Environment-Sensitive Hardness of Non-Metals

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Defense Technical Information Center, 1972 - 80 pages
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Current understanding of the mechanisms by which non-corrosive chemical environments influence the near-surface flow behavior, and hence microhardness, of crystalline non-metals and silicate glasses is described, and new data is presented showing how these effects may be applied to such technologically important areas as the machining of ceramics and drilling of rocks. In particular, it is demonstrated that, by appropriate choice of cutting environment, silicate glasses may be drilled twenty times faster than in water. Corresponding fourteen-, seven-, and three-fold increases in drilling rate are also reported for quartz, alumina and granite respectively. Attention is drawn especially to the significant role of surface charge in determining microhardness and machinability, and to the importance of considering the total 'system' of solid + tool (mode of cutting) + environment in any application of environment-facilitated machining. (Author).

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