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Effect of process parameters on surface quality for wire saw cutting of alumina ceramic
Silicon wafers are sliced using wire saw in micro electronics and photo voltaic industries. Wire saw process occupies a great portion of silicon wafer production cost which affects the market directly. The process is also used to cut ceramics, concrete and rocks in civil engineering. The high cost of the process motivates researchers to develop models that will relate the process efficiency and quality with process parameters. In this study, an experimental parametric study was conducted to investigate the effect of process parameters on the wire bow angle, distributed wire load and surface roughness in wire saw cutting of alumina ceramic. The material removal and surface damage formation mechanisms are identified. Process design recommendations for increasing efficiency of the process while keeping the surface roughness constant, are presented. The surface roughness increases with increasing feed rate, decreases with wire speed and is independent of wire tension. The material is removed by trans-granular failure of the grains while inter-granular fractures of the grains affect the surface quality.