Vibration-Assisted Ball Burnishing
Vibration-Assisted Ball Burnishing is a finishing processed based on plastic deformation by means of a preloaded ball on a certain surface that rolls over it following a certain trajectory previously programmed while vibrating vertically. The dynamics of the process are based on the activation of the acoustoplastic effect on the material by means of the vibratory signal transmitted through the material lattice as a consequence of the mentioned oscillation of the ball. Materials processed by VABB show a modified surface in terms of topology distribution and scale, superior if compared to the results of the non-assisted process. Subgrain formation one of the main drivers that explain the change in hardness and residual stress resulting from the process.
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1. History: From Ball Burnishing to the Vibration Assisted Version of the Process
The surface texture features are reduced to a lower scale.
The material that composes the surface is redistributed to a Gaussian distribution of heights.
If enough plastic deformation is exerted, the surface features can be reoriented along the ball burnishing direction.
2. Effects of VABB on Materials
Pros, Cons and Capabilities of VABB
3. Physical Principles behind VABB
Due to the fact that it activates the acoustoplastic effect on the material.
Due to the fact that it modifies the engagement dynamics of the ball and the material during rolling.
3.1. The Acoustoplastic Effect
3.2. Modification of the Engagement Dynamics Ball-Material
4. Equipment to Deploy of Vibration-Assisted Ball Burnishing
Vibrators based on electromagnets that were designed to produce a certain peak-to-peak force during their movement, and that were attached to the machine where they were executed . This kind of systems are the oldest ones and their specific functioning has not been reported in the bibliography with enough detail as to understand how the system works.
Alternative deflection of plates subjected to variable magnetic fields, as shown in Figure 2a. The source of vibration is caused by the positive and negative deflection of the thin plate to which the ball is attached as a consequence of a variable magnetic field created by a coil excited with an external circuit. Therefore, these kind of systems have a true limitation of the frequency at which they can work because the thin plate is not able to follow an excessively high frequency for reasons of inherent stiffness. For this reason, these kinds of systems are not capable to arrive to the ultrasonic level. Although these systems exists at the experimental level, they cannot be found in the industrial level. However, their importance lies in the fact that the results that can be obtained by them can be used to establish a comparison point with the VABB process assisted with ultrasonic frequencies. For instance, Gomez-Gras et al. (2015)  reported asuccessful 2.1 kHz assisted system that proved to introduce the acoustoplastic effect in the system and allowed the researchers to ulteriorly report very positive effects of the process itself .
. This parameter is related to the static force that the VABB tool exerts once it makes contact with the target surface and is further pressed on it. For a correct execution of the process, it should be the mean value of the actual burnishing force Fb
. Its definition is the same one for the VABB process both executed on a milling machine or a lathe.
Number of passes np
. It makes reference to the number of times the process is applied on the target material. Along with the preload, it defines the degree of plastic deformation applied on the surface after the whole operation is performed.
Trajectories. Refer to the path that the burnishing ball follows to cover the target surface. In VABB processes programmed on a milling machine, these trajectories can either overlap, or not, and also refers to an eventual change of the feed movement along the x or the y axis. In lathe operations, it cannot be changed, as in this case VABB can be assimilated with a turning strategy that has no room for change. It has also been observed that the directionality of the passes can define the orientation of the final texture and residual stress anisotropy .
Lateral offset b. Separation between adjacent burnishing lines to cover the target surface. This value corresponds to the feed in a lathe VABB operation and the actual coordinate that the ball is laterally displaced between one pass and the next one in a milling VABB routine. It must be small enough as to gurantee that the original surface texture is covered by the process and therefore, must be defined according to the effective area of contact of the burnishing ball with the surface texture features. Therefore, it is normally defined in a preliminary assessment phase before applying the actual VABB. Furthermore, this parameter has a direct impact on productivity, as it is directly responsible for the number of adjacent passes required to cover a certain target area.
Feed f. It is the linear velocity by which the ball is displaced on the material. Thus far, no infulence on the actual VABB results have been reported in literature, and is therefore a mere productivity parameter.
Amplitude of vibration A. This parameter is defined by the vibration-assistance system and cannot usually be changed. However, at sight of the previous explanation about acoustoplasticity, it seems that it has to be high enough as to cause a change of the material by means of that effect and guarantee the transmission of the vibratory wave through the material lattice.
Frequency of vibration fv
. As was explained before, it seems that the effects of vibration assistance should be independent of the frequency used in the system to implement it. However, most systems do not allow the user to change this frequency, especially if it is based on resonating principles. For this reason, it is considered a parameter just for those VABB toolings where it can be adjusted, although it should be just kept constant in all cases.
5. Conclusions and Prospects
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