Examination of the Material Removal Rate in Lapping Polycrystalline Diamond Compacts



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This study examines the lapping machining process used during the manufacturing of polycrystalline diamond compacts (PDCs). More specifically, it is aimed at improving the productivity of the process by developing a better understanding of the parameters that affect the material removal rate (MRR) and MRR uniformity of lapped PDC samples.

Experiments that focused on several controllable lapping parameters were performed to determine to what extent they affected the process. It was determined that the MRR can be modeled with the Preston equation under certain ranges of pressure and speed. It was also found that using a hard and rigid sample holder produces higher MRRs than soft and flexible sample holders. The results have also shown that MRRs in excess of 300 micrometers per hour can be achieved while using 10 grams of diamond abrasive per PDC per hour of lapping. The productivity of the lapping process can also be improved by placing the maximum allowed PDC samples in a concentric circle on the edge of the sample holder. The MRR uniformity between samples lapped on the same sample holder was found to be dependent on the sample holder material.

This thesis is composed of six chapters. The first chapter introduces the need for PDC's as extreme cutting tools, the manufacturing process of PDC's, and the lapping process. The second chapter discusses the motivation behind this research and the primary objectives that were established. The third chapter details the materials and the experimental procedure, and the fourth chapter presents the results. The fifth chapter discusses the results, and the sixth chapter presents conclusions and information on possible future work.