The machining industry must maximize the machine tool utilization for its efficient and effective usage. Determining a feasible workpiece location is one of the significant tasks performed in an iterative way via machining simulations. The maximum utilization of five-axis machine tools depends upon the cutting system’s geometry, the configuration of the machine tool, and the workpiece’s location. In this research, a mathematical model has been developed to determine the workpiece’s feasible location in the five-axis machine tool for avoiding the number of iterations, which are usually performed to eliminate the global collision and axis limit errors. In this research, a generic arrangement of the five-axis machine tool has been selected. The mathematical model of post-processor has been developed by using kinematic modeling methods. The machine tool envelopes have been determined using the post-processor and axial limit. The tooltip reachable workspace is determined by incorporating the post-processor, optimal cutting system length, and machining envelope, thereby further developing an algorithm to determine the feasible workpiece setup parameters accurately. The algorithm’s application has been demonstrated using an example. Finally, the algorithm is validated for feasible workpiece setup parameters in a virtual environment. This research is highly applicable in the industry to eliminate the number of iterations performed for the suitable workpiece setup parameters.

The drastically changed thermal, mechanical, and chemical energies within the machined surface layer during hard machining tend to initiate microstructural alteration. In this paper, attention is paid to the introduction of thermodynamic potential to unravel the mechanism of microstructure evolution. First, the thermodynamic potential-based model expressed by the Helmholtz free energy was proposed for predicting the microstructure changes of serrated chip and the machined surface layer. Second, the proposed model was implemented into a validated finite element simulation model for cutting operation as a user-defined subroutine. In addition, the predicted irreversible thermodynamic state change in the deformation zones associated with grain size, which was reduced to less than 1 m from the initial size of 1.5 m on the machined surface, was provided for an in-depth explanation. The good consistency between the simulated results and experimental data validated the efficacy of the developed model. This research helps to provide further insight into the microstructure alteration during metal cutting.

Binxun LI ,   Xinzhi ZHANG   et al.
As an important part of product design and manufacturing, assembly sequence planning (ASP) has a considerable impact on product quality and manufacturing costs. ASP is a typical NP-complete problem that requires effective methods to find the optimal or near-optimal assembly sequence. First, multiple assembly constraints and rules are incorporated into an assembly model. The assembly constraints and rules guarantee to obtain a reasonable assembly sequence. Second, an algorithm called SOS-ACO that combines symbiotic organisms search (SOS) and ant colony optimization (ACO) is proposed to calculate the optimal or near-optimal assembly sequence. Several of the ACO parameter values are given, and the remaining ones are adaptively optimized by SOS. Thus, the complexity of ACO parameter assignment is greatly reduced. Compared with the ACO algorithm, the hybrid SOS-ACO algorithm finds optimal or near-optimal assembly sequences in fewer iterations. SOS-ACO is also robust in identifying the best assembly sequence in nearly every experiment. Lastly, the performance of SOS-ACO when the given ACO parameters are changed is analyzed through experiments. Experimental results reveal that SOS-ACO has good adaptive capability to various values of given parameters and can achieve competitive solutions.

Zunpu HAN ,   Yong WANG   et al.
The flat clinching process is attracting a growing attention in the joining field of lightweight materials because it avoids the geometric protrusion that appears in the conventional clinching process. In this paper, the effects of sheet thickness and material on the mechanical properties of the clinched joint were studied. Al1060 and Al2024 sheets with 2 mm thickness were employed to develop the clinched joint by using different material configurations, and Al1060 sheets with 2.5- and 1.5-mm thicknesses were used to produce the clinched joint by using different thickness configurations. The clinched joints using various sheet configurations were sectioned, and dimensional analysis was conducted. Cross-tensile and shearing tests were carried out to analyze the mechanical properties of the clinched joint, including tensile strength, shearing strength, and absorbed energy. In addition, the failure modes of the clinched joints were discussed. Results indicated that the clinched joint with a stiff top sheet had increased static strength regardless of the test type. The clinched joint with a thick top sheet demonstrated lower static strength than the joint with a thick bottom sheet in the cross-tensile test. However, this result was reversed in the shearing tests. The flat clinching process has a great potential in joining dissimilar and various thickness materials.

Chao CHEN ,   Huiyang ZHANG   et al.

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