Lubrication Performance and Mechanism of Water-Based TiO2 Nanolubricants in Micro Deep Drawing of Pure Titanium Foils

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Micro deep drawing (MDD) is a fundamental process in microforming which has wide applications in micro electromechanical system (MEMS) and biological engineering. Titanium possesses excellent mechanical properties and biocompatibility, which makes it a preferred material in micromanufacturing. In this study, eco-friendly and low-cost water-based TiO2 nanolubricants were developed and applied in the MDD with 40 μm-thick pure titanium foils. The lubricants consisting of TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs), 10 wt% glycerol, 0.1 wt% sodium dodecyl-benzene sulfonate (SDBS) and balanced water were synthesised in a facile process. The MDD with 40 μm-thick pure titanium was carried out using the lubricants with varying concentrations of 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 wt%. The results show that the formability of micro cups could be significantly improved when the nanolubricants are applied. Especially, the use of 1.0 wt% TiO2 nanolubricant demonstrates the best lubrication performance by significantly reducing the final drawing forces, and surface roughness, and the wrinkles by up to 24.2%, 12.55% and 4.82%, respectively. The lubrication mechanisms including the ball bearing and mending effects of NPs on open lubricant pockets (OLPs) and close lubricant pockets (CLPs) areas were then revealed through microstructure observation.

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Australian Research Council



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