An Experimental Study on Micro-Milling of a Medical Grade Co-Cr-Mo Alloy Produced by Selective Laser Melting

Materials (Basel). 2019 Jul 9;12(13):2208. doi: 10.3390/ma12132208.


Cobalt-chromium-molybdenum (Co-Cr-Mo) alloys are very promising materials, in particular, in the biomedical field where their unique properties of biocompatibility and wear resistance can be exploited for surgery applications, prostheses, and many other medical devices. While Additive Manufacturing is a key technology in this field, micro-milling can be used for the creation of micro-scale details on the printed parts, not obtainable with Additive Manufacturing techniques. In particular, there is a lack of scientific research in the field of the fundamental material removal mechanisms involving micro-milling of Co-Cr-Mo alloys. Therefore, this paper presents a micro-milling characterization of Co-Cr-Mo samples produced by Additive Manufacturing with the Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technique. In particular, microchannels with different depths were made in order to evaluate the material behavior, including the chip formation mechanism, in micro-milling. In addition, the resulting surface roughness (Ra and Sa) and hardness were analyzed. Finally, the cutting forces were acquired and analyzed in order to ascertain the minimum uncut chip thickness for the material. The results of the characterization studies can be used as a basis for the identification of a machining window for micro-milling of biomedical grade cobalt-chromium-molybdenum (Co-Cr-Mo) alloys.

Keywords: ASTM F75; Additive Manufacturing; Selective Laser Melting; cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloys; micro-milling.