In this study, micro-laser assisted machining (μ-LAM) technique is used to perform scratch test on a granite sample. Rocks are generally considered as brittle materials with poor machinability and severe fracture can be resulted when trying to cut them due to their low fracture toughness. Due to increasing demand for these materials in industry with many applications, finding a fast and cost effective process with higher product quality seems essential. In past research in our research group, it has been demonstrated that machining of brittle materials such as semiconductors and ceramics in ductile regime is possible due to the high pressure phase transformation (HPPT) occurring in the material caused by the high compressive and shear stresses induced by a single point diamond tool tip. Scratch tests were performed on the granite sample and to further augment the process, traditional cutting is coupled with the laser to soften the material and get the higher depth of cut. In this research, results of scratch tests done on granite, with and without laser heating have been compared. The effect of laser heating was studied by verifying the depths of cuts for scratch tests with varying the laser power during the process. Microscopic images and three-dimensional profiles of cuts taken by using a white light interferometer were investigated. Results show that using laser can increase depth of cut and with 15 W laser power it is increased — for different regions of granite sample — from 25% to 95%.

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