Proceedings PaperMagnetorheological fluid template for basic studies of mechanical-chemical effects during polishing
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We developed a new magnetorheological (MR) fluid for studying the relative contributions of mechanics and chemistry in polishing hard materials. The base carrier fluid is a mixture of two non-aqueous liquids. At conventional carbonyl iron (CI) magnetic particle concentrations, removal rates with this formulation were unacceptably low for the polycrystalline optical ceramic aluminum oxynitride (ALON). We overcame this problem by creating a high magnetic solids concentration suspension consisting of a blend of large and small CI particles. Our test bed for experiments was a magnetorheological finishing (MRF) spot-taking machine (STM) that can only polish spots into a non-rotating part. We demonstrated that, using this new MR fluid formulation, we could substantially increase peak removal rates on ALON with small additions of nonmagnetic, nanodiamond abrasives. Material removal with this fluid was assumed to be predominately driven by mechanics. With the addition of small amounts of DI water to the base fluid containing nanodiamonds, the peak removal rate showed an additional increase, presumably due to the altered fluid rheology and possibly chemical interactions. It is possible, however, that this result is due to increased fluid viscosity as well. Interestingly, the microtexture on the surfaces of the ALON grains (albeit-two different ALON parts) showed distinctly different features when spotted with nanodiamonds or with nanodiamonds and water, and an understanding of this phenomenon is the goal of future work. In this paper we describe the difficult fluid viscosity issues that were addressed in creating a viable, high removal rate, non-aqueous MR fluid template that could be pumped in the STM for several days of experiments.