I-CORPS Cutting Tool Wear Monitoring Sensor
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The broader/commercial impact of this I-Corps project involves exploring the commercial potential of cutting tool wear monitoring sensors. Cutting tool manufacturers, machine tool manufacturers, and CNC machine operating companies can potentially benefit through improved cutting tool production processes and saving tooling time needed for production. There is a potential growing industrial customer need to accurately, precisely, and inexpensively sense and diagnose cutting tool wear, damage, and/or cutting edge quality. However, there are few reliable instruments available in the market with the required accuracy, resolution, cost, and on-machine usage. The proposed sensor allows for high-resolution monitoring and diagnosis of edge quality by providing quantitative information on morphological properties, including tool edge quality and wear related to abrasion, attrition, and chipping. This I-Corps project bridges a knowledge gap existing between the state-of-the-art instrumentation technologies and cutting tool inspection methods. Existing methods do not typically provide a quantitative measure to monitor the health of precision cutting tools in a convenient and time/cost-effective manner. The knife-edge interferometer developed in this project allows for precision cutting tool wear measurement and monitoring by providing quantitative information on morphological properties including abrasion, attrition, and chipping. This project enables a new cutting tool wear monitoring paradigm, producing new knowledge in instrumentation and characterization. This research will create a new transformative wear diagnosis principle for precision cutting tools to improve manufacturing reliability and the automation process. This award reflects NSF''s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation''s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.