The poor machinability of Ti-6Al-4V alloy makes it hard to process by conventional processing methods even though it has been widely used in military and civilian enterprise fields. Non-resonant three-dimensional elliptical vibration cutting (3D-EVC) is a novel cutting technique which is a significant development potential for difficult-to-cut materials. However, few studies have been conducted on processing the Ti-6Al-4V alloy using the non-resonant 3D-EVC technique, the effect of surface quality, roughness, topography and freeform surface has not been clearly researched yet. Therefore, the machinability of Ti-6Al-4V alloy using the non-resonant 3D-EVC apparatus is studied in this paper. Firstly, the principle of non-resonant 3D-EVC technique and the model of cutter motion are introduced. Then the tool path is synthesized. The comparison experiments are carried out with traditional continuous cutting (TCC), two-dimension elliptical vibration cutting (2D-EVC), and the non-resonant 3D-EVC method. The experimental results shown that the excellent surface and lower roughness (77.3 nm) could be obtained using the non-resonant 3D-EVC method; the shape and dimension of elliptical cutting mark also relates to the cutting speed and vibration frequency, and the concave/convex spherical surface topography are achieved by non-resonant 3D-EVC in the Ti-6Al-4V alloy. This proved that the non-resonant 3D-EVC technique has the better machinability compared with the TCC and 2D-EVC methods.
Keywords: Ti-6Al-4V alloy; freeform surface; non-resonant; three-dimensional elliptical vibration cutting (3D-EVC); topography.