The knowledge of the loads occurring during a manufacturing process (e.g., grinding) and of the modifications remaining in the material is used in the concept of process signatures to optimize the manufacturing process and compare it with others (e.g., laser processing). The prerequisite for creating a process signature is that the loads can be characterized during the running process. Due to the rough process conditions, until now there is no in-process technique to measure the loads in the form of displacements and strains in the machined boundary zone. For this reason, the suitability of speckle photography is demonstrated for in-process measurements of material loads in a grinding process without cooling lubricant and the measurement results are compared with finite element method (FEM) simulations. As working hypothesis for the simulation it is assumed, that dry grinding is a purely thermally driven process. Despite the approximation by a purely thermal model with a constant heat source, the measured displacements differ only by a maximum of approximately 20% from the simulations. In particular, the strain measurements in feed speed direction are in good agreement with the simulation and support the thesis, that the dry grinding conditions used here lead to a primarily thermally affecting process.
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