Gummy Metals? Add Glue or Markers

Gummy Metals? Add Glue or Markers

August 15, 2019 5 By Stanley Isaacs


– [Chandrasekar] Gummy
metals are often soft. Things like copper, aluminium, iron, and alloys of these materials that have low purity content. – [Mann] Cutting soft metals is actually more difficult than cutting a metal that’s been hardened. What we’re exploring here are some unique ways to take advantage of something that we call the mechanochemical effect in cutting or in deforming soft metals. By applying certain media to the surfaces of these soft metals, we’re able to create a condition where the metals behave as if they’ve been hardened. The right kind of material and media, which seems to be characterized by good sticking to the surface, either physical sticking or by a chemical reaction, those media seem to have the best effect in terms of force reduction in cut surfaces, machine
surfaces and so on, and there’s a whole
host of media that work, they’re very commonplace. – [Udupa] When we started
applying the various media, we found that we could broadly classify this media into three different groups. The first group, they work across all metal systems that we tested All of them showed a
force drop of around 50%. The second class, they were very material-specific. They would work only
with a specific metal, and they wouldn’t work
with another metals. And the third group, they did not work with
any metals whatsoever. Slowly, we began to discover that it’s not any particular chemical that is making a difference, but it’s the nature of these agents to stick to the metal surface. – [Mann] And so what this does is, it reduces the strain required for the cutting process, and as a direct result of that, the energy dissipation that occurs during cutting is reduced. – [Chandrasekar] This
understanding came about mainly because of our ability to image the material flow process in situ. That is, while the cutting is going on, while the deformation is going on, and we can do this at
high spacial resolution, and of course we can also do it at high time resolution, because we are doing high-speed imaging. – [Mann] What we want to see is this work moving from the lab to the commercial application, and the excitement for the manufacturer is they can finally do something in a way that makes their processes more stable and ultimately reduces cost.