The machinability of titanium alloy thin-wall parts in cooling minimum quantity lubrication (CMQL) environments

Ge Wu, Xuanyu Mao, Wencheng Pan, Guangxian Li, Songlin Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The machining of thin-wall components made of titanium alloys is challenging because the poor machinability of the material leads to severe problems such as accelerated tool wear and poor surface quality, while the weak rigidity of the thin-wall structure results in unavoidable vibration and surface form errors. To address these issues, this paper investigated the mechanisms and performance of cooling minimum quantity lubrication (CMQL) in milling titanium thin-wall parts. To verify the efficiency of CMQL, different cooling/lubrication strategies, including conventional flood cooling, minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) and CMQL with different temperature levels, were investigated. The cutting force, tool wear state, chip formation, surface integrity, and surface form errors were compared and analysed in detail. The experiment results show that MQL is inadequate at higher spindle speeds due to its ineffective cooling capacity and weakened lubrication ability. In contrast, CMQL has demonstrated its feasibility and superiority in milling titanium thin-wall parts under all conditions. The outcomes indicate that a lower temperature level of CMQL is advantageous to producing better wear resistance and lower thermomechanical loads, and the CMQL (− 15 ºC) machining environment can remarkably improve the overall machining performance and control the surface form errors of the machined thin-wall parts. At the spindle speed of 3000 rpm, the surface roughness measured under CMQL (− 15 °C) condition is reduced by 16.53% and 23.46%, the deflection value is decreased by 54.74% and 36.99%, while the maximum thickness error is about 53.51% and 20.56% smaller in comparison to flood cooling and MQL machining. In addition, CMQL is an economical and sustainable cooling/lubrication strategy; the outcomes of this work can provide the industry with useful guidance for high-quality machining of thin-wall components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2875-2895
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Issue number7-8
Early online date19 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

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