Precision Wire Saw Machining of Advanced Engineering Materials

North Carolina State University, 2000 - $18,000

This E-Team studied the wire machining technologies for advanced engineering materials. The traditional inner diamond saw blade for slicing the single crystal silicon ingot to thin wafers has reached its technical limits. The free-abrasive wire saw machining process has been developed to address the needs to slice large size, twelve-inch or bigger in diameter, silicon wafers. One of the recent developments in wire saw wafer slicing technology is the thin, fixed-abrasive diamond wire. This new type of wire has not only improved the material removal rate in wire saw machining but also expanded the type of work-material from silicon to ceramics, composites, eastomers, and other non-electrically conductive ceramic materials. Three new wire saw machining configurations, 2-axis wire contour sawing, 4-axis wire contour sawing, and cylindrical wire sawing, were proposed. Similar to the wire EDM process for electrically conductive materials, these new wire saw machining methods can provide a flexible and cost-effective method to machine non-electrically conductive materials to complicated shapes.