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A Study of Critical Ranges of Cutting Parameters for the Optimization of Surface Quality in Ultra-precision Raster Milling

Authors:

Abstract

This paper describes an experimental investigation of cutting strategy for the optimization of the surface quality in ultra-precision raster milling. Irrespective of work materials and cutting strategies being used, the critical ranges of cutting parameters have been determined through a series of cutting experiments conducted on aluminum alloy and copper alloy. It is interesting to note that there are transition points at which the patterns of surface generation changes with the cutting parameters. This provides an important means for the optimization of the surface quality in ultra-precision raster milling.
A Study of Critical Ranges of Cutting Parameters for the Optimization of
Surface Quality in Ultra-precision Raster Milling
Cheung, C. F.1, a and Cheng, M. N.1, b
1 Partner State Key Laboratory of Ultra-precision Machining Technology, Department of Industrial and
Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
a Benny.Cheung@polyu.edu.hk, b cheng.meina@polyu.edu.hk
Abstract. This paper describes an experimental investigation of cutting strategy for the optimization
of the surface quality in ultra-precision raster milling. Irrespective of work materials and cutting
strategies being used, the critical ranges of cutting parameters have been determined through a series
of cutting experiments conducted on aluminum alloy and copper alloy. It is interesting to note that
there are transition points at which the patterns of surface generation changes with the cutting
parameters. This provides an important means for the optimization of the surface quality in
ultra-precision raster milling.
Keywords: Optimization, Surface Quality, Cutting Strategy, Ultra-precision Raster Milling
Introduction
Ultra-precision raster milling is an emerging manufacturing technology for the fabrication of high
precision and high quality components with surface roughness of less than 10 nm and a form error of
less than 0.2 μm without the need for any additional post-processing. It is frequently employed for the
machining of ductile materials such as aluminum and copper. Moreover, the quality of a raster milled
surface is based on a proper selection of cutting conditions and cutting strategies. Research into
machining processes covers a very wide range, since there are many independent influencing factors
which appear in different machining processes. These factors include the cutting parameters (i.e.
cutting speed, feed rate, depth of cut), material properties, relative vibration between workpiece and
machine tool, tool geometry, etc. Depending on the accuracy and surface finish in accordance with
product specifications, the machining parameters have significant influence on the surface quality of
the machined components and parts.
As a result, the most suitable cutting conditions and cutting strategies for machining operations
should be carefully selected. Ertekin et al. [1] identified the most influential and common sensory
features for dimensional accuracy and surface roughness in CNC milling operations using three types
of material. Furthermore, Dabade et al. [2] discussed an analysis of the cutting process performed
using a face-milling cutter mounted with self-propelled round inserts designed and fabricated in their
work. Wang and Chang [3] analyzed the influence of cutting conditions and tool geometry on surface
roughness during slot end milling. There are many attempts to study the factors affecting the surface
finish in conventional milling operations, and just a few process factors have been investigated.
Moreover, the depth of cut (i.e. minimum cutting thickness) in precision machining has been studied
in different ways by several researchers including Basuray et al. [4], Ikawa et al. [5], Lucca and Seo
[6], Yuan et al. [7], Son et al. [8] and Son et al. [9]. Various studies have been made on the surface
roughness in milling operations using different materials, cutting tools, and experimental methods.
However, the research of nano-surface generation in ultra-precision raster milling has received
relatively little attention as compared to conventional machining processes. Although Cheng et al.
[10] developed the theoretical models and the optimization system to identify the optimal cutting
conditions and derive the best cutting strategy without the need for costly trial and error cutting tests,
this study aims to contribute significantly to the further improvement of the performance of
ultra-precision raster milling process. In this paper, a study of critical ranges of cutting parameters for
the optimization of surface quality has been conducted on aluminum alloy and copper alloy.
Experimental Procedures
In the present study, a series of face cutting tests was conducted on aluminium alloy (i.e. Al6061)
and copper alloy (Chemical Composition in Percentage in Weight of Cu: Balance, Al: 0.24, Fe: 0.20,
Zn: 0.4, and Pb: 0.12.) under various cutting conditions and cutting strategies. Table 1 summarizes
the cutting conditions used in the experiments. Group I to Group VI involve the cutting tests for
studying the effect of spindle speed, feed rate, depth of cut, tool nose radius, swing distance and step
distance on the surface roughness under horizontal and vertical cutting strategies in the
ultra-precision raster milling. In the experiments, the optimization of cutting parameters in
ultra-precision raster milling was studied with respect to the minimum surface roughness criterion.
Hence, the critical range for each cutting parameter was determined.
Table 1 Setting of cutting conditions in the experiment
Group I II III IV V VI
Cutting
Condition Spindle Speed (v) Feed Rate (f) Depth of
Cut (d)
Tool Nose
Radius (r)
Swing
Distance (R)
Step Distance
(
)
v
(rpm) 1000, 2000, 3000,
4000, 5000, 6000 4000 4000 4000 4000 4000
f
(mm/min) 60
20, 40, 60, 80,
100, 120, 140,
160, 180, 200
60 60 60 60
d (m) 3 3 1, 10, 20,
30, 40, 50 3 3 3
r
(mm) 2.54 2.54 2.54 0.78, 1.78, 2.54,
2.79, 3.81 2.54 2.54
R
(mm) 23 23 23 23 23, 28, 33,
35, 38 23
(m) 10 10 10 10 10 10, 20, 30, 40,
50, 60, 70, 80
Results and Discussion
Critical Range of Spindle Speed. According to the normal feed rate of 60 mm/min, spindle speed
from 1000 rpm to 6000 rpm, the tool feed rate is calculated as shown in Table 2. The critical range of
spindle speeds is shown in Fig. 1. According to the results of two work materials in the horizontal
cutting (see Fig. 1 (a)), the Root-Mean-Square (RMS) roughness (Rq) varies slightly (i.e. 15-19 nm)
in spindle speed range from 1000 rpm to 5000 rpm. However, the minimum and maximum values of
Rq (i.e. 13.10 nm and 30.06 nm) on aluminium alloy and copper alloy occurred at the spindle speed of
6000 rpm. The smallest value of Rq on copper alloy was about 16 nm at a spindle speed of 5000 rpm;
the bigger value of Rq on aluminium alloy was nearly 19 nm at spindle speed of 1000 rpm.
With respect to the two work materials, there is a small variation of surface roughness (i.e. 1-2 nm)
among all spindle speeds in vertical cutting (see Fig. 1(b)). Moreover, extreme results are found in the
horizontal cutting in that the smallest surface roughness on aluminum alloy and the largest surface
roughness on copper alloy were also found at spindle speed of 6000 rpm, but they are not found in
vertical cutting. If the spindle speed condition of 6000 rpm in the horizontal cutting is ignored, the
surface roughness tends to be stable (i.e. difference is within 2 nm), with respect to the two work
materials. Moreover, the transition point is only found at the spindle speed of 5000 rpm in the
horizontal cutting of copper alloy.
The results show that spindle speed is not a critical factor affecting surface quality in
ultra-precision raster milling although better surface finish can be achieved with a higher spindle
speed. As a result, the critical range of spindle speed is recommended to be from 1000 rpm to 5000
rpm and a higher spindle speed should be selected, as the tool feed rate decreases with increasing
spindle speed with respect to the minimum surface roughness criterion. Fig. 1 shows the surface
generation for both alloys in the two cutting strategies. Distinctive patterns of surface generation are
observed at the spindle speed of 6000 rpm for both alloys in the horizontal cutting. It is interesting to
note that relatively deeper and larger cusps are found on the raster milled surface for copper alloy
while those on aluminum are relatively smaller and shallower. In the vertical cutting, the patterns of
surface generation at spindle speed between 1000 rpm and 6000 rpm for both alloys are quite similar
and they have approximately the same surface roughness.
Table 2 Tool feed rate under Group B1 condition
Spindle speed (rpm) 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000
Tool feed rate (mm/rev) 0.06 0.03 0.02 0.015 0.012 0.01
Critical Range of Feed Rate. With a normal spindle speed of 4000 rpm and a feed rate which
varies from 20 mm/min to 200 mm/min, the tool feed rate is calculated as shown in Table 3. The
critical range of feed rate on Rq in the horizontal and vertical cutting strategies is shown in Fig. 2(a)
and 2(b), respectively. The Rq for horizontal cutting copper is found to increase significantly (i.e.
maximum value = 77.27 nm) as the feed rate increases from 120 mm/min to 160 mm/min while that
does not occur for aluminium alloy. After the machining under the same cutting conditions for five
times, this phenomenon was still observed. Machine vibration may appear under feed rate conditions
of 120, 140 and 160 mm/min. Further investigation is suggested to be conducted for verifying this
phenomenon. Two transition points are found at the feed rate of 100 mm/min and 180 mm/min in the
horizontal cutting of copper alloy. Moreover, the smallest values of surface roughness on aluminium
alloy are found at the feed rate conditions of 160 mm/min for aluminium alloy and 20 mm/min for
copper alloy, respectively. The largest surface roughness on aluminium alloy is found to be 21 nm at
the feed rate of 100 mm/min. It is interesting note in Fig. 2(b) that the results of the smallest surface
roughness on aluminum alloy and copper alloy in the vertical cutting are similar to that in the
horizontal cutting at feed rates of 160 mm/min and 20 mm/min. It is found that the required time for
cutting aluminium alloy is much shorter than that for copper alloy under the same surface roughness
criterion (i.e. about 10 nm).
With respect to the two work materials, the highest Rq is found at a feed rate of 120 mm/min which
is also a transition point. The results indicate that the feed rate is also not a critical factor affecting the
surface quality in ultra-precision raster milling, although the critical range and some critical points are
found for the optimization of surface roughness. In the horizontal cutting, it is recommended that the
critical range of feed rate be from 20 mm/min to 100 mm/min for copper alloy while that for
aluminium alloy is from 20 mm/min to 200 mm/min. In the vertical cutting, it is recommended the
critical range of feed rate be from 20 mm/min to 200 mm/min for both alloys except at feed rate of
120 mm/min.
Irrespective of the cutting strategies, the critical feed rate is 20 mm/min for copper alloy and 160
mm/min for aluminum alloy with respect to the minimum surface roughness criterion. The patterns of
surface generation for the minimum and the maximum surface roughness for both alloys in two
cutting strategies are shown in Fig. 2. As the minimum surface roughness of two work materials are
compared, the patterns of surface generation are similar at the feed rate of 160 mm/min for copper
alloy, and there are no conspicuous cusp patterns or surface lay found on the raster milled surface of
copper alloy, irrespective of which cutting strategies were used. On the other hand, relatively finer
surface cusps are found at the feed rate of 20 mm/min for aluminum alloys in both cutting strategies.
Table 3 Tool feed rate under Group B2 condition
Feed rate (mm/min) 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Tool feed
r
ate (mm/rev) 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03 0.035 0.04 0.045 0.05
Critical Range of Depth of Cut. With respect to work materials and cutting strategies, the critical
range of depth of cut on surface roughness is shown in Fig. 3(a) and 3(b). In horizontal cutting, the
smaller Rq on cutting aluminum alloy is found at greater depths of cut from 30 m to 50 m. In
contrast, smaller Rq on cutting copper alloy is found at smaller depths of cut from 1 m to 30 m.
Moreover, a significant transition point is found at a depth of cut of 30 m in horizontal cutting of
copper alloy. As a result, larger relative vibration between machine tool and workpiece may be
resulted. As shown in Fig. 3(b), smaller surface roughness is found at a greater depth of cut
irrespective of which work materials are used in the vertical cutting. The smallest value of Rq for both
alloys in the vertical cutting is found at the depth of cut of 50 m. As a result, the critical range in the
horizontal cutting is recommended to be from 30 m to 50 m for aluminium alloy while that for
copper alloy is from 1 m to 30 m. The critical range for both alloys in vertical cutting is
recommended to be from 1 m to 50 m. To meet the minimum surface roughness criterion, the depth
of cut should be selected within the range from 30 m to 50 m except for copper alloy in the
horizontal cutting.
Moreover, the most commonly used depth of cut is found to be 30 m irrespective to work
materials and cutting strategies. Fig. 3 shows the patterns of surface generation for the minimum and
the maxi
patterns o
f
horizontal
Regardles
raster mill
are found
Fi
g
F
F
i
Critica
l
cutting str
0.78 mm)
difference
16 nm as s
similar. A
transition
As a re
s
strategies
horizontal
alloys cut
shows the
oth alloy
patterns fo
Critica
l
the two c
conditions
machine t
m
um surfac
e
f
surface c
u
cutting an
d
s
of the cut
t
e
d surface
w
o
n the mac
h
g
. 1 Critical
r
F
ig. 2 Critic
a
i
g. 3 Critical
r
l
Range of
a
tegies is s
h
irrespecti
v
between al
l
h
own in Fi
g
s
shown in
p
oint is fou
n
s
ult, a tool
n
i
n order to
m
cutting of
c
with the t
w
patterns o
f
s
using the
t
und on any
l
Range of
u
tting strat
e
as summ
a
o
ol and the
e
roughnes
s
u
sps are fo
u
d
50
m in
t
t
ing strateg
i
w
ith the ma
x
h
ined surfa
c
r
ange of spin
d
a
l range of fe
e
r
ange of dep
t
Tool Nose
h
own in Fi
g
v
e to the
w
l
tool nose r
g
. 4(a), resp
Fig. 4(b),
t
n
d in any t
o
n
ose radius
m
ee
t
the mi
n
c
opper allo
y
w
o cutting
s
f
surface ge
t
wo cutting
of the mac
h
Swing Di
s
e
gies is sh
o
a
rized in T
a
geometry
o
s
for both
u
nd for cop
p
t
he vertical
i
es being u
s
x
imum surf
a
c
e with the
m
d
le speed co
n
e
d rate condi
t
t
h of cut con
d
Radius. T
h
g
. 4. The m
i
w
ork mate
r
adii for alu
m
p
ectively. T
h
t
he differe
n
o
ol nose ra
d
of 0.78 m
m
n
imum sur
f
y
. Further
m
s
trategies e
neration at
strategies.
h
ine surfac
e
s
tance. The
o
wn in Fig.
a
ble 1. Th
e
o
f the spind
l
alloys usi
n
p
er alloy at
cutting, w
h
s
ed, relativ
e
a
ce roughn
e
m
inimum s
u
n
ditions on
R
t
ions on Rq
i
d
itions on R
q
h
e critical
r
i
nimum R
q
r
ials and c
u
m
inum allo
y
h
e results f
o
n
ce betwee
n
d
ii.
m
is highly
f
ace rough
n
m
ore, the ot
h
xcept for t
h
the minim
u
It is intere
s
e
s for eithe
r
critical ra
n
5. The cu
t
e
swing di
s
l
e. The mi
n
n
g the two
the depth
o
h
ile they ha
v
e
ly deeper
a
e
ss and rela
t
u
rface rou
g
R
q
in (a) horiz
i
n (a) horizo
n
q
in (a) horiz
o
r
ange of to
o
is found at
u
tting stra
t
y
and copp
e
o
r both allo
y
n
all tool n
o
recommen
d
n
ess criterio
n
h
er tool no
s
h
e horizon
t
u
m and the
s
ting to not
e
r
alloys usi
n
n
ge of swin
g
t
ting tests
w
s
tance depe
n
n
imum and
t
cutting str
a
o
f cut con
d
v
e a relativ
e
a
nd larger
c
t
ively smal
l
hness.
ontal and (b
)
n
tal and (b) v
o
ntal and (b)
o
l nose radi
u
the smalle
s
t
egies. In
h
e
r alloy is a
p
y
s in vertic
a
o
se radii is
d
ed for bot
h
n
. This is p
a
s
e radii are
t
al cutting
o
maximum
e
that there
n
g the two
c
g
distance
o
w
ere cond
u
n
ds mainl
y
t
he maxim
u
a
tegies. No
d
itions of 4
0
e
ly finer su
r
c
usps are f
o
l
er and shal
l
)
vertical cut
t
ertical cutti
n
vertical cutt
i
u
s on R
q
u
n
s
t tool nose
h
orizontal
c
p
proximate
l
a
l cutting ar
e
within 5 n
m
h
alloys in
b
a
rticularly
g
also relev
a
o
f copper
a
surface ro
u
are no disti
c
utting stra
t
o
n R
q
cond
i
u
cted unde
r
y
on the le
n
u
m swing d
i
distinctiv
e
0
m in th
e
r
face finish
.
o
und on th
e
l
ower cusp
s
t
ing
n
g
i
ng
n
der the tw
o
radius (i.e
.
c
utting, th
e
l
y 8 nm an
d
e
extremel
y
m
only. N
o
b
oth cuttin
g
g
ood for th
e
a
nt for bot
h
a
lloy. Fig.
4
u
ghness fo
r
nctive cus
p
t
egies.
i
tions unde
r
r
Group B
5
n
gth of th
e
i
stances ar
e
e
e
.
e
s
o
.
e
d
y
o
g
e
h
4
r
p
r
5
e
e
23 mm an
distance o
As sho
w
quite simi
distance c
strategies
Irrespecti
occurs at
based on t
h
e 35 mm.
oth alloy
found at t
surface ro
Fig.
Fig
Critica
l
aluminiu
smallest R
q
respective
extremely
Howev
e
cutting str
a
horizontal
distance o
0.01 mm t
vertical cu
generation
cutting str
Similar
surface la
at a lower
milled sur
the machi
n
strategies
parameter.
d 38 mm,
r
f
33 mm fo
r
w
n in Fig.
5
l
ar, and all
o
ndition o
f
i
s found at
t
v
e of which
a
swing dist
h
e minimu
m
Fig. 5 sho
w
s
using the
t
h
e machin
e
u
ghness.
4 Critical r
a
. 5 Critical r
a
l
Range of
m
alloy and
c
q
occurs at
t
l
y. Similar l
y
close exce
p
e
r, the min
i
a
tegies. Th
e
cutting. In
t
f
0.03 mm
w
o
0.04 mm
f
t
ting coppe
r
for the m
i
a
tegies.
to swing
d
y
s are foun
d
surface ro
u
f
ace with a
h
n
ed surface
w
are used.
T
r
espectivel
y
r
both alloy
s
5
, the RM
S
the transit
i
f
38 mm.
M
t
he swing
d
work mate
r
ance of 38
m
surface ro
u
w
s the patt
e
t
wo cutting
e
surface w
i
a
nge of tool n
o
a
nge of swin
g
Step Dista
n
c
opper allo
w
t
he step dist
y
, the R
q
va
p
t for the st
e
i
mum surf
a
e
transition
t
he vertical
w
hile that f
o
f
or both all
o
r
alloy, it is
i
nimum an
d
d
istance si
t
d
at the mac
h
u
ghness. M
h
igher surf
a
w
ith a lowe
r
T
able 5 su
m
y
. Moreove
r
s
in the hor
i
S
roughness
i
on points
f
M
oreover, t
h
d
istance of
3
r
ials and cu
t
mm. The s
w
u
ghness cri
t
e
rns of surf
a
strategies.
R
i
th a highe
r
o
se radius c
o
g
distance co
n
n
ce.
As sh
o
w
are extr
e
ance of 0.0
1
lues in the
v
e
p distance
a
ce roughn
e
points are
f
cutting of
a
o
r copper al
l
o
ys in the h
o
between 0.
0
d
the maxi
m
t
uation des
c
h
ine surfac
e
oreover, re
l
a
ce roughn
e
r
surface ro
u
m
marizes
t
r
, the trans
i
i
zontal cutt
i
for both a
l
f
or both al
l
h
e minimu
m
3
5 mm exc
e
t
ting strate
g
w
ing distan
t
erion. Mor
a
ce generat
i
R
elatively
d
r
surface r
o
o
nditions on
R
n
ditions on
R
o
wn in Fig.
6
e
mely close
1
mm and 0
v
ertical cut
t
of 0.04 m
m
e
ss occurs
a
f
ound at st
e
a
luminium
l
oy is 0.04
m
o
rizontal c
u
0
1 mm and
m
um surfa
c
c
ribed abo
v
e
with a hi
g
l
atively de
e
e
ss. Relativ
e
u
ghness irr
e
t
he recom
m
i
tion point
i
ng.
l
loys cut u
s
l
oys in two
m
surface
e
pt for the
h
g
ies are use
d
ce should
b
eover, th e c
i
on at the
m
d
istinctive
c
o
ughness,
b
R
q in (a) hor
i
R
q in (a) hori
z
6
(a), the R
q
except at t
h
.04 mm on
t
ing of alu
m
m
as shown
i
a
t the step
e
p distance
alloy, the t
r
m
m. The cri
t
u
tting and v
e
0.03 mm.
F
c
e roughn
e
v
e, relative
g
her surface
e
per and la
r
e
ly smaller
e
spective o
f
m
ended cu
t
of R
q
was
s
ing the tw
o
cutting st
r
roughness
u
h
orizontal
c
d
, all maxi
m
b
e selected
f
ommon sw
i
m
inimum a
n
c
usps patte
r
b
ut they ar
e
i
zontal and (
b
z
ontal and (
b
values in t
h
h
e step dis
t
aluminium
m
inium all
o
i
n Fig. 6(b)
distance o
f
of 0.04 m
m
r
ansition po
t
ical range
o
e
rtical cutti
n
F
ig. 6 show
s
e
ss for bot
h
ly distincti
v
roughness,
r
ger cusps
a
and shallo
w
f
which wo
r
t
ting condi
t
observed a
t
o
cutting st
r
r
ategies are
u
nder the
t
c
utting of c
o
m
um surfac
e
f
rom 23 m
m
i
ng distanc
e
n
d the maxi
m
r
ns and sur
fa
e
not foun
d
b
) vertical c
u
b
) vertical cu
t
h
e horizont
a
t
ance of 0.
0
alloy and c
o
o
y and copp
.
f
0.01 mm
m
for both
a
ints are fo
u
o
f step dist
a
n
g alumini
u
s
the patter
n
h
alloys usi
v
e cusps p
but they a
r
a
re found o
n
w
er cusps a
r
r
k materials
t
ions for e
a
t
the swin
g
r
ategies ar
e
at a swin
g
t
wo cuttin
g
o
pper alloy
.
e
roughnes
s
m
to 35 m
m
e
is found t
o
m
um R
q
fo
r
fa
ce lays ar
e
d
at a lowe
r
u
tting
t
ting
a
l cutting o
f
0
4 mm. Th
e
o
pper alloy
,
er alloy ar
e
under bot
h
a
lloys in th
e
u
nd at a ste
p
a
nce is fro
m
u
m alloy. I
n
n
s of surfac
e
ng the tw
o
atterns an
d
r
e not foun
d
n
the raste
r
r
e found o
n
and cuttin
g
a
ch cuttin
g
g
e
g
g
.
s
m
o
r
e
r
f
e
,
e
h
e
p
m
n
e
o
d
d
r
n
g
g
Fi
g
Ta bl e 5 C ri
Cutting Par
a
Inves
t
Spindle Spe
e
Feed Rate (
m
Depth of Cu
t
Tool Nose
R
Swing Dista
n
Step Distanc
Conclusio
The critic
raster mil
investigat
to note th
cutting pa
ultra-preci
s
selected t
manufactu
Acknowle
The autho
Governme
financial s
Referenc
[1]
Y.
M
Man
u
[2]
U.
A
Vol.
[3]
M.
Y
44 (
2
[4]
P. K
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N. I
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2
[8]
S.
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M.
N
Tool
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r
t
ical range o
f
a
meters under
t
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e
d (rpm)
m
m/min)
t
(m)
R
adius (mm)
n
ce (mm)
e (mm)
ns
a
l ranges o
f
l
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d
e
d. Moreov
e
a
t there are
r
ameters. T
h
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m
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optimize
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Horizont
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3.
8
23
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f
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e
r, the patte
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5000
200
50
7
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1
35
0.04
a
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o
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ns of surfa
c
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s an impor
t
h
as long be
e
m
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a
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t or some
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, W. B. Le
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ditions on R
q
fo
r the optim
i
Alloy
Vertical Cut
t
1000 – 50
0
20 – 200
1 – 50
0.78, 1.78, 2
3.81
23 – 35
0.01
0.0
o
r the opti
m
materials
a
c
e generati
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h
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t
t
ant means
e
n recogniz
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a
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p
o
ther suita
b
s
incere tha
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m
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R
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L
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I
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m
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ational Jou
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in (a) horiz
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i
0
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4
0
m
ization of
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n are obse
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t
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i
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)
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0.03
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Research
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s
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Vertic
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20
1
0.78, 1
.
3
23
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r
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by produc
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G
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s
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49
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2
8
6
n
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M
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M
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200
50
.
78, 2.79,
.81
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ra
-precisio
n
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s
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g
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n
n
s should b
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t
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l
u
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f China fo
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M
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g
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e
l
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&
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.
,
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e
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