, J.A. Thermodynamics of Manufacturing Processes—The Workpiece and the Machinery. Inventions 2019, 4, 28.

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