AISI 5140 steel is mostly used in gear manufacturing for variety of industries. Those gears can be manufactured via casting, powder metallurgy or forging techniques. Nevertheless, machining (via turning and milling processes) remains the most common manufacturing method to fabricate them. Milling of gears made from 5140 steel can be challenging due to the excessive energy consumption, rapid tool wear and poor surface finish. Therefore, traditional and environmentally friendly coolants are usually applied during machining to improve the surface finish and prolong tool life. The current study aims to investigate machinability performance of 5140 steel under different cooling/lubrication conditions. Several machinability metrics were investigated and analyzed (surface roughness, cutting temperature, tool wear, chip morphology, and energy consumption). Milling tests were performed under different cutting speeds (75 and 100 m/min), different feed rates (0.15 and 0.2 mm/rev) and dry, minimum quantity lubrication (MQL), and cryogenic liquid cooling/lubrication conditions (dry, MQL and cryo-LN2). The results showed that using Cryo-LN2 cooling/lubrication tended to improve all the investigated machinability metrics compared to dry condition. The surface roughness was reduced by approximately 54%, while the cutting temperature was reduced by 87%. Similarity, the cutting tool flank wear was reduced by 20% thus energy consumption was minimized by 15%. The current study shows the importance of cryogenic machining in industry for difficult to cut materials.
- AISI 5140
- CNC milling
- gear manufacturing
- minimum quantity lubrication (MQL)