Topical Review: The current understanding on the diamond machining of silicon carbide

Saurav Goel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)


The Glenn Research Centre of NASA, USA (, silicon carbide electronics) is in pursuit of realizing bulk manufacturing of silicon carbide (SiC), specifically by mechanical means. Single point diamond turning (SPDT) technology which employs diamond (the hardest naturally-occurring material realized to date) as a cutting tool to cut a workpiece is a highly productive manufacturing process. However, machining SiC using SPDT is a complex process and, while several experimental and analytical studies presented to date aid in the understanding of several critical processes of machining SiC, the current knowledge on the ductile behaviour of SiC is still sparse. This is due to a number of simultaneously occurring physical phenomena that may take place on multiple length and time scales. For example, nucleation of dislocation can take place at small inclusions that are of a few atoms in size and once nucleated, the interaction of these nucleations can manifest stresses on the micrometre length scales. The understanding of how stresses manifest during fracture in the brittle range, or dislocations/phase transformations in the ductile range, is crucial in understanding the brittle–ductile transition in SiC. Furthermore, there is a need to incorporate an appropriate simulation-based approach in the manufacturing research on SiC, owing primarily to the number of uncertainties in the experimental research that includes wear of the cutting tool, poor controllability of the nano-regime machining scale (effective thickness of cut), and coolant effects (interfacial phenomena between the tool, workpiece/chip and coolant), etc. In this review, these two problems are combined together to posit an improved understanding on the current theoretical knowledge on the SPDT of SiC obtained from molecular dynamics simulation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number243001
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2014


  • silicon carbide
  • diamond machining
  • MD simulation


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