Zirconia ceramics which are sometimes called “ceramic steel” have gained significant interest because of their excellent properties. However, it is desired to maintain the surface quality while increasing the economics of ceramics grinding process. A hybrid laser/grinding (HLG) process was utilized to grind zirconia ceramics which was irradiated with continuous wave laser before grinding in the hybrid process. The feasibility of hybrid laser/grinding of zirconia ceramics was investigated in terms of grinding force and energy, material removal, and damage formation mechanisms. The results show that laser irradiation can induce lateral cracks, which can help material removal and prevent further crack propagating into the base. The results of grinding tests indicate that grinding force and energy decrease significantly as compared with conventional grinding of ceramics. The combinations of the fractured area, the plowing striations, and seldom debris on the ground surfaces in this work indicate the combined material removal mechanism of both brittle mode and ductile mode.

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