Free abrasive machining (FAM) processes, such as slicing using slurry wiresaws, lapping, and polishing, are very important manufacturing processes in wafer production for microelectronics fabrication. Since the materials in semiconductor industry are usually brittle, such as silicon, gallium arsenide, ... etc., the FAM processed can provide more gentle machining than the bonded abrasive machining process. Various machining theories and models have been developed to understand those processes. In this paper, the free abrasive machining processes in wafer manufacturing will be discussed in conjunction with the brittle material cracking theory. The modern slurry wire-saw slicing process and lapping process in wafer production will be presented with comparison to abrasive grits, manufacturing process models, characterization of manufacturing mechanisms, and properties of processes.

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