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Ultra-Precision Machining
The main objective of this Special Column is to bring together the new and innovative ideas, experiences and research results from researchers and practitioners on all aspects of Ultra-Precision Machining.
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  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Xibin WANG,Tianfeng ZHOU,Lijing XIE,Li JIAO,Zhibing LIU,Zhiqiang LIANG,Pei YAN
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 116-131. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0426-1

    Integral impeller is the most important component of a mini-engine. However, the machining of a mesoscale impeller with a complex integral surface is difficult because of its compact size and high accuracy requirement. A mesoscale component is usually manufactured by milling. However, a conventional milling tool cannot meet the machining requirements because of its size and stiffness. For the fabrication of a complex integral impeller, a micro-ball-end mill is designed in accordance with the non-instantaneous-pole envelope principle and manufactured by grinding based on the profile model of the helical groove and the mathematical model of the cutting edge curve. Subsequently, fractal theory is applied to characterize the surface quality of the integral impeller. The fractal theory-based characterization shows that the completed mesoscale integral impeller exhibits a favorable performance in terms of mechanical properties and morphological accuracy.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Wenkun XIE, Fengzhou FANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2020, 15(4): 631-644. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-020-0599-x

    The ever-increasing requirements for the scalable manufacturing of atomic-scale devices emphasize the significance of developing atomic-scale manufacturing technology. The mechanism of a single atomic layer removal in cutting is the key basic theoretical foundation for atomic-scale mechanical cutting. Material anisotropy is among the key decisive factors that could not be neglected in cutting at such a scale. In the present study, the crystallographic orientation effect on the cutting-based single atomic layer removal of monocrystalline copper is investigated by molecular dynamics simulation. When undeformed chip thickness is in the atomic scale, two kinds of single atomic layer removal mechanisms exist in cutting-based single atomic layer removal, namely, dislocation motion and extrusion, due to the differing atomic structures on different crystallographic planes. On close-packed crystallographic plane, the material removal is dominated by the shear stress-driven dislocation motion, whereas on non-close packed crystallographic planes, extrusion-dominated material removal dominates. To obtain an atomic, defect-free processed surface, the cutting needs to be conducted on the close-packed crystallographic planes of monocrystalline copper.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Yin ZHANG, Jianwei WU, Kunpeng XING, Zhongpu WEN, Jiubin TAN
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2020, 15(4): 517-537. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-020-0589-z

    This paper presents a dynamic and static error transfer model and uncertainty evaluation method for a high-speed variable-slit system based on a two- dimensional orthogonal double-layer air-floating guide rail structure. The motion accuracy of the scanning blade is affected by both the moving component it is attached to and the moving component of the following blade during high-speed motion. First, an error transfer model of the high-speed variable-slit system is established, and the influence coefficients are calculated for each source of error associated with the accuracy of the blade motion. Then, the maximum range of each error source is determined by simulation and experiment. Finally, the uncertainty of the blade displacement measurement is evaluated using the Monte Carlo method. The proposed model can evaluate the performance of the complex mechanical system and be used to guide the design.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Juan Carlos HERNANDEZ-CASTANEDA, Boon Keng LOK, Hongyu ZHENG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2020, 15(2): 303-318. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0562-x

    This study explores the feasibility of different laser systems to sinter screen-printed lines from nonconductive copper nanoparticles (Cu NPs) on polyethylene terephthalate polymer film. These materials are commonly used in manufacturing functional printed electronics for large-area applications. Here, optical and thermal characterization of the materials is conducted to identify suitable laser sources and process conditions. Direct diode (808 nm), Nd:YAG (1064 nm and second harmonic of 532 nm), and ytterbium fiber (1070 nm) lasers are explored. Optimal parameters for sintering the Cu NPs are identified for each laser system, which targets low resistivity and high processing speed. Finally, the quality of the sintered tracks is quantified, and the laser sintering mechanisms observed under different wavelengths are analyzed. Practical considerations are discussed to improve the laser sintering process of Cu NPs.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Ziyuan LIU, Hang GAO, Dongming GUO
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2020, 15(2): 294-302. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0576-4

    A high-efficiency polishing approach using two-phase air–water fluid (TAWF) is proposed to avoid surface contamination and solve the inefficiency of previous water-dissolution polishing techniques for potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) crystal. In the proposed method, controllable deliquescence is implemented without any chemical impurity. The product of deliquescence is then removed by a polishing pad to achieve surface planarization. The mechanism underlying TAWF polishing is analyzed, a special device is built to polish the KDP crystal, and the effect of relative humidity (RH) on polishing performance is studied. The relationship between key parameters of polishing and surface planarization is also investigated. Results show that the polishing performance is improved with increasing RH. However, precisely controlling the RH is extremely difficult during TAWF polishing. Controllable deliquescence can easily be disrupted once the RH fluctuates, which therefore needs to be restricted to a low level to avoid its influence on deliquescence rate. The material removal of TAWF polishing is mainly attributed to the synergistic effect of deliquescence and the polishing pad. Excessive polishing pressure and revolution rate remarkably reduce the life of the polishing pad and the surface quality of the KDP crystal. TAWF polishing using IC-1000 and TEC-168S increase the machining efficiency by 150%, and a smooth surface with a root mean square surface roughness of 5.5 nm is obtained.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Dongxu WU, Fengzhou FANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2021, 16(1): 1-31. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-020-0602-6

    Optical interferometry is a powerful tool for measuring and characterizing areal surface topography in precision manufacturing. A variety of instruments based on optical interferometry have been developed to meet the measurement needs in various applications, but the existing techniques are simply not enough to meet the ever-increasing requirements in terms of accuracy, speed, robustness, and dynamic range, especially in on-line or on-machine conditions. This paper provides an in-depth perspective of surface topography reconstruction for optical interferometric measurements. Principles, configurations, and applications of typical optical interferometers with different capabilities and limitations are presented. Theoretical background and recent advances of fringe analysis algorithms, including coherence peak sensing and phase-shifting algorithm, are summarized. The new developments in measurement accuracy and repeatability, noise resistance, self-calibration ability, and computational efficiency are discussed. This paper also presents the new challenges that optical interferometry techniques are facing in surface topography measurement. To address these challenges, advanced techniques in image stitching, on-machine measurement, intelligent sampling, parallel computing, and deep learning are explored to improve the functional performance of optical interferometry in future manufacturing metrology.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Shulei YAO, Xian CAO, Shuang LIU, Congyang GONG, Kaiming ZHANG, Chengcheng ZHANG, Xiancheng ZHANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2020, 15(2): 240-255. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0581-7

    As crucial parts of an aeroengine, blades are vulnerable to damage from long-term operation in harsh environments. The ultrasonic surface rolling process (USRP) is a novel surface treatment technique that can highly improve the mechanical behavior of blades. During secondary machining, the nominal blade model cannot be used for secondary machining path generation due to the deviation between the actual and nominal blades. The clamping error of the blade also affects the precision of secondary machining. This study presents a two-sided USRP (TS-USRP) machining for aeroengine blades on the basis of on-machine noncontact measurement. First, a TS-USRP machining system for blade is developed. Second, a 3D scanning system is used to obtain the point cloud of the blade, and a series of point cloud processing steps is performed. A local point cloud automatic extraction algorithm is introduced to extract the point cloud of the strengthened region of the blade. Then, the tool path is designed on the basis of the extracted point cloud. Finally, an experiment is conducted on an actual blade, with results showing that the proposed method is effective and efficient.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Jiasheng LI, Xingzhan LI, Wei WEI, Pinkuan LIU
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2020, 15(2): 227-239. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-020-0587-1

    In the process of cutting, the relative vibration between the cutter and the workpiece has an important effect on the surface topography. In this study, the bidimensional empirical mode decomposition (BEMD) method is used to identify such effect. According to Riesz transform theory, a type of isotropic monogenic signal is proposed. The boundary data is extended on the basis of a similarity principle that deals with serious boundary effect problem. The decomposition examples show that the improved BEMD can effectively solve the problem of boundary effect and decompose the original machined surface topography at multiple scales. The characteristic surface topography representing the relative vibration between the cutter and the workpiece through feature identification is selected. In addition, the spatial spectrum analysis of the extracted profile is carried out. The decimal part of the frequency ratio that has an important effect on the shape of the contour can be accurately identified through contour extraction and spatial spectrum analysis. The decomposition results of simulation and experimental surface morphology demonstrate the validity of the improved BEMD algorithm in realizing the relative vibration identification between the cutter and the workpiece.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Tianfeng ZHOU, Ying WANG, Benshuai RUAN, Zhiqiang LIANG, Xibin WANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2020, 15(1): 81-88. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0561-y

    Friction modeling between the tool and the workpiece plays an important role in predicting the minimum cutting thickness during TC4 micro machining and finite element method (FEM) cutting simulation. In this study, a new three-region friction modeling is proposed to illustrate the material flow mechanism around the friction zone in micro cutting; estimate the stress distributions on the rake, edge, and clearance faces of the tool; and predict the stagnation point location and the minimum cutting thickness. The friction modeling is established by determining the distribution of normal and shear stress. Then, it is applied to calculate the stagnation point location on the edge face and predict the minimum cutting thickness. The stagnation point and the minimum cutting thickness are also observed and illustrated in the FEM simulation. Micro cutting experiments are conducted to validate the accuracy of the friction and the minimum cutting thickness modeling. Comparison results show that the proposed friction model illustrates the relationship between the normal and sheer stress on the tool surface, thereby validating the modeling method of the minimum cutting thickness in micro cutting.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Hui LI, Likai LI, Neil J. NAPLES, Jeffrey W. ROBLEE, Allen Y. YI
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(2): 181-192. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0444-z

    Ultraprecision diamond machining and high volume molding for affordable high precision high performance optical elements are becoming a viable process in optical industry for low cost high quality microoptical component manufacturing. In this process, first high precision microoptical molds are fabricated using ultraprecision single point diamond machining followed by high volume production methods such as compression or injection molding. In the last two decades, there have been steady improvements in ultraprecision machine design and performance, particularly with the introduction of both slow tool and fast tool servo. Today optical molds, including freeform surfaces and microlens arrays, are routinely diamond machined to final finish without post machining polishing. For consumers, compression molding or injection molding provide efficient and high quality optics at extremely low cost. In this paper, first ultraprecision machine design and machining processes such as slow tool and fast too servo are described then both compression molding and injection molding of polymer optics are discussed. To implement precision optical manufacturing by molding, numerical modeling can be included in the future as a critical part of the manufacturing process to ensure high product quality.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Dede ZHAI, Shanyong CHEN, Ziqiang YIN, Shengyi LI
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(2): 143-157. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0432-3

    With the development of new materials and ultra-precision processing technology, the sizes of measured objects increase, and the requirements for machining accuracy and surface quality become more exacting. The traditional measurement method based on reference datum is inadequate for measuring a high-precision object when the quality of the reference datum is approximately within the same order as that of the object. Self-referenced measurement techniques provide an effective means when the direct reference-based method cannot satisfy the required measurement or calibration accuracy. This paper discusses the reconstruction algorithms for self-referenced measurement and connects lateral shearing interferometry and multi-probe error separation. In lateral shearing interferometry, the reconstruction algorithms are generally categorized into modal or zonal methods. The multi-probe error separation techniques for straightness measurement are broadly divided into two-point and three-point methods. The common features of the lateral shearing interferometry method and the multi-probe error separation method are identified. We conclude that the reconstruction principle in lateral shearing interferometry is similar to the two-point method in error separation on the condition that no yaw error exists. This similarity may provide a basis or inspiration for the development of both classes of methods.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Mingjin XU,Yifan DAI,Xuhui XIE,Lin ZHOU,Shengyi LI,Wenqiang PENG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 110-115. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0430-5

    Ion beam figuring (IBF) technology is an effective technique for fabricating continuous phase plates (CPPs) with small feature structures. This study proposes a multi-pass IBF approach with different beam diameters based on the frequency filtering method to improve the machining accuracy and efficiency of CPPs during IBF. We present the selection principle of the frequency filtering method, which incorporates different removal functions that maximize material removal over the topographical frequencies being imprinted. Large removal functions are used early in the fabrication to figure the surface profile with low frequency. Small removal functions are used to perform final topographical correction with higher frequency and larger surface gradient. A high-precision surface can be obtained as long as the filtering frequency is suitably selected. This method maximizes the high removal efficiency of the large removal function and the high corrective capability of the small removal function. Consequently, the fast convergence of the machining accuracy and efficiency can be achieved.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    F. H. ZHANG, S. F. WANG, C. H. AN, J. WANG, Q. XU
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(2): 193-202. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0448-8

    Large-aperture potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) crystals are widely used in the laser path of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) systems. The most common method of manufacturing half-meter KDP crystals is ultra-precision fly cutting. When processing KDP crystals by ultra-precision fly cutting, the dynamic characteristics of the fly cutting machine and fluctuations in the fly cutting environment are translated into surface errors at different spatial frequency bands. These machining errors should be suppressed effectively to guarantee that KDP crystals meet the full-band machining accuracy specified in the evaluation index. In this study, the anisotropic machinability of KDP crystals and the causes of typical surface errors in ultra-precision fly cutting of the material are investigated. The structures of the fly cutting machine and existing processing parameters are optimized to improve the machined surface quality. The findings are theoretically and practically important in the development of high-energy laser systems in China.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Ming FENG,Yongbo WU,Julong YUAN,Zhao PING
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 132-142. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0436-z

    As the demand for high-performance bearings gradually increases, ceramic balls with excellent properties, such as high accuracy, high reliability, and high chemical durability used, are extensively used for high-performance bearings. In this study, a spiral V-groove plate method is employed in processing high-precision ceramic balls. After the kinematic analysis of the ball-spin angle and enveloped lapping trajectories, an experimental rig is constructed and experiments are conducted to confirm the feasibility of this method. Kinematic analysis results indicate that the method not only allows for the control of the ball-spin angle but also uniformly distributes the enveloped lapping trajectories over the entire ball surface. Experimental results demonstrate that the novel spiral V-groove plate method performs better than the conventional concentric V-groove plate method in terms of roundness, surface roughness, diameter difference, and diameter decrease rate. Ceramic balls with a G3-level accuracy are achieved, and their typical roundness, minimum surface roughness, and diameter difference are 0.05, 0.0045, and 0.105 mm, respectively. These findings confirm that the proposed method can be applied to high-accuracy and high-consistency ceramic ball processing.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    A. DAVOUDINEJAD, P. PARENTI, M. ANNONI
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(2): 203-214. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0421-6

    Predictive models for machining operations have been significantly improved through numerous methods in recent decades. This study proposed a 3D finite element modeling (3D FEM) approach for the micro end-milling of Al6061-T6. Finite element (FE) simulations were performed under different cutting conditions to obtain realistic numerical predictions of chip flow, burr formation, and cutting forces. FE modeling displayed notable advantages, such as capability to easily handle any type of tool geometry and any side effect on chip formation, including thermal aspect and material property changes. The proposed 3D FE model considers the effects of mill helix angle and cutting edge radius on the chip. The prediction capability of the FE model was validated by comparing numerical model and experimental test results. Burr dimension trends were correlated with force profile shapes. However, the FE predictions overestimated the real force magnitude. This overestimation indicates that the model requires further development.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Xiaoguang GUO,Qiang LI,Tao LIU,Renke KANG,Zhuji JIN,Dongming GUO
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 89-98. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0412-7

    Hard and brittle materials, such as silicon, SiC, and optical glasses, are widely used in aerospace, military, integrated circuit, and other fields because of their excellent physical and chemical properties. However, these materials display poor machinability because of their hard and brittle properties. Damages such as surface micro-crack and subsurface damage often occur during machining of hard and brittle materials. Ultra-precision machining is widely used in processing hard and brittle materials to obtain nanoscale machining quality. However, the theoretical mechanism underlying this method remains unclear. This paper provides a review of present research on the molecular dynamics simulation of ultra-precision machining of hard and brittle materials. The future trends in this field are also discussed.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Hang GAO,Xu WANG,Dongming GUO,Yuchuan CHEN
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 77-88. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0411-8

    Soft-brittle crystal materials are widely used in many fields, especially optics and microelectronics. However, these materials are difficult to machine through traditional machining methods because of their brittle, soft, and anisotropic nature. In this article, the characteristics and machining difficulties of soft-brittle and crystals are presented. Moreover, the latest research progress of novel machining technologies and their applications for soft-brittle crystals are introduced by using some representative materials (e.g., potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP), cadmium zinc telluride (CZT)) as examples. This article reviews the research progress of soft-brittle crystals processing.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Wenbin HUANG,Xingtao YU,Yanhua LIU,Wen QIAO,Linsen CHEN
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 99-109. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0416-3

    Recent advances in electronic and photonic devices, such as artificial skin, wearable systems, organic and inorganic light-emitting diodes, have gained considerable commercial and scientific interest in the academe and in industries. However, low-cost and high-throughput nano-manufacturing is difficult to realize with the use of traditional photolithographic processes. In this review, we summarize the status and the limitations of current nano-patterning techniques for scalable and flexible functional devices in terms of working principle, resolution, and processing speed. Finally, several remaining unsolved problems in nano-manufacturing are discussed, and future research directions are highlighted.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Liangchi ZHANG,Weidong LIU
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 3-17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0408-3

    It is costly and time consuming to use machining processes, such as grinding, polishing and lapping, to produce optical glass lenses with complex features. Precision glass molding (PGM) has thus been developed to realize an efficient manufacture of such optical components in a single step. However, PGM faces various technical challenges. For example, a PGM process must be carried out within the super-cooled region of optical glass above its glass transition temperature, in which the material has an unstable non-equilibrium structure. Within a narrow window of allowable temperature variation, the glass viscosity can change from 105 to 1012 Pa·s due to the kinetic fragility of the super-cooled liquid. This makes a PGM process sensitive to its molding temperature. In addition, because of the structural relaxation in this temperature window, the atomic structure that governs the material properties is strongly dependent on time and thermal history. Such complexity often leads to residual stresses and shape distortion in a lens molded, causing unexpected changes in density and refractive index. This review will discuss some of the central issues in PGM processes and provide a method based on a manufacturing chain consideration from mold material selection, property and deformation characterization of optical glass to process optimization. The realization of such optimization is a necessary step for the Industry 4.0 of PGM.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Shaohui YIN,Hongpeng JIA,Guanhua ZHANG,Fengjun CHEN,Kejun ZHU
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 66-76. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0417-2

    Aspheric lens can eliminate spherical aberrations, coma, astigmatism, field distortions, and other adverse factors. This type of lens can also reduce the loss of light energy and obtain high-quality images and optical characteristics. The demand for aspheric lens has increased in recent years because of its advantageous use in the electronics industry, particularly for compact, portable devices and high-performance products. As an advanced manufacturing technology, the glass lens molding process has been recognized as a low-cost and high-efficiency manufacturing technology for machining small-diameter aspheric lens for industrial production. However, the residual stress and profile deviation of the glass lens are greatly affected by various key technologies for glass lens molding, including glass and mold-die material forming, mold-die machining, and lens molding. These key technical factors, which affect the quality of the glass lens molding process, are systematically discussed and reviewed to solve the existing technical bottlenecks and problems, as well as to predict the potential applicability of glass lens molding in the future.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Shaolin XU,Tsunemoto KURIYAGAWA,Keita SHIMADA,Masayoshi MIZUTANI
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 33-45. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0422-5

    In this paper, the state of art of ultrasonic-assisted machining technologies used for fabrication of micro/nano-textured surfaces is reviewed. Diamond machining is the most widely used method in industry for manufacturing precision parts. For fabrication of fine structures on surfaces, conventional diamond machining methods are competitive by considering the precision of structures, but have limitations at machinable structures and machining efficiency, which have been proved to be partly solved by the integration of ultrasonic vibration motion. In this paper, existing ultrasonic-assisted machining methods for fabricating fine surface structures are reviewed and classified, and a rotary ultrasonic texturing (RUT) technology is mainly introduced by presenting the construction of vibration spindles, the texturing principles, and the applications of textured surfaces. Some new ideas and experimental results are presented. Finally, the challenges in using the RUT method to fabricate micro/nano-textured surfaces are discussed with respect to texturing strategies, machinable structures, and tool wear.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Arun KRISHNAN, Fengzhou FANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2019, 14(3): 299-319. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-019-0535-0

    Laser polishing is a technology of smoothening the surface of various materials with highly intense laser beams. When these beams impact on the material surface to be polished, the surface starts to be melted due to the high temperature. The melted material is then relocated from the ‘peaks to valleys’ under the multidirectional action of surface tension. By varying the process parameters such as beam intensity, energy density, spot diameter, and feed rate, different rates of surface roughness can be achieved. High precision polishing of surfaces can be done using laser process. Currently, laser polishing has extended its applications from photonics to molds as well as bio-medical sectors. Conventional polishing techniques have many drawbacks such as less capability of polishing freeform surfaces, environmental pollution, long processing time, and health hazards for the operators. Laser polishing on the other hand eliminates all the mentioned drawbacks and comes as a promising technology that can be relied for smoothening of initial topography of the surfaces irrespective of the complexity of the surface. Majority of the researchers performed laser polishing on materials such as steel, titanium, and its alloys because of its low cost and reliability. This article gives a detailed overview of the laser polishing mechanism by explaining various process parameters briefly to get a better understanding about the entire polishing process. The advantages and applications are also explained clearly to have a good knowledge about the importance of laser polishing in the future.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Julong YUAN, Binghai LYU, Wei HANG, Qianfa DENG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(2): 158-180. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0455-9

    Ultra-precision machining technologies are the essential methods, to obtain the highest form accuracy and surface quality. As more research findings are published, such technologies now involve complicated systems engineering and been widely used in the production of components in various aerospace, national defense, optics, mechanics, electronics, and other high-tech applications. The conception, applications and history of ultra-precision machining are introduced in this article, and the developments of ultra-precision machining technologies, especially ultra-precision grinding, ultra-precision cutting and polishing are also reviewed. The current state and problems of this field in China are analyzed. Finally, the development trends of this field and the coping strategies employed in China to keep up with the trends are discussed.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Tianfeng ZHOU,Xiaohua LIU,Zhiqiang LIANG,Yang LIU,Jiaqing XIE,Xibin WANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 46-65. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0425-2

    Optical microstructures are increasingly applied in several fields, such as optical systems, precision measurement, and microfluid chips. Microstructures include microgrooves, microprisms, and microlenses. This paper presents an overview of optical microstructure fabrication through glass molding and highlights the applications of optical microstructures in mold fabrication and glass molding. The glass-mold interface friction and adhesion are also discussed. Moreover, the latest advancements in glass molding technologies are detailed, including new mold materials and their fabrication methods, viscoelastic constitutive modeling of glass, and microstructure molding process, as well as ultrasonic vibration-assisted molding technology.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Shang GAO, Han HUANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 18-32. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0410-9

    Device miniaturization is an emerging advanced technology in the 21st century. The miniaturization of devices in different fields requires production of micro- and nano-scale components. The features of these components range from the sub-micron to a few hundred microns with high tolerance to many engineering materials. These fields mainly include optics, electronics, medicine, bio-technology, communications, and avionics. This paper reviewed the recent advances in micro- and nano-machining technologies, including micro-cutting, micro-electrical-discharge machining, laser micro-machining, and focused ion beam machining. The four machining technologies were also compared in terms of machining efficiency, workpiece materials being machined, minimum feature size, maximum aspect ratio, and surface finish.

  • EDITORIAL
    Zhuangde JIANG,Dongming GUO
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 1-2. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-017-0445-y
  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Zhigang DONG, Qian ZHANG, Haijun LIU, Renke KANG, Shang GAO
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-020-0624-0

    Taping is often used to protect patterned wafers and reduce fragmentation during backgrinding of silicon wafers. Grinding experiments using coarse and fine resin-bond diamond grinding wheels were performed on silicon wafers with tapes of different thicknesses to investigate the effects of taping on peak-to-valley (PV), surface roughness, and subsurface damage of silicon wafers after grinding. Results showed that taping in backgrinding could provide effective protection for ground wafers from breakage. However, the PV value, surface roughness, and subsurface damage of silicon wafers with taping deteriorated compared with those without taping although the deterioration extents were very limited. The PV value of silicon wafers with taping decreased with increasing mesh size of the grinding wheel and the final thickness. The surface roughness and subsurface damage of silicon wafers with taping decreased with increasing mesh size of grinding wheel but was not affected by removal thickness. We hope the experimental finding could help fully understand the role of taping in backgrinding.