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    Nannan GUO, Ming C. LEU
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2013, 8(3): 215-243.

    Additive manufacturing (AM) technology has been researched and developed for more than 20 years. Rather than removing materials, AM processes make three-dimensional parts directly from CAD models by adding materials layer by layer, offering the beneficial ability to build parts with geometric and material complexities that could not be produced by subtractive manufacturing processes. Through intensive research over the past two decades, significant progress has been made in the development and commercialization of new and innovative AM processes, as well as numerous practical applications in aerospace, automotive, biomedical, energy and other fields. This paper reviews the main processes, materials and applications of the current AM technology and presents future research needs for this technology.

    Pai ZHENG, Honghui WANG, Zhiqian SANG, Ray Y. ZHONG, Yongkui LIU, Chao LIU, Khamdi MUBAROK, Shiqiang YU, Xun XU
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2018, 13(2): 137-150.

    Information and communication technology is undergoing rapid development, and many disruptive technologies, such as cloud computing, Internet of Things, big data, and artificial intelligence, have emerged. These technologies are permeating the manufacturing industry and enable the fusion of physical and virtual worlds through cyber-physical systems (CPS), which mark the advent of the fourth stage of industrial production (i.e., Industry 4.0). The widespread application of CPS in manufacturing environments renders manufacturing systems increasingly smart. To advance research on the implementation of Industry 4.0, this study examines smart manufacturing systems for Industry 4.0. First, a conceptual framework of smart manufacturing systems for Industry 4.0 is presented. Second, demonstrative scenarios that pertain to smart design, smart machining, smart control, smart monitoring, and smart scheduling, are presented. Key technologies and their possible applications to Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing systems are reviewed based on these demonstrative scenarios. Finally, challenges and future perspectives are identified and discussed.

    Bo SONG,Xiao ZHAO,Shuai LI,Changjun HAN,Qingsong WEI,Shifeng WEN,Jie LIU,Yusheng SHI
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2015, 10(2): 111-125.

    Selective laser melting (SLM), as one of the additive manufacturing technologies, is widely investigated to fabricate metal parts. In SLM, parts are manufactured directly from powders in a layer-by-layer fashion; SLM also provides several advantages, such as production of complex parts with high three-dimensional accuracy, compared with other additive manufacturing technologies. Therefore, SLM can be applied in aeronautics, astronautics, medicine, and die and mould industry. However, this technique differs from traditional methods, such as casting and forging; for instance, the former greatly differs in terms of microstructure and properties of products. This paper summarizes relevant studies on metal material fabrication through SLM. Based on a work completed in Huazhong Univ. Sci Tech., Rapid Manuf. Center (HUST-RMC) and compared with characteristics described in other reported studies, microstructure, properties, dimensional accuracy, and application of SLM are presented.

    Kailong LIU, Kang LI, Qiao PENG, Cheng ZHANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2019, 14(1): 47-64.

    Batteries have been widely applied in many high-power applications, such as electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles, where a suitable battery management system (BMS) is vital in ensuring safe and reliable operation of batteries. This paper aims to give a brief review on several key technologies of BMS, including battery modelling, state estimation and battery charging. First, popular battery types used in EVs are surveyed, followed by the introduction of key technologies used in BMS. Various battery models, including the electric model, thermal model and coupled electro-thermal model are reviewed. Then, battery state estimations for the state of charge, state of health and internal temperature are comprehensively surveyed. Finally, several key and traditional battery charging approaches with associated optimization methods are discussed.

    Yoram KOREN, Xi GU, Weihong GUO
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2018, 13(2): 121-136.

    Reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMSs), which possess the advantages of both dedicated serial lines and flexible manufacturing systems, were introduced in the mid-1990s to address the challenges initiated by globalization. The principal goal of an RMS is to enhance the responsiveness of manufacturing systems to unforeseen changes in product demand. RMSs are cost-effective because they boost productivity, and increase the lifetime of the manufacturing system. Because of the many streams in which a product may be produced on an RMS, maintaining product precision in an RMS is a challenge. But the experience with RMS in the last 20 years indicates that product quality can be definitely maintained by inserting in-line inspection stations. In this paper, we formulate the design and operational principles for RMSs, and provide a state-of-the-art review of the design and operations methodologies of RMSs according to these principles. Finally, we propose future research directions, and deliberate on how recent intelligent manufacturing technologies may advance the design and operations of RMSs.

    Peng ZHAO, Haibing GU, Haoyang MI, Chengchen RAO, Jianzhong FU, Lih-sheng TURNG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2018, 13(1): 107-119.

    Tissue engineering (TE) is an integrated discipline that involves engineering and natural science in the development of biological materials to replace, repair, and improve the function of diseased or missing tissues. Traditional medical and surgical treatments have been reported to have side effects on patients caused by organ necrosis and tissue loss. However, engineered tissues and organs provide a new way to cure specific diseases. Scaffold fabrication is an important step in the TE process. This paper summarizes and reviews the widely used scaffold fabrication methods, including conventional methods, electrospinning, three-dimensional printing, and a combination of molding techniques. Furthermore, the differences among the properties of tissues, such as pore size and distribution, porosity, structure, and mechanical properties, are elucidated and critically reviewed. Some studies that combine two or more methods are also reviewed. Finally, this paper provides some guidance and suggestions for the future of scaffold fabrication.

    Waseem AKHTAR,Jianfei SUN,Pengfei SUN,Wuyi CHEN,Zawar SALEEM
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2014, 9(2): 106-119.

    Nickel based super-alloys are widely employed in aircraft engines and gas turbines due to their high temperature strength, corrosion resistance and, excellent thermal fatigue properties. Conversely, these alloys are very difficult to machine and cause rapid wear of the cutting tool, frequent tool changes are thus required resulting in low economy of the machining process. This study provides a detailed review of the tool wear mechanism in the machining of nickel based super-alloys. Typical tool wear mechanisms found by different researchers are analyzed in order to find out the most prevalent wear mechanism affecting the tool life. The review of existing works has revealed interesting findings about the tool wear mechanisms in the machining of these alloys. Adhesion wear is found to be the main phenomenon leading to the cutting tool wear in this study.

    Jinhao Qiu, Hao Jiang, Hongli Ji, Kongjun ZHU
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2009, 4(2): 153-159.

    This paper investigates and compares the efficiencies of four different interfaces for vibration-based energy harvesting systems. Among those four circuits, two circuits adopt the synchronous switching technique, in which the circuit is switched synchronously with the vibration. In this study, a simple source-less trigger circuit used to control the synchronized switch is proposed and two interface circuits of energy harvesting systems are designed based on the trigger circuit. To validate the effectiveness of the proposed circuits, an experimental system was established and the power harvested by those circuits from a vibration beam was measured. Experimental results show that the two new circuits can increase the harvested power by factors 2.6 and 7, respectively, without consuming extra power in the circuits.

    Shuncong ZHONG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2019, 14(3): 273-281.

    Terahertz (THz) waves, whose frequencies range between microwave and infrared, are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. A gap exists in THz literature because investigating THz waves is difficult due to the weak characteristics of the waves and the lack of suitable THz sources and detectors. Recently, THz nondestructive testing (NDT) technology has become an interesting topic. This review outlines several typical THz devices and systems and engineering applications of THz NDT techniques in composite materials, thermal barrier coatings, car paint films, marine protective coatings, and pharmaceutical tablet coatings. THz imaging has higher resolution but lower penetration than ultrasound imaging. This review presents the significance and advantages provided by the emerging THz NDT technique.

    Shutian LIU,Quhao LI,Wenjiong CHEN,Liyong TONG,Gengdong CHENG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2015, 10(2): 126-137.

    Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, such as selective laser sintering (SLS) and fused deposition modeling (FDM), have become the powerful tools for direct manufacturing of complex parts. This breakthrough in manufacturing technology makes the fabrication of new geometrical features and multiple materials possible. Past researches on designs and design methods often focused on how to obtain desired functional performance of the structures or parts, specific manufacturing capabilities as well as manufacturing constraints of AM were neglected. However, the inherent constraints in AM processes should be taken into account in design process. In this paper, the enclosed voids, one type of manufacturing constraints of AM, are investigated. In mathematics, enclosed voids restriction expressed as the solid structure is simply-connected. We propose an equivalent description of simply-connected constraint for avoiding enclosed voids in structures, named as virtual temperature method (VTM). In this method, suppose that the voids in structure are filled with a virtual heating material with high heat conductivity and solid areas are filled with another virtual material with low heat conductivity. Once the enclosed voids exist in structure, the maximum temperature value of structure will be very high. Based upon this method, the simply-connected constraint is equivalent to maximum temperature constraint. And this method can be easily used to formulate the simply-connected constraint in topology optimization. The effectiveness of this description method is illustrated by several examples. Based upon topology optimization, an example of 3D cantilever beam is used to illustrate the trade-off between manufacturability and functionality. Moreover, the three optimized structures are fabricated by FDM technology to indicate further the necessity of considering the simply-connected constraint in design phase for AM.

    Kamal JANGRA, Sandeep GROVER, Aman AGGARWAL
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2012, 7(3): 288-299.

    Wire electrical discharge machining (WEDM) is a well known process for generating intricate and complex geometries in hard metal alloys and metal matrix composites with high precision. In present work, intricate machining of WC-5.3%Co composite on WEDM has been reported. Taguchi’s design of experiment has been utilised to investigate the process parameters for four machining characteristics namely material removal rate, surface roughness, angular error and radial overcut. In order to optimize the four machining characteristics simultaneously, grey relational analysis (GRA) coupled with entropy measurement method has been employed. Through GRA, grey relational grade has been computed as a performance index for predicting the optimal parameters setting for multi machining characteristics. Using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) on grey relational grade, significant parameters affecting the multi-machining characteristics has been determined. Confirmatory results prove the potential of present approach.

    Giuseppe CARBONE
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2011, 6(2): 182-196.

    Stiffness can be considered of primary importance in order to guarantee the successful use of any robotic system for a given task. Therefore, this paper proposes procedures for carrying out both numerical and experimental estimations of stiffness performance for multibody robotic systems. The proposed numerical procedure is based on models with lumped parameters for deriving the Cartesian stiffness matrix. Stiffness performance indices are also proposed for comparing stiffness performance. Then, an experimental procedure for the evaluation stiffness performance is proposed as based on a new measuring system named as Milli-CATRASYS (Milli Cassino Tracking System) and on a trilateration technique. Cases of study are reported to show the soundness and engineering feasibility of both the proposed numerical formulation for stiffness analysis and experimental validation of stiffness performance.

    Fakher CHAARI, Mohamed Slim ABBES, Fernando Viadero RUEDA, Alfonso Fernandez del RINCON, Mohamed HADDAR
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2013, 8(1): 88-94.

    Planetary gearboxes operate usually in non-stationary conditions generated mainly by variable loads applied to these transmissions. In order to understand the dynamic behavior of planetary gearboxes in such conditions, a mathematic model is developed including driving unit, transmission and load. The variability of load induces a variable speed of the transmission which is taken into account when characterizing the main dynamic parameter of the transmission which is the mesh stiffness function. This function is not periodic following the variability of the transmission speed. The computation of the dynamic response shows an intimate relation between the vibration amplitude level and the load value. As the load increase the vibration level increase. A combined amplitude and frequency modulation is observed which is well characterized using Short Time Fourier transform more suited than the spectral analysis.

  • Research articles
    Giuseppe CARBONE, Marco CECCARELLI,
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2010, 5(3): 270-278.
    This paper addresses the problem of a numerical evaluation of the stiffness performance for multibody robotic systems. An overview is presented with basic formulation concerning indices that are proposed in literature. New indices are also outlined. Stiffness indices are computed and compared for a case study. Results are used for comparing the effectiveness of the stiffness indices. The main goal is to propose a performance index describing synthetically the elastostatic response of a multibody robotic system and also for design purposes.
    Dehui XU, Yuelin WANG, Bin XIONG, Tie LI
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(4): 557-566.

    In the past decade, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)-based thermoelectric infrared (IR) sensors have received considerable attention because of the advances in micromachining technology. This paper presents a review of MEMS-based thermoelectric IR sensors. The first part describes the physics of the device and discusses the figures of merit. The second part discusses the sensing materials, thermal isolation microstructures, absorber designs, and packaging methods for these sensors and provides examples. Moreover, the status of sensor implementation technology is examined from a historical perspective by presenting findings from the early years to the most recent findings.

    Elijah Kwabena ANTWI, Kui LIU, Hao WANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2018, 13(2): 251-263.

    Brittle materials have been widely employed for industrial applications due to their excellent mecha-nical, optical, physical and chemical properties. But obtaining smooth and damage-free surface on brittle materials by traditional machining methods like grinding, lapping and polishing is very costly and extremely time consuming. Ductile mode cutting is a very promising way to achieve high quality and crack-free surfaces of brittle materials. Thus the study of ductile mode cutting of brittle materials has been attracting more and more efforts. This paper provides an overview of ductile mode cutting of brittle materials including ductile nature and plasticity of brittle materials, cutting mechanism, cutting characteristics, molecular dynamic simulation, critical undeformed chip thickness, brittle-ductile transition, subsurface damage, as well as a detailed discussion of ductile mode cutting enhancement. It is believed that ductile mode cutting of brittle materials could be achieved when both crack-free and no subsurface damage are obtained simultaneously.

    Tianfeng ZHOU,Xiaohua LIU,Zhiqiang LIANG,Yang LIU,Jiaqing XIE,Xibin WANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 46-65.

    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.

    Shang GAO, Han HUANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2017, 12(1): 18-32.

    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.

    Abdelbadia CHAKER, Abdelfattah MLIKA, Med Amine LARIBI, Lotfi ROMDHANE, Sa?d ZEGHLOUL
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2012, 7(2): 150-162.

    This paper deals with the design and the analysis of a spherical parallel manipulator (SPM) for a haptic minimally invasive surgery application. First the medical task was characterized with the help of a surgeon who performed a suture technique called anastomosis. A Vicon system was used to capture the motion of the surgeon, which yielded the volume swept by the tool during the anastomosis operation. The identified workspace can be represented by a cone with a half vertex angle of 26°. A multi objective optimization procedure based on genetic algorithms was then carried out to find the optimal SPM. Two criteria were considered, i.e., task workspace and mechanism dexterity. The optimized SPM was then analyzed to determine the error on the orientation of the end effector as a function of the manufacturing errors of the different links of the mechanism.

    Yingjun WANG,David J. BENSON
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2016, 11(4): 328-343.

    In this paper, an approach based on the fast point-in-polygon (PIP) algorithm and trimmed elements is proposed for isogeometric topology optimization (TO) with arbitrary geometric constraints. The isogeometric parameterized level-set-based TO method, which directly uses the non-uniform rational basis splines (NURBS) for both level set function (LSF) parameterization and objective function calculation, provides higher accuracy and efficiency than previous methods. The integration of trimmed elements is completed by the efficient quadrature rule that can design the quadrature points and weights for arbitrary geometric shape. Numerical examples demonstrate the efficiency and flexibility of the method.

    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2014, 9(2): 177-190.

    In the present paper, three complicated nonlinear differential equations in the field of vibration, which are Vanderpol, Rayleigh and Duffing equations, have been analyzed and solved completely by Algebraic Method (AGM). Investigating this kind of equations is a very hard task to do and the obtained solution is not accurate and reliable. This issue will be emerged after comparing the achieved solutions by numerical method (Runge-Kutte 4th). Based on the comparisons which have been made between the gained solutions by AGM and numerical method, it is possible to indicate that AGM can be successfully applied for various differential equations particularly for difficult ones. The results reveal that this method is not only very effective and simple, but also reliable, and can be applied for other complicated nonlinear problems.

    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2014, 9(3): 270-280.

    An analysis has been performed to study the problem of magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) squeeze flow of an electrically conducting fluid between two infinite, parallel disks. The analytical methods called Homotopy Analysis Method (HAM) and Homotopy Perturbation Method (HPM) have been used to solve nonlinear differential equations. It has been attempted to show the capabilities and wide-range applications of the proposed methods in comparison with a type of numerical analysis as Boundary Value Problem (BVP) in solving this problem. Also, the velocity fields have been computed and shown graphically for various values of physical parameters. The objective of the present work is to investigate the effect of squeeze Reynolds number, Hartmann number and the suction/injection parameter on the velocity field. Furthermore, the results reveal that HAM and HPM are very effective and convenient.

    Syed Ali AJWAD,Jamshed IQBAL,Muhammad Imran ULLAH,Adeel MEHMOOD
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2015, 10(2): 198-210.

    Pressing demands of productivity and accuracy in today’s robotic applications have highlighted an urge to replace classical control strategies with their modern control counterparts. This recent trend is further justified by the fact that the robotic manipulators have complex nonlinear dynamic structure with uncertain parameters. Highlighting the authors’ research achievements in the domain of manipulator design and control, this paper presents a systematic and comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art control techniques that find enormous potential in controlling manipulators to execute cutting-edge applications. In particular, three kinds of strategies, i.e., intelligent proportional-integral-derivative (PID) scheme, robust control and adaptation based approaches, are reviewed. Future trend in the subject area is commented. Open-source simulators to facilitate controller design are also tabulated. With a comprehensive list of references, it is anticipated that the review will act as a first-hand reference for researchers, engineers and industrial-interns to realize the control laws for multi-degree of freedom (DOF) manipulators.

    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2014, 9(1): 75-80.

    In this paper the reliability and performance of a vapour compression refrigeration system with ZnO nanoparticles in the working fluid was investigated experimentally. Nanorefrigerant was synthesized on the basis of the concept of the nanofluids, which was prepared by mixing ZnO nanoparticles with R152a refrigerant. The conventional refrigerant R134a has a global warming potential (GWP) of 1300 whereas R152a has a significant reduced value of GWP of 140 only. An experimental test rig is designed and fabricated indigenously in the laboratory to carry out the investigations. ZnO nanoparticles with refrigerant mixture were used in HFC R152a refrigeration system. The system performance with nanoparticles was then investigated. The concentration of nano ZnO ranges in the order of 0.1% v, 0.3% v and 0.5%v with particle size of 50 nm and 150 g of R152a was charged and tests were conducted. The compressor suction pressure, discharge pressure and evaporator temperature were measured. The results indicated that ZnO nanorefrigerant works normally and safely in the system. The ZnO nanoparticle concentration is an important factor considered for heat transfer enhancement in the refrigeration system. The performance of the system was significantly improved with 21% less energy consumption when 0.5%v ZnO-R152a refrigerant. Both the suction pressure and discharge pressure were lowered by 10.5% when nanorefrigerant was used. The evaporator temperature was reduced by 6% with the use of nanorefrigerant. Hence ZnO nanoparticles could be used in refrigeration system to considerably reduce energy consumption. The usage of R152a with zero ozone depleting potential (ODP) and very less GWP and thus provides a green and clean environment. The complete experimental results and their analysis are reported in the main paper.

    Xuefeng CHEN, Shibin WANG, Baijie QIAO, Qiang CHEN
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2018, 13(2): 264-291.

    Machinery fault diagnosis has progressed over the past decades with the evolution of machineries in terms of complexity and scale. High-value machineries require condition monitoring and fault diagnosis to guarantee their designed functions and performance throughout their lifetime. Research on machinery Fault diagnostics has grown rapidly in recent years. This paper attempts to summarize and review the recent R&D trends in the basic research field of machinery fault diagnosis in terms of four main aspects: Fault mechanism, sensor technique and signal acquisition, signal processing, and intelligent diagnostics. The review discusses the special contributions of Chinese scholars to machinery fault diagnostics. On the basis of the review of basic theory of machinery fault diagnosis and its practical applications in engineering, the paper concludes with a brief discussion on the future trends and challenges in machinery fault diagnosis.

    Wentao YAN, Stephen LIN, Orion L. KAFKA, Cheng YU, Zeliang LIU, Yanping LIAN, Sarah WOLFF, Jian CAO, Gregory J. WAGNER, Wing Kam LIU
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2018, 13(4): 482-492.

    This paper presents our latest work on comprehensive modeling of process-structure-property relationships for additive manufacturing (AM) materials, including using data-mining techniques to close the cycle of design-predict-optimize. To illustrate the process-structure relationship, the multi-scale multi-physics process modeling starts from the micro-scale to establish a mechanistic heat source model, to the meso-scale models of individual powder particle evolution, and finally to the macro-scale model to simulate the fabrication process of a complex product. To link structure and properties, a high-efficiency mechanistic model, self-consistent clustering analyses, is developed to capture a variety of material response. The model incorporates factors such as voids, phase composition, inclusions, and grain structures, which are the differentiating features of AM metals. Furthermore, we propose data-mining as an effective solution for novel rapid design and optimization, which is motivated by the numerous influencing factors in the AM process. We believe this paper will provide a roadmap to advance AM fundamental understanding and guide the monitoring and advanced diagnostics of AM processing.

    Diego CABRERA,Fernando SANCHO,René-Vinicio SÁNCHEZ,Grover ZURITA,Mariela CERRADA,Chuan LI,Rafael E. VÁSQUEZ
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2015, 10(3): 277-286.

    This paper addresses the development of a random forest classifier for the multi-class fault diagnosis in spur gearboxes. The vibration signal’s condition parameters are first extracted by applying the wavelet packet decomposition with multiple mother wavelets, and the coefficients’ energy content for terminal nodes is used as the input feature for the classification problem. Then, a study through the parameters’ space to find the best values for the number of trees and the number of random features is performed. In this way, the best set of mother wavelets for the application is identified and the best features are selected through the internal ranking of the random forest classifier. The results show that the proposed method reached 98.68% in classification accuracy, and high efficiency and robustness in the models.

    Rajesh SIRIYALA, Gopala Krishna ALLURU, Rama Murthy Raju PENMETSA, Muthukannan DURAISELVAM
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2012, 7(3): 279-287.

    Through a pin-on-disc type wear setup, the dry sliding wear behavior of SiC-reinforced aluminum composites produced using the molten metal mixing method was investigated in this paper. Dry sliding wear tests were carried on SiC-reinforced metal matrix composites (MMCs) and its matrix alloy sliding against a steel counter face. Different contact stresses, reinforcement percentages, sliding distances, and sliding velocities were selected as the control variables, and the responses were selected as the wear volume loss (WVL) and coefficient of friction (COF) to evaluate the dry sliding performance. An L25 orthogonal array was employed for the experimental design. Initially, the optimization of the dry sliding performance of the SiC-reinforced MMCs was performed using grey relational analysis (GRA). Based on the GRA, the optimum level parameters for overall grey relational grade in terms of WVL and COF were identified. Analysis of variance was performed to determine the effect of individual factors on the overall grey relational grade. The results indicated that the sliding velocity was the most effective factor among the control parameters on dry sliding wear, followed by the reinforcement percentage, sliding distance, and contact stress. Finally, the wear surface morphology and wear mechanism of the composites were investigated through scanning electron microscopy.

    Biranchi PANDA,A. GARG,Zhang JIAN,Akbar HEIDARZADEH,Liang GAO
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2016, 11(3): 289-298.

    Friction stir welding (FSW) process has gained attention in recent years because of its advantages over the conventional fusion welding process. These advantages include the absence of heat formation in the affected zone and the absence of large distortion, porosity, oxidation, and cracking. Experimental investigations are necessary to understand the physical behavior that causes the high tensile strength of welded joints of different metals and alloys. Existing literature indicates that tensile properties exhibit strong dependence on the rotational speed, traverse speed, and axial force of the tool that was used. Therefore, this study introduces the experimental procedure for measuring tensile properties, namely, ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and tensile elongation of the welded AA 7020 Al alloy. Experimental findings suggest that a welded part with high UTS can be achieved at a lower heat input compared with the high heat input condition. A numerical approach based on genetic programming is employed to produce the functional relationships between tensile properties and the three inputs (rotational speed, traverse speed, and axial force) of the FSW process. The formulated models were validated based on the experimental data, using the statistical metrics. The effect of the three inputs on the tensile properties was investigated using 2D and 3D analyses. A high UTS was achieved, including a rotational speed of 1050 r/min and traverse speed of 95 mm/min. The results also indicate that 8 kN axial force should be set prior to the FSW process.

    Arun KRISHNAN, Fengzhou FANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2019, 14(3): 299-319.

    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.