Materials such as glass and silicon dioxide have seen increased applications due to their advantageous properties including high strength and corrosion resistance. However, machining these materials are challenging due to their hard and brittle nature. Even though techniques such as abrasive jet machining have improved machining quality, they typically suffer from low productivity and poor surface integrity with subsurface cracks. This study focuses primarily on attaining high quality machined surface free from sub-surface cracks on BK7 samples by inducing microcracks on to the material. The hypothesis is that microcracks induced by femtosecond laser would synergistically assist the material removal process by weakening the material layer to be removed. As the first phase of research, the cracks are initiated starting from the material surface. Results show that machining laser-treated samples leads to on average 75% force reduction in comparison with machining untreated samples. Laser treated machined samples are produced without subsurface damages, and reduced tool wear is also noted.

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