Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Microelectronics-Photonics (PhD)

Degree Level



Graduate School


Ajay P. Malshe

Committee Member

Douglas E. Spearot

Second Committee Member

Gregory Salamo

Third Committee Member

Rian Tian

Fourth Committee Member

Ken Vickers

Fifth Committee Member

Wenping Jiang


Abrasive grinding is widely used across manufacturing industry for finishing parts and components requiring smooth superficial textures and precise dimensional tolerances and accuracy. Unlike any other machining operations, the complex thermo-mechanical processes during grinding produce excessive friction-induced energy consumption, heat, and intense contact seizures. Lubrication and cooling from grinding fluids is crucial in minimizing the deleterious effects of friction and heat to maximize the output part quality and process efficiency. The conventional flood grinding approach of an uneconomical application of large quantities of chemically active fluids has been found ineffective to provide sufficient lubrication and produces waste streams and pollutants that are hazardous to human health and environment. Application of Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL) that cuts the volumetric fluid consumption by 3-4 orders of magnitude have been extensively researched in grinding as a high-productivity and environmentally-sustainable alternative to the conventional flood method. However, the lubrication performance and productivity of MQL technique with current fluids has been critically challenged by the extreme thermo-mechanical conditions of abrasive grinding.

In this research, an MQL system based on advanced nanolubricants has been proposed to address the current thermo-mechanical challenges of MQL grinding and improve its productivity. The nanolubricants were composed of inorganic Molybdenum Disulphide nanoparticles (≈ 200 nm) intercalated with organic macromolecules of EP/AW property, dispersed in straight (base) oils - mineral-based paraffin and vegetable-based soybean oil. After feasibility investigations into the grindability of cast iron using MQL with nanolubricants, this research focused on the fundamental understanding of tribological behavior and lubricating mechanisms of nanolubricants as a

method to improve the productivity of MQL-assisted surface grinding of ductile iron and alloy steel.

An extensive investigation on MQL-assisted grinding using vitrified aluminum oxide wheel under varied infeed and lubrication condition was carried out with the scope of documenting the process efficiency and lubrication mechanisms of the nanolubricants. Experimental results showed that MQL grinding with nanolubricants minimized the non-productive outputs of the grinding process by reducing frictional losses at the abrasive grain-workpiece interfaces, energy consumption, wheel wear, grinding zone temperatures, and friction-induced heat generation. Use of nanolubricants in MQL yielded superior productivity by producing surface roughness as low as 0.35 μm and grinding efficiencies that were four times higher as compared to those obtained from flood grinding. Repeatable formation of tribochemical films of antifriction, antiwear, and extreme pressure chemical species in between the contact asperities of abrasive crystals and work material was identified with nanolubricants. The tribological behavior was characterized by this synergistic effect of the antiwear, antifriction, and load carrying chemical species that endured grain-workpiece seizures and reduced adhesion friction between the contact surfaces. Delivery of organic coated Molybdenum Disulphide nanoparticles by anchoring on the natural porosity of the abrasive wheel and eventually, sliding-induced interfacial deformation into tribolayers and alignment at the grinding zone were established as the lubrication mechanisms of the nanolubricants. These mechanisms were further validated from tribological evaluations of lubricated cubic boron nitride (cBN) superabrasives-1045 steel sliding pairs on a reciprocating tribotest rig resembling the tool-lubricant-workpiece interactions of MQL-assisted grinding.