Recent studies have shown that machining under specific cooling and cutting conditions can be used to induce a nanocrystalline surface layer in the workspiece. This layer has beneficial properties, such as improved fatigue strength, wear resistance and tribological behavior. In machining, a promising approach for achieving grain refinement in the surface layer is the application of cryogenic cooling. The aim is to use the last step of the machining operation to induce the desired surface quality to save time-consuming and expensive post machining surface treatments. The material used in this study was AISI 304 stainless steel. This austenitic steel suffers from low yield strength that limits its technological applications. In this paper, liquid nitrogen (LN2) as cryogenic coolant, as well as minimum quantity lubrication (MQL), was applied and investigated. As a reference, conventional flood cooling was examined. Besides the cooling conditions, the feed rate was varied in four steps. A large rounded cutting edge radius and finishing cutting parameters were chosen to increase the mechanical load on the machined surface. The surface integrity was evaluated at both, the microstructural and the topographical levels. After turning experiments, a detailed analysis of the microstructure was carried out including the imaging of the surface layer and hardness measurements at varying depths within the machined layer. Along with microstructural investigations, different topological aspects, e.g., the surface roughness, were analyzed. It was shown that the resulting microstructure strongly depends on the cooling condition. This study also shows that it was possible to increase the micro hardness in the top surface layer significantly.

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Published in AIP Conference Proceedings, v. 1930, issue 1, 070015, p. 1-6.

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The following article appeared in AIP Conference Proceedings, v. 1930, issue 1, 070015, p. 1-6 and may be found at https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5034911.

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