Mechanics of wire saw machining process: experimental analyses and modeling
Wire saw process is widely used to slice many ceramic crystals that are utilized in a wide range of engineering applications ranging from silicon wafers in microelectronics and photovoltaic industries to piezo-crystals for actuators and sonar detectors. The process has a higher yield, lower kerf loss and lower surface damage with respect to inner diameter saw. The wire saw process allows higher diameter and thinner wafer cutting. The process is also used in cutting almost all brittle materials including; ultra-hard carbides, high density or foam ceramics, glasses, sapphire and rocks. Wire saw process represents 30% of the total silicon wafer production cost which directly affects the industry. There is a need to optimize the process by developing models relating process parameters to the out puts.;In this work, we have conducted parametric experimental study on a model wire saw to correlate the process parameters to quality of the machined surface. An automated single wire machine that can allow the variation of the down feed speed, wire speed and wire tension is utilized. Detailed analysis of the cut surface topology is carried out using surface profilomtry and SEM imaging. The detailed parametric study is rationalized in several models that describe the relation between the process parameters and the process induced surface damage. The developed correlation is used to explore the limits of the design space and aid in planning and optimization of the process performance.