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112 Int. J. Machining and Machinability of Materials, Vol. 7, Nos.

1/2, 2010

A study on optimisation of cutting parameters and


prediction of surface roughness in end milling of
aluminium under MQL machining

K. Sundara Murthy
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Jayam College of Engineering and Technology,
Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu, India
E-mail: profksm@gmail.com

I. Rajendran*
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology,
Udumalai Road, Pollachi, Tamilnadu, India
E-mail: irus_rajendran@yahoo.co.in
*Corresponding author

Abstract: The aim of this study is to find the influence of cutting parameters
on surface roughness and optimum conditions for better surface quality in end
milling of aluminium 6063 under minimum quantity lubrication (MQL). The
most important parameters like cutting speed, depth of cut and feed rate are
considered. Taguchi experimental design method is applied to conduct the
experiments. This study also attempts to develop models to predict surface
roughness. Multiple regression and artificial neural network (ANN) techniques
are applied to predict the surface roughness. The results of the prediction
models are quite close with experiment values. ANOVA is carried out and the
influence of cutting parameters on surface roughness is found. The feed rate is
the most dominant factor in influencing surface roughness. The results also
show that the highest cutting speed, medium feed rate and medium depth of cut
produces lowest surface roughness. This study provides the optimum cutting
conditions for end milling of aluminium 6063 under minimum quantity
lubrication machining.

Keywords: optimisation; cutting parameters; surface roughness; ANOVA;


artificial neural network; ANN; multiple regression; end milling; Taguchi
method; minimum quantity lubrication; MQL.

Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Sundara Murthy, K. and


Rajendran, I. (2010) A study on optimisation of cutting parameters and
prediction of surface roughness in end milling of aluminium under MQL
machining, Int. J. Machining and Machinability of Materials, Vol. 7,
Nos. 1/2, pp.112128.

Biographical notes: K. Sundara Murthy is working as an Assistant Professor


in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jayam College of Engineering
and Technology, Dharmapuri, India. He received his Bachelors in Mechanical
Engineering from Madras University, India in 2000 and his Masters in
CAD/CAM from Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, India in 2002. He
has published eight papers in national and international conferences and

Copyright 2010 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.


A study on optimisation of cutting parameters 113

organised national conferences on recent trends in mechanical engineering.


His research interests include machining studies, CAD/CAM, mechatronics,
CIM and robotics. He is a Life Member of the Indian Society for Technical
Education (ISTE).

I. Rajendran is a Professor and Head in the Department of Mechanical


Engineering, Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology,
Pollachi, India. He received his BE in Mechanical Engineering and ME in
Engineering Design from the College of Engineering, Guindy, Anna
University, Chennai, India, in 1991 and 1994, respectively, and his PhD in
composite leaf spring from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, India, in
2001. His research interests include composite materials, design optimisation,
finite element analysis, machining and vibration analysis. He organised
international and national conferences in the area of materials and mechanical
engineering.

1 Introduction

In manufacturing techniques, metal cutting is one of the most important processes. Lee
and Lin (2000) and Hayajneh et al. (2007) considered milling is the primary and most
widely used metal cutting process in manufacturing industry. The challenging and
competitive global market demands the manufacturing industries for high quality
products with low cost. Surface roughness is one of the prominent factors in assessment
of quality of products. The selection of cutting conditions is absolutely necessary in a
machining process. Aggarwal and Singh (2005) indicated that for economic machining
operations, optimum cutting parameters like cutting speed, feed rate and depth of cut
should be selected. They also reviewed various optimisation techniques including latest
techniques like fuzzy logic, scatter search technique, genetic algorithm, Taguchi
technique and response surface methodology. Surface roughness influences on functional
aspects like reflection, friction, wear, etc. Shibendu Shekhar (2006) pointed out that the
formation of surface finish is a complex mechanism and the necessity of simulation
system to predict the surface finish.
Many researchers attempted to model a system to predict the surface roughness.
Suresh et al. (2002) used surface response methodology to estimate the surface roughness
and genetic algorithm to optimise the mathematical model. Samanta et al (2008)
presented surface roughness prediction models using soft computing techniques artificial
neural network (ANN) and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS).
El-Mounayri et al. (2003) utilised particle swarm optimisation (PSO) technique for
modelling surface roughness in end milling. Daniel Kirby et al. (2004) developed
in-process surface roughness prediction system using multiple regression technique for
turning operation. Sidda Reddy et al. (2008) build surface roughness prediction model in
both multiple regression and artificial neural network. Kumanan et al. (2008) proposed
two different hybrid intelligent techniques, adaptive ANFIS and radial basis function
neural network-fuzzy logic (RBFNN-FL) for the prediction of surface roughness in end
milling. Yang and Chen (2001) adopted Taguchi parameter design to find the optimum
surface roughness performance with a particular combination of cutting parameters in an
end milling operation.
114 K. Sundara Murthy and I. Rajendran

Huang and Chen (2001) developed a model to predict in-process surface roughness
during turning operation using multiple regressions. Abdullah et al. (2008) computed
surface roughness analytically and found the sensitivity of cutting parameters on surface
roughness. Bagci and Aykut (2006) applied Taguchi optimisation method for optimum
surface roughness for CNC face milling. Say and Bouzid (2005) predicted surface
roughness for up-face milling analytically and verified experimentally. Karpat and Ozel
(2007) proposed a neural network model with dynamic-neighbourhood particle swarm
technique to solve multi objective optimisation problem like minimising surface
roughness and maximising tool life. The literature review shows that there is a lesser
amount of investigations made on optimisation and prediction of surface roughness under
MQL machining. This study determines the optimum cutting condition for minimum
surface roughness and the influence of cutting parameters on the surface roughness in end
milling of aluminium under MQL machining. The surface roughness is also predicted
using multiple regressions and ANN and the results are evaluated.

Figure 1 Surface characteristic and terminology

Waviness Lay
(direction of
dominant pattern)

Roughness

Roughness
spacing
Waviness Profile
Spacing

2 Surface roughness

The Figure 1 given by British Standard (1972) describes the terminologies used to
identify surface characteristics. Roughness is produced by surface forming process. It can
be defined as mean height of closely spaced peaks and valleys in a sample length or
arithmetic value of the departure of the profile from centreline along the sampling length
and denoted by Ra. Ozcelik et al. (2005) expressed the roughness by mathematical
equation,
1L
Ra = y ( x) dx (1)
L0
A study on optimisation of cutting parameters 115

where
Ra The arithmetic average deviation from the mean line
y The ordinate of the profile curve
L Sampling length of specimen
The Figure 2 presented by Bajic et al. (2008) describes factors influencing surface
roughness.

Figure 2 Fishbone diagram factors influencing surface roughness

Machining
Parameters

Process Kinematics
Cooling fluids
Cutting Tool
properties stepover
Tool material
Depth of cut
Runout error Tool angle
Tool shape
Feed rate
Nose radius Cutting speed Surface
Roughness
Acceleration
Work Piece Diameter
work piece
length Vibrations
Hardness
Chip formation

fricition in the cutting


cutting force zone
Work varation
piece

Cutting
phenomena

3 Taguchi method

Taguchi method helps in designing a product or process with the objective of building
quality into it.
Zhang et al. (2007) presented the sequential steps of Taguchi design and are shown in
Figure 3. The Taguchi design procedure is grouped under system design, parameter
design and tolerance design. In system design, technical knowledge is utilised to
determine the initial design which gives the desired functional performance. Parametric
design step determines the optimum nominal values of the design parameters. In the
tolerance design, the suitable tolerances for the parameters are identified. Arun et al.
(2006) indicated orthogonal array (OA) and the signal to noise (S/N) ratio are the two
116 K. Sundara Murthy and I. Rajendran

significant tools used in Taguchi method. Orthogonal arrays are factorial designs and
help to determine the main factor effects in a small number of experimental trials. S/N
ratio is an indicator of quality and help to evaluate the effect of design parameters on
products performance. The term signal expresses the desirable value of output
parameter, i.e., mean and the term noise express the undesirable value which means
standard deviation of output parameter. The output parameter denotes the experimental
values. Taguchi method provides efficient and experiment based model to optimise the
design parameters.

Figure 3 Taguchi procedure

Determine Suitable Working


System Design levels of the design factors

select proper orthogonal array


(OA)

Run Experiments

Parameter Design Analyze Data

Identify optimum condition

Confirmation runs

Determine the results of parameter design


Tolerance Design by Tightening the Tolerance of the
Significant Factors

4 Experiment design and procedure

The cutting speed, feed rate and depth of cut are three cutting parameters influencing the
surface roughness significantly. Astakhov (2006) pointed out that the selected factors
should have direct influence on objective or response and the levels of the factors must be
able to set and maintained accurately during the entire experiments. In this research work,
three parameters were considered and in each parameter, three levels were selected and
listed in Table 1. The three levels of factors were limited by the capacity of the machine
and based on work material, machine rigidity and material removal rate.
A study on optimisation of cutting parameters 117

Table 1 Cutting parameters and their levels

Designation Parameters Level 1 Level 2 Level 3


A Cutting speed (m/min) 14 27 47
B Feed rate (mm/min) 15 28 50
C Depth of cut (mm) 0.8 1.2 1.4

The experiments were conducted on vertical milling machine. The work material was
extruded aluminium 6063 and test specimen dimensions were 100 mm70 mm50 mm.
End milling operation was carried out under the cutting environment of MQL. The
vegetable oil Coolube 2210 EP was applied as coolant in MQL. An oil mist lubricator
was used to supply the oil mist at cutting point. The mist lubricator consists of reservoir
to store the lubricant, mixing chamber to mix air and lubricant and pipe lines to carry the
compressed air to mixing chamber and to carry the mixture of lubricant and air to cutting
point. The lubricant enters the mixing chamber in drops due to air pressure. The
pressurised air (0.3 MPa) which enters the mixing chamber through a separate line makes
the lubricant drops smaller and carries it to cutting point. The flow rate of the mist is
maintained at 0.3 MPa.

Figure 4 Geometry and dimensions of tool holder

Figure 5 Geometry and dimensions of insert

HITACHI AHUL1020R-3 indexable end mill tool of 20 mm was used. Carbide insert
JDMT100308R was used as cutting insert. Three inserts were used in tool holder. The
tool material is JS4140. Coating material on the insert is JX1020 and coating type is
PVD. The geometry and dimensions of tool holder and insert given by Hitachi (2007) are
shown in Figures 4 and 5 respectively,
where
D = 20 mm, L = 110 mm, l = 9 mm, l1 = 30 mm, l2 = 80 mm, d = 20 mm and
A = 11 mm, B = 6.1 mm, T = 3.5 mm, R = 0.8 mm.
118 K. Sundara Murthy and I. Rajendran

Figure 6 Experimental set-up

MQL supply line End mill cutter

Air compressor

MQL supply system

Table 2 Taguchi L9 OA

Exp. no. A B C
1 1 1 1
2 1 2 2
3 1 3 3
4 2 1 2
5 2 2 3
6 2 3 1
7 3 1 3
8 3 2 1
9 3 3 2

The experimental set-up is shown in Figure 6. The surface roughness was measured by
Mitutoyo SJ-201P surface roughness tester. Fractional factorial orthogonal arrays are
experimental designs that require only small number of experimental trials to help
discover main factor effects. Bagchi (1993) recommended that for the factors 24 and
three levels in each factor, the standard L9 OA can be used. Atil and Uner (2000) also
mentioned that the design of experiments provides fewer numbers of necessary
A study on optimisation of cutting parameters 119

experiments than full factorial design and listed the orthogonal arrays for different factor
levels. So the L9 (33) orthogonal array was selected in this study. The experimental layout
of L9 OA is shown in Table 2. The total degrees of freedom (DOF) of cutting parameters
is eight. The output considered in this study was surface roughness. Multiple regression
and artificial neural networks are used to predict the surface roughness. Then the
predicted values are compared with experimental values to validate the prediction
models. ANOVA was applied to determine the influence of cutting parameters on surface
roughness.

5 Surface roughness prediction models

It is necessary to develop the surface roughness prediction models to improve the


machining process. Multiple regression analysis and ANN techniques were used to
predict the surface roughness.

5.1 Multiple regression model

Researchers have shown interest in applying regression analysis to predict surface


roughness from earlier days. Bhattacharyya et al. (1970) predicted surface roughness
using regression analysis. Still, it is one of the commonly used techniques in predicting
the surface roughness. Sidda Reddy et al. (2008) applied the multiple regression analysis
to determine the relationship between the predictor variables and criterion variables.
The proposed regression equations is,

y=0+1X1+2X2+3X3 (2)

where
y = criterion variable (surface roughness)
X1, X2 and X3 = predictor variables (cutting speed, feed rate and depth of cut)
0, 1, 2 and 3 = regression coefficients
The general regression model can be written in matrix notation as,
y=X+ (3)
The solution for the regression coefficients are given by,

b = ( X X ) 1 X y (4)

The matrix is formulated based on the proposed regression equation. It is solved to


compute regression coefficients and these coefficients were used to estimate the surface
roughness. The computed values of regression coefficients are given in the Table 3. The
predicted surface roughness values using regression equation is compared with
experimental values and shown in Table 4.
120 K. Sundara Murthy and I. Rajendran

Table 3 Regression coefficients

Coefficients Values
0 1.69452
1 8.5003E-03
2 8.5781E-03
3 1.9167E-01

Table 4 Comparison of predicted (regression) with experimental values

Experiment number Experimental values (m) Predicted values (m) Error (%)
1 1.693 1.551 8.39
2 1.343 1.586 18.09
3 1.800 1.736 3.56
4 1.260 1.364 8.25
5 1.490 1.437 3.56
6 1.763 1.741 1.25
7 1.233 1.155 6.33
8 1.303 1.382 6.06
9 1.463 1.494 2.12

5.2 ANN model


ANN is one of the most widely used artificial intelligent techniques and has been
successfully employed in optimisation, prediction, image processing, etc. Rajasekaran
and Viyalalakshmi (2006) defined ANN as a data processing system consisting of a large
number of simple highly interconnected processing elements in an architecture inspired
by the structure of the cerebral cortex of the brain. A multilayer network with back
propagation learning algorithm was used in this model. The multilayer model of the
network is shown in Figure 7.
The multi layer ANN model consists of input, hidden and output layers. The topology
and training parameters are given in Table 5. The net input transferred to activation
function is computed by
N
net j = xi wij (5)
j =0

where
xi= ith input, N = number of inputs
wij = weight attached to the link connecting ith input neuron and jth hidden neuron.
A study on optimisation of cutting parameters 121

The sigmoidal activation function is applied in this ANN model. Its output is given by,

(
f net j = ) 1
( neti + )
(6)
1+ e

Figure 7 Multilayer ANN model

W ij W ij
1
1
X1
Y1

2
2
X2

P
N
Xn
Yp
m

Input Layer Hidden Layer Output Layer

Table 5 ANN topology and its training parameters

Parameters Values
Number of input neurons 3
Number of hidden layers 2
Number of neurons in each hidden layer 5
Number of output neuron 1
Momentum factor 0.9
Learning rate 0.6
Number of iterations 160000

The cutting speed, feed rate and depth of cut are three parameters given to input layer. In
this model, the inputs and outputs are normalised to gain better results. To train the ANN
model, six data sets are used. To test the ANN model, five data sets are used. A program
written in C language is used to train, test and predict the surface roughness values. The
results predicted by the developed ANN model are compared with experimental values
and errors are shown in Table 6. From the results, it is clear that the developed model is
trained well and possesses the capability to predict new outcomes from the past trends.
122 K. Sundara Murthy and I. Rajendran

Table 6 Comparison of predicted (ANN) and experimental values

Cutting parameters Surface roughness


S. no. Cutting
Feed rate Depth of
speed Predicted Experimental Error (%)
(mm/min) cut (mm)
(m/min)
1 14 50 1.4 1.82397 1.80000 1.33
2 27 15 1.2 1.28804 1.26000 2.23
3 47 15 1.4 1.25446 1.23333 1.71
4 47 28 0.8 1.31846 1.30333 1.16
5 47 50 1.2 1.41383 1.46333 2.56

6 Results and discussion

6.1 Analysis of variance (ANOVA)


Machining tests were conducted as per the experimental plan given in the Table 2. The
surface roughness was measured in three places over the length of 50 mm. The average
values of surface roughness and S/N ratios are given in Table 7. Arun et al. (2006)
pointed out that the ANOVA can be used to decompose the total variability and to
quantify the effect of parameters on the quality characteristic. So ANOVA was carried
out to find the influence of cutting parameters on the surface roughness. Since the desired
quality characteristic is the smaller the better, S/N ratios are computed by the following
equation given by Zhang et al. (2007).
1 n 2
S / N ratio = 10 log y ij (7)
n i =1
where
yij = response for each trial run and n = number of runs.
Table 7 Experimental values of surface roughness

Experiment Experimental values (m)


S/N ratio
number 1 2 3 Average
1 1.8 1.64 1.64 1.69 4.5834
2 1.22 1.21 1.58 1.34 2.5918
3 1.79 1.8 1.81 1.80 5.1055
4 1.3 1.21 1.27 1.26 2.0112
5 1.57 1.46 1.44 1.49 3.4701
6 1.89 1.8 1.6 1.76 4.9471
7 1.16 1.34 1.2 1.23 1.8385
8 1.06 1.47 1.38 1.30 2.3795
9 1.39 1.41 1.59 1.46 3.3232
A study on optimisation of cutting parameters 123

The contribution percentage indicates the significant effect of parameters on surface


roughness and is given in the Table 8. F ratio test have been performed to find the
significance of cutting parameters. At 95% confidence level F2, 8 = 4.46. The calculated
value of the F ratio of feed rate and cutting speed is more than the tabulated value. This
shows the feed rate is highly significant and the cutting speed is significant on roughness.
It shows that the highest value of contribution percentage (42.47%) is for feed rate. So
the feed rate is the most influencing parameter on surface finish. The cutting speed
(29.80%) is having more influence on surface roughness than the depth of cut (21.15%).
The contribution percentage is also illustrated in the Figure 8.
The S/N ratio and roughness response at each level is reported in Tables 9 and 10.
From the result it clears that the feed rate is the most influencing factor and cutting speed
is the next one.

Table 8 ANOVA of surface roughness

Factors Sum of squares Degree of Variance F ratio % contribution


freedom
Cutting
3.803316393 2 1.9016582 4.5354898 29.80
speed
Feed rate 5.419815936 2 2.709908 6.4631804 42.47
Depth of cut 2.699774663 2 1.3498873 3.2195062 21.15
Error 0.838567945 2 0.419284 - 6.57
Total 12.76 8 100

Figure 8 Percentage contributions of parameters

Error
6.57%
Cutting speed
Depth of cut 29.80%
21.15%

Feed rate
42.47%
124 K. Sundara Murthy and I. Rajendran

Table 9 S/N ratio response at each level

Parameter S/N ratio


Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Max-min Rank
Cutting speed 4.09 3.48 2.51 1.58 2
Feed rate 2.81 2.81 4.46 1.65 1
Depth of cut 3.97 2.64 3.47 1.33 3

Table 10 Roughness response at each level

Parameter Surface roughness


Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Max-min Rank
Cutting speed 1.61 1.50 1.33 0.28 2
Feed rate 1.40 1.38 1.68 0.30 1
Depth of cut 1.59 1.35 1.51 0.24 3

Figure 9 illustrates the S/N ratio and roughness responses for each parameter at each
level. The Figure 9(a) shows that the increase in cutting speed decreases surface
roughness. The highest cutting speed produces lowest surface roughness. Whenever the
feed rate is increased from 15 mm/min to 28 mm/min the surface roughness decreases
slightly but when it is varied from 28 mm/min to 50 mm/min, it increases the surface
roughness significantly. The Figure 9(b) shows that the medium (28 mm/min) feed rate
produces lowest surface roughness. Depth of cut is also having significant influence on
surface roughness. The Figure 9(c) indicates that whenever the depth of cut is increased
from 0.8 mm to 1.2 mm, the surface roughness is decreased. But further rise in depth of
cut causes increase in roughness.

Figure 9 Response graphs for each parameter, (a) Parameter: cutting speed; (b) Parameter: feed
rate; and (c) Parameter: depth of cut

0 1.7
Level1 Level2 Level3
-1 1.6
Surface roughness
S/N ratio

-2 1.5

-3 1.4

-4 1.3

-5 1.2

S/N ratio Surface roughness

(a)
A study on optimisation of cutting parameters 125

Figure 9 Response graphs for each parameter, (a) Parameter: cutting speed; (b) Parameter: feed
rate; and (c) Parameter: depth of cut (continued)

0 2
Level1 Level2 Level3

Surface roughness
-1 1.6
S/N ratio

-2 1.2

-3 0.8

-4 0.4

-5 0

S/N ratio Surface roughness

(b)

0 2
Level1 Level2 Level3
-1 1.6

-2 1.2

-3 0.8

-4 0.4

-5 0

S/N ratio Surface roughness

(c)

7 Confirmation runs

After finding the optimum cutting parameters for minimum surface roughness it is
verified by confirmation runs. Confirmation run is the last step in parameter design
suggested by Taguchi. Five tests were conducted at cutting speed 47 m/min, feed rate 28
mm/min and depth of cut 1.2 mm which are the optimum cutting conditions determined
in this work. The results of confirmation runs are given in Table 11. The mean of surface
roughness of confirmation runs is 1.198 m which is the lowest surface roughness value.
Hence, the confirmation runs reveal that the determined optimum cutting conditions
produces optimum surface roughness.
126 K. Sundara Murthy and I. Rajendran

Table 11 Surface roughness values of confirmation runs

Confirmation runs Surface roughness (m)


1 1.21
2 1.20
3 1.18
4 1.21
5 1.19
Mean 1.198

8 Conclusions

This study has presented the investigations on the effects of cutting parameters on surface
roughness during end milling of aluminium 6063 under MQL cutting condition.
Experiments were conducted and the surface roughness was measured. Prediction of
surface roughness was made by regression analysis and ANN techniques. The predicted
values are compared with experimental values to validate the models. ANOVA was
applied and percentage contribution of each parameter on surface roughness was found.
From this study, the following conclusions can be made.
During end milling of aluminium 6063 under MQL machining, the feed rate is the
dominant factor in influencing surface roughness. Cutting speed is the next
influencing factor. Depth of cut is having least influence on surface roughness when
compare with feed rate and cutting speed.
The highest cutting speed (47 m/min), medium feed rate (28 mm/min) and medium
depth of cut (1.2 mm) produces lowest surface roughness.
The developed multiple regression model gives satisfactory results in many
predictions.
The ANN model predicted the surface roughness for MQL cutting condition with an
accuracy of 2.56%. The results attained from ANN model gives better agreement
with experimental values than multiple regression.
In this study, MQL machining is employed which is the best choice to eliminate or
reduce the adverse impacts of cutting fluids. By minimising the utilisation of cutting
fluids, the machining cost can be reduced.
Moreover, the coolant used in MQL is vegetable oil which is biodegradable,
non-toxic and non-hazardous. So MQL provides effective, economical and
environmental friendly machining solution.

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to Unijet Corporation, Coimbatore, India for providing facilities
to carry out this research work.
A study on optimisation of cutting parameters 127

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