Alumina ceramics, due to their excellent properties of high hardness, corrosion resistance and low thermal expansion coefficient, are important industrial materials with a wide range of applications, but these materials also present difficulty in machining with low material removal rates and high tool wear. This study is concerned with laser-assisted machining (LAM) of high weight percentage of alumina ceramics to improve the machinability by a single point cutting tool while reducing the cutting forces. A multi-scale model is developed for simulating the machining of alumina ceramics. In the polycrystalline form, the properties of alumina ceramics are strongly related to the glass interface existing in their microstructure, particularly at high temperatures. The interface is characterized by a cohesive zone model (CZM) with the traction-separation law while the alumina grains are modeled as continuum elements with isotropic properties separated by the interface. Bulk deformation and brittle failure are considered for the alumina grains. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are carried out to obtain the atomistic structures and parameterize traction-separation laws for the interfaces of different compositions of alumina ceramics at high temperatures. The generated parameterized traction-separation laws are then incorporated into a finite element model in Abaqus to simulate the intergranular cracks. For validation purposes, simulated results of the multi-scale approach are compared with the experimental measurements of the cutting forces. The model is successful in predicting cutting forces with respect to the different weight percentage and composition of alumina ceramics at high temperatures in LAM processes.

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