Silicon carbide (SiC) is one of the advanced engineered ceramics materials designed to operate in extreme environments. One of the main reasons for the choice of this material is due to its excellent electrical, mechanical and optical properties that benefit the semiconductor, MEMS and optoelectronic industry respectively. Manufacture of this material is extremely challenging due to its high hardness, brittle characteristics and poor machinability. Severe fracture can result when trying to machine SiC due to its low fracture toughness. However, from past experience it has been proven that ductile regime machining of silicon carbide is possible. The main goal of the subject research is to improve the surface quality of a chemically vapor deposited (CVD) polycrystalline SiC material to be used in an optics device such as a mirror. Besides improving the surface roughness of the material, the research also emphasized increasing the material removal rate (MRR) and minimizing the diamond tool wear. The surface quality was improved using a Single Point Diamond Turning (SPDT) machining operation from 1158nm to 88nm (Ra) and from 8.49μm to 0.53μm (Rz; peak-to-valley).

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