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Effect of the Process Parameters on the Surface Roughness during Magnetic Abrasive Finishing Process on Ferromagnetic Stainless Steel

Rajwinder Singh Gill
Mechanical Engineering Department, Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran, Mohali, India
Contact No: 9781992727 Email: - rajgill4u@yahoo.com

Study of new and cost effective finishing processes has always been an area of keen interest to overcome the difficulties of existing finishing process. Magnetic Abrasive Finishing (MAF) is a process in which a mixture of non-ferromagnetic abrasives and ferromagnetic iron particles is used to do finishing operation with the aid of magnetic force. The iron particles in the mixture are magnetically energized using a magnetic field. The iron particles form a lightly rigid matrix in which the abrasives are trapped. This is called Flexible Magnetic Abrasive Brush (FMAB), which when given relative motion against a metal surface, polishes that surface. The major studies concerning MAF have been done regarding the behaviors of the process under the effect of various parameters like working gap, mesh number of abrasive, speed of relative motion on cylindrical and flat work-pieces taking one type of material, non-ferromagnetic or ferromagnetic only. But limited comparative study by taking stainless steel with ferromagnetic behavior has been done to analyze the surface roughness that is generated during the process. This paper has aim of development of Magnetic Abrasive Finishing Process & studying the effect of the process parameters (percent composition of iron powder, mesh number of abrasive and current) on the surface roughness during MAF of ferromagnetic S.S. work-piece material for flat work-pieces. The results of the experiments are statistically analyzed using design expert v.7 software for the responses generated during the process. In case of ferromagnetic work-piece, percent composition of iron powder has more effect than the other parameters. With increase in mesh size of abrasive, percent improvement in surface roughness increases. With increase in current the percent improvement in surface roughness value increases much more than the other parameters, therefore effect of applied current is seen to the most significant amongst all the parameters. Keywords: Magnetic abrasive finishing, Surface Roughness, Mesh number, Stainless steel, current

magnetic field in the machining zone. Magnetic abrasive finishing (MAF) has a magnetic field which assisted finishing process. The work piece is kept between the two poles of a magnet.. The method was originally introduced in the Soviet Union, with further fundamental research in various countries including Japan. Nowadays, the study of the magnetic field assisting finishing processes is being conducted at industrial levels around the world

A. Working Principle
The working gap between the work piece and the magnet is filled with magnetic Abrasive particles (MAP), composed of ferromagnetic particles and abrasive powder. MAP is prepared by sintering of ferromagnetic particles and abrasive particles.The magnetic abrasive particles join each other along the lines of magnetic force and form a flexible magnetic abrasive brush (FMAB) between the work piece and the magnetic pole .This brush behaves like a multi-point cutting tool for finishing operation. When the magnetic N-pole is rotating, the Magnetic Abrasive Finishing Brush (MAFB) also rotates like a flexible grinding wheel and finishing is done according to the forces acting on the abrasive particles. . In external finishing of cylindrical surface, the cylindrical work piece rotates between the magnetic poles, with the MAP filled in both the gaps on either side (Fig 1). Whereas in internal finishing of cylindrical surface, the work piece rotates between the magnetic poles and the MAP .as shown in Figure 2. The magnetic field generator can be either electromagnetic coils or permanent magnets. The relative motion between the induced abrasive particles of the FMAB and work piece generates the necessary shearing action at the abrasivework-piece interface to remove material from the work-piece in the form of miniature chips.

A magnetic abrasive finishing process is defined as a process by which material is removed, in such a way that the surface finishing and deburring is performed with the presence of a
Fig1.External cylindrical finishing Fig 2.Internal cylindrical finishing


Change in the strength of magnetic field in the direction of the line of magnetic force near the work-piece surface will actuate the magnetic abrasive particle. The effective way of changing the force/finishing pressure and rigidity of MAFB is through the change in diameter D of magnetic abrasive particle. Hence, ferromagnetic particles of several times the diameter of diamond abrasive d are mixed to form the magnetic abrasive brush. MAF is affected by the material, shape and size of the work-piece, and shape and size of the magnetic pole. Pressure increases with increase in flux density and decreases as the clearance gap between tool & work-piece increases. Larger the particle size, poorer the finishing (except for 50m particles) but higher is the stock removal which increases linearly with finishing time [1]. The surface roughness is predicted as a function of finishing time by a model that has been derived from the removed volume of material. Thus, it is possible, from the surface-roughness model, to predict the time when existing scratches are completely removed [2]. The magnetic force acting on the magnetic abrasive, controlled by the field at the finishing area, is considered the primary influence on the abrasive behavior against the inner surface of the work-piece. [3]. With increase in working gap, the percentage improvement in surface roughness increases initially, reaches a maximum value and then it starts decreasing [4]. Removal of burrs in large surfaces with drilled holes using MAF shown that this method can be applied both for ferromagnetic and non-magnetic parts. This method can be improved as applied to new tasks of deburring [5]. The finishing characteristics of unbonded magnetic abrasive within cylindrical magnetic abrasive finishing. The unbonded magnetic abrasive is a mechanical mixture of Sic -abrasive and ferromagnetic particles with a SAE30 lubricant. Iron grit and steel grit, three particle sizes were prepared for both and were used as ferromagnetic particles, each of them being mixed with 1.2 and 5.5 m Sic abrasive, respectively. Results indicate that steel grit is more suitable for magnetic abrasive finishing because of its superior hardness and the polyhedron shape. However its corrosion resistibility decreased on a surface that was finished via steel grit mixed with SiC abrasive [6].Important parameters influencing the surface quality generated during the MAF were identified as: (i) voltage (DC) applied to the electromagnet, (ii) working gap, (iii) rotational speed of the magnet, and (iv) abrasive size (mesh number). [7]. Efficient finishing of magnesium alloy is possible by the process. The volume removed per unit time of magnesium alloy is larger than that of other materials such as brass and stainless, that is, high-efficiency finishing could be achieved. Micro-burr of magnesium alloy could be removed easily in a short time by the use of MAF [8]. MAF process creates micro scratches having width less than 0.5 m on the finished surface. Moreover, the surfaces have finished by the shearing of the peaks resulting in circular lays formed by the rotation of the FMAB. It shows that the finished surface has fine scratches/micro-cuts which are farther distant apart resulting in smoothened surface. But these fine scratches would also disappear by using higher mesh number (finer abrasive particles)[9]. A new technique was developed to compare the performance of the magnetic abrasive powders and to find the powder that is appropriate for finishing and deburring of drilled holes placed on a plane steel surface [10]

Proper deburring conditions are suggested to satisfy the productivity and the accuracy. In addition to deburring, efficiency influence to surface roughness is analyzed. To improve the surface roughness and purity, volume of powder, height of gap, inductor rotational frequency, feed velocity and the method of coolant supply are analyzed and proved that the continuous flow of coolant and the Fe powder without abrasive is effective for deburring and surface quality. [11]


Fundamental requirements of the experimental set-up are: A. B. C. D. E. Magnetization unit Electromagnet Magnet rotary motion unit Motion control unit. Work piece fixture, work piece size & material

A. Magnetization Unit Basic purpose of magnetization unit is to generate the required magnetic field to assist the finishing process. Main parts of magnetization unit are D.C. Power supply Electromagnet To energize the electromagnet a constant voltage/current D.C. regulated power supply of output voltage from 0 to 30 V and output current from 0 to 5 A was used. By controlling the induced current from D.C. power supply the generated magnetic field can be controlled. B. Electromagnet A round flat faced electromagnet with diameter of 100 mm and height 57 mm was used for experimentation. Electromagnet has a centered N-Pole (diameter 42 mm), surrounded with a coil (thickness = 24 mm), further surrounded by an outer S-Pole (Thickness=6mm). Other dimentions of Electromagnet are given in Table 1
TABLE I. Dimensions of Electromagnet

Dimensions External Diameter of magnet Height of magnet pole Permissible current value Wire used for winding Permissible required voltage Magnetic field intensity Diameter of north pole Thickness of south pole Thickness covered by the coil Material used for outer body shell Carbon Bush dimension 110 mm 55 mm 0 6 amp Copper 0 25 V 0 1.2 T 42 mm 5 mm 24 mm EN 8 31.5 20 7.5 mm3

C. Magnet Rotary Motion Unit To get the finished surface, it was necessary to get relative motion between FMAB and work piece. This unit was used to rotate the magnet and consequently to get the relative motion between work piece and FMAB. This facility already

exists in vertical milling machine available in our machine tool lab. D. Motion Control Unit The machine is equipped with a precise motion control unit (MCU). The work piece can be easily and accurately positioned to get the finished surface. There are three different lead screw attachments to accurately position the work piece with respect to the electromagnet in three mutually perpendicular directions viz. X, Y, and Z, respectively. The work piece can be controlled in X, Y and Z direction. The X and Y directions are automatic controlled and Z direction is manually controlled. E. Fixture and Work Piece Magnetic stainless steel was chosen as work piece material. The work piece was made of rectangular shaped. The length of the work piece was 100.6 mm which is slightly greater than the diameter of the electromagnet which was 100 mm . It was taken slightly more deliberately because, in this case there was not chance of breaking of flexible brush phenomenon during finishing. During experiments the work pieces were mounted on the table with a base plate without the fixture.

experimentation due to various practical difficulties . Therefore only three parameters were chosen for present study are1. 2. 3. Mesh size of the abrasive particles, Current supplied %age composition of iron and abrasive particles.

The ranges of the various parameters selected for MAF process are shown in Table II and constant parameters for the present study are given in Table III

TABLE II. Variable parameters and their ranges

Parameter Mesh size of the abrasive particle Current(amp) Percent composition of iron in MAPs

Values 30 # - 200 # 0.2 - 1.0 60 % - 90 %


The experiments were conducted according to following steps-

TABLE III. Fixed parameters and their values


Work pieces were initially ground by surface grinder to give most same initial surface roughness value. Parameter Value 2.5 mm 80# Al2O3 2% 12 min Flat stainless steel After the grinding process, the work pieces were manually cleaned by acetone to remove the foreign particles. Initial surface roughness values were measured by using Telesurf analyzer with least count of 0.001m. To conduct the surface finish experiments, the work piece was mounted on the table of MAF machine with a base plate. The work piece was made parallel to the electromagnet using a dial indicator (least count-0.01mm) to maintain proper gap between them. The work piece was made parallel in both X and Y direction. The position of work piece in XY plane was kept in such a way that the center of the electromagnet coincide with the center of the work piece. Working gap between electromagnet and work piece was maintained by a filler gauge and this gap was filled with the MAP. The amount of MAP depends on the working gap. Percent by weight method was used to calculate the amount of MAP in the working gap. The current to the electromagnet was supplied and got it energized and abrasive powder fill between the electromagnet and work piece making FMAB. By giving rotation to the magnet, this FMAB performs the actual finishing operation. After completing the finishing operation, work piece was again cleaned manually using acetone and final surface roughness value was measured. Gap Size of iron particles Abrasives used in MAP Percent of oil in MAP Finishing time Work-pieces




B. Response Characteristics The effect of selected process parameters was studied on the response characteristic of MAF process. The surface roughness was measured at near centre of work-piece using Digital Surf Analyzer CY510 having least count 0.001m. The average of Surface finish (Ra) values was calculated and the percentage improvement in roughness was estimated as: Ra = (Initial roughness final roughness) 100 Initial roughness C. Observations: Design data is obtained by using the DX 7 software. By putting the range values of the process parameters we obtained the standard and the run denotes the run which we have to perform i.e. for 1st experiment we have to perform the experiment using 12th rows parameters. Here the response value taken is (Ra) in Table IV.



A. Selection of parameters for experimentation As per the data given by various reserchers, various parameters such as Type and size of abrasive particles, Percentage composition of iron particles and abrasive particles, Size of iron particles , RPM of magnet, Finishing time etc effect the surface roughness produced, but all of the above cannot be taken for

TABLE IV:-Observations

(from 63 to 166), the %age improvement in surface roughness (Ra) increases. Response 1 Ra (gm) 28.21 35.23 20.01 28.3 23.25 21.90 35.73
Fig .1: -Effect of % of iron powder & Abrasive size on Ra



Factor 1 A: Size (mesh) 62.26 160.32 62.26 160.32 62.26 160.32 62.26 160.32 28.00 200 112.00 112.00 112.00 112.00 112.00 112.00 112.00 112.00 112.00 112.00

Factor 2 B: Current (amp) 0.35 0.35 0.62 0.62 0.35 0.35 0.62 0.62 0.50 0.50 0.30 1.0 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50

Factor 3 C: Iron powder (%age) 64.05 64.05 64.05 64.05 75.95 75.95 75.95 75.95 70.00 70.00 70.00 70.00 60.00 90.00 70.00 70.00 70.00 70.00 70.00 70.00

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

12 11 20 3 14 18 17 10 6 2 15 5 9 1 7 19 16 4 8 13

35.43 21.61 34.75 26.01 28.23 24.08 23.13 20.88 20.01 19.55 19.45 18.12 18.22
Fig .2:- Effect of % of Current & Abrasive size on Ra

Fig 2 represent (1) as the value of Current in the FMAB increases (from 0.3 to 0.6 amp) resulting increase in the %age improvement in surface roughness (Ra).(2) as the abrasive size increases (from 63 to 166), the %age improvement in surface roughness (Ra) increases.


It is not always necessary that all the input process parameters have significant contribution in surface response. Some of the parameters may be very much significant than other parameters. In Central rotatable Composite Design, the combination of the input parameters in actual experiments is such that only one experiment is conducted at extreme value for each variable. Therefore it is not much worthy to do analysis at extreme values to see the effectiveness of input variables. Moreover in central run experiments, same experiments are repeated many times so they also cannot be taken to see the effect. From the design data usingDesign expert v.7 software, response curves were drawn. From Fig 1, (1) the %age of iron powder in the FMAB increases (from 64% to 76%) resulting increase in the %age improvement in surface roughness (Ra). (2) as the abrasive size increases

It can be seen in Fig 3,(1) as the value of iron %age in the FMAB increases (64 to 76) resulting increase in the %age improvement in surface roughness (Ra). (2) as the current increases (0.38 to 0.62), the %age improvement in surface roughness (Ra) increases.

Fig .3:- Effect of % of Iron powder & Current on Ra

All the three individual parameters, mesh size of abrasive, current and percent composition of Fe powder in MAP have significant effect on the surface roughness in ferromagnetic work piece Fe percent has higher contribution to Ra. In case of ferromagnetic work piece if the Fe percent in MAP is high then, The conclusions regarding %age Improvement in Surface finish are as follows 1. Due to this the rigidity of FMAB will be more in ferromagnetic case and it will make more contribution to finishing process. Current has high contribution in Ra . In surface finish experiments % of iron powder is the most significant factor for work-piece material. In case of ferromagnetic work-piece, percent composition of iron powder has more effect than the mesh size of abrasives. With increase in mesh size of abrasive, percent improvement in surface roughness value also increases. With increase in current of power supply the percent improvement in surface roughness value increases.

[11]. S.L. Ko, Yu M. Baron and J.I. Park , Micro deburring for precision parts using MAF, Journal of Materials Processing Technology ,Volumes 187-188, 12 June 2007, Pages 19-25

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