A fundamental investigation is reported on the mechanics of the bore honing process. An experimental test rig was developed consisting of a honing machine instrumented with sensors to measure spindle power, expansion pressure, and honing head displacement and interfaced to a computer for data acquisition and analysis. Experimental results are presented, which show the effects of applied normal force and grit size on the power, removal rate, specific energy, stone wear, honing ratio, and surface roughness for honing of cast iron bores with silicon carbide abrasive stones. Considerable variability in honing behavior was observed due to stone inconsistency and differences in stone properties from different manufactures, but the results are reasonably consistent when cross-plotted versus removal rate rather than applied normal force. Slower removal rates, obtained with smaller applied normal forces and effectively harder stones, resulted in relatively less stone wear and smoother surfaces, and finer abrasive grit sizes led to relatively more stone wear and smoother surfaces. An analysis of the results indicates that the forces and specific energy associated with the process can be separated into chip formation, plowing, and sliding components, which is similar to what is found for grinding processes.

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