A colloidal mixture of nanometer-sized (<100 nm) metallic and non-metallic particles in conventional cutting fluid is called nanofluid. Nanofluids are considered to be potential heat transfer fluids because of their superior thermal and tribological properties. Therefore, nano-enhanced cutting fluids have recently attracted the attention of researchers. This paper presents a summary of some important published research works on the application of nanofluid in different machining processes: milling, drilling, grinding, and turning. Further, this review article not only discusses the influence of different types of nanofluids on machining performance in various machining processes but also unfolds other factors affecting machining performance. These other factors include nanoparticle size, its concentration in base fluid, lubrication mode (minimum quantity lubrication and flood), fluid spraying nozzle orientation, spray distance, and air pressure. From literature review, it has been found that in nanofluid machining, higher nanoparticle concentration yields better surface finish and more lubrication due to direct effect (rolling/sliding/filming) and surface enhancement effect (mending and polishing) of nanoparticles compared to dry machining and conventional cutting fluid machining. Furthermore, nanofluid also reduces the cutting force, power consumption, tool wear, nodal temperature, and friction coefficient. Authors have also identified the research gaps for further research.
In any metal cutting operation, the cutting fluid functions in three ways: cools the workpiece surface and the cutting tool, removes the chips from the cutting zone, and lubricates the tool–workpiece interface. The influence of minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) on cutting temperature, chip and dimensional accuracy in turning AISI-1040 steel. Journal of Materials Processing Technology 2006, 171, 93–99.] observed that the application of cutting fluids during machining facilitates economy of tools, maintains tight tolerances, and protects surface properties from damages. However, Weinert et al. [2 Weinert, K.; Inasaki, I.; Sutherland, J.W.; Wakabayashi, T. Dry machining and minimum quantity lubrication. CIRP Annals Manufacturing Technology 2005, 53 (2), 511–537.] found that the use of cutting fluids negatively affects human health and the environment both through their use and their disposal. Also, the cutting fluid occupies 16–20% of the cost of production in the manufacturing industry. Hence, excessive use of these fluids (flood lubrication) should be avoided [3 Sreejith, P.S.; Ngoi, B.K.A. Dry machining: Machining of the future. Journal of Materials Processing Technology 2000, 101, 287–291.].
To restrict extravagant use of cutting fluid in machining, various techniques may be tried. One process could be the dry machining or machining with no cutting fluid [4 Granger, C. Dry machining’s double benefit. Machinery and Production Engineering 1994, 152 (3873), 14–20.]. But in most machining situations, dry machining cannot be the preferred method with high depth of cut as it shortens tool life [5 Diniz, A.E.; Micaroni, R. Cutting conditions for finish turning process aiming the use of dry cutting. International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture 2002, 42, 899–904., 6 Diniz, A.E.; Oliveira, A.J. Optimizing the use of dry cutting in rough turning steel operations. International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture 2004, 44, 1061–1067.]. In such a process where dry machining is neither possible nor frugal, another technique, namely, the minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) may be adopted to spray cutting fluid over tool–workpiece interface in an optimized manner [7 Braga, D.U.; Diniz, A.E.; Miranda, G.W.A.; Coppini, N.L. Using a minimum quantity of lubricant (MQL) and a diamond coated tool in the drilling of aluminum-silicon alloys. Journal of Materials Processing Technology 2002, 122, 127–138.]. At a low cutting speed, the spray of cutting fluid with MQL can significantly reduce the tangential cutting forces. Also, the use of MQL affects the cutting temperatures remarkably in a wide range of cutting speeds and exhibits a lower cutting-tool wear rate compared with completely dry machining [8 Li, K.M.; Liang, S.Y. Performance profiling of minimum quantity lubrication in machining. The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology 2007, 35, 226–233.]. Kishawy et al. [9 Kishawy, H.A.; Dumitrescu, M.; Ng, E.G.; Elbestawi, M.A. Effect of coolant strategy on tool performance, chip morphology and surface quality during high speed machining of A356 aluminum alloy. International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture 2005, 45, 219–227.] investigated the influence of MQL on tool wear, surface roughness, cutting force, and observed that MQL technology can be a viable alternative to the flood lubrication while Heinemann et al. [10 Heinemann, R.; Hinduja, S.; Barrow, G.; Petuelli, G. Effect of MQL on the tool life of small twist drills in deep-hole drilling. International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture 2006, 46, 1–6.] found that continuous application of MQL improves the tool life, especially for heat-sensitive drills. Moreover, Li and Lin [11 Li, K.M.; Lin, C.P. Study on minimum quantity lubrication in micro-grinding. International Journal of Advance Manufacturing Technology 2012, 62, 99–105.] observed a significant improvement in tool life and surface roughness with MQL in micro-grinding. During their investigation, Hadad and Sadeghi [12 Hadad, M.; Sadeghi, B. Minimum quantity lubrication-MQL turning of AISI4140 steel alloy. Journal of Cleaner Production 2013, 54, 332–343.] found that MQL, with flexibility of process parameters, like, nozzle position, improves turning performance. Furthermore, Li et al. [13 Li, K.M.; Chou, S.Y. Experimental evaluation of minimum quantity lubrication in near micro-milling. Journal of Materials Processing Technology 2010, 210, 2163–2170.] observed that MQL significantly improves the surface roughness, tool life, and burr formation in near micromilling. Davim et al. [14 Davim, J.P.; Sreejith, P.S.; Silva, J. Turning of brasses using minimum quantity of lubricant (MQL) and flooded lubricant conditions. Materials and Manufacturing Processes 2007, 22, 45–50.] investigated the turning of brass using MQL and observed that MQL produces better results compared with flood lubrication. Therefore, by using MQL, the manufacturing cost and environmental hazards can be minimized. However, the spray of cutting fluid of lower thermal conductivity, even by the MQL system, cannot fulfill the need for green machining. Thus, an alternative technique may be adopted in which cutting fluid of higher thermal conductivity will be sprayed with the help of the MQL system. Hence, thermal conductivity may be the primary factor in developing the energy-efficient heat transfer cutting fluids for machining.
A new class of cutting fluids can be synthesized by mixing metallic, non-metallic, ceramics, or carbon nanoparticles in a conventional cutting fluid because as compared with suspended milli- or micro-sized particles, nanofluids show better stability, rheological properties, extremely good thermal conductivity, and no negative effect on pressure drop [15 Daungthongsuk, W.; Wongwises, S. A critical review of convective heat transfer of nanofluids. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 2005, 9, 1.]. Saidur et al. [16 Saidur, R.; Leong, K.Y.; Mohammad, H.A. A review on applications and challenges of nanofluids. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 2011, 15, 1646–1668.] and Kakaç and Pramuanjaroenkij [17 Kakaç, S.; Pramuanjaroenkij, A. Review of convective heat transfer enhancement with nanofluids. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 2009, 52, 3187–3196.] reviewed the work of many researchers and found that nanofluids may possess extremely good heat extraction capabilities (thermal conductivity) over conventional cutting fluids. They concluded that this enhanced thermal conductivity may be an important factor for better performance in various applications. Inclusion of nanoparticles of metal oxides into any base fluid enhances its thermal conductivity [18 Wen, D.; Lin, G.; Vafaei, S.; Zhang, K. Review of nanofluids for heat transfer applications. Particuology 2009, 7, 141–150.]. Chen and Ding [19 Chen, H.; Ding, Y. Heat transfer and rheological behaviour of nanofluids-A review Advances in Transport Phenomena 2009, 1, 135–177.] reviewed literature regarding the improvement in thermal conductivity of metallic, carbon, inorganic and carbide materials and concluded that thermal conductivity of nanofluids increases with an increase of nanoparticle concentration. Srikant et al. [20 Srikant, R.R.; Rao, D.N.; Subrahmanyam, M.S.; Vase, K.P. Applicability of cutting fluids with nanoparticle inclusion as coolants in machining. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology 2009, 223, 221–225.] found that the addition of nanoparticles in cutting fluids improved their coolant properties (Fig. 1). They also estimated the optimum required nanoparticle concentration to be of 6 wt.%. Further, Eastman et al. [21 Eastman, J.A.; Choi, S.U.S.; Li, S.; Yu, W.; Thompson, L.J. Anomalously increased effective thermal conductivities of ethylene glycol-based nanofluids containing copper nanoparticles. Applied Physics Letters 2001, 78 (6), 718–720.] noticed an increment of up to 40% in thermal conductivity of ethylene glycol by mixing Cu nanoparticles into it. Liu et al. [22 Liu, M.S.; Lin, M.C.C.; Tsai, C.Y.; Wang, C.C. Enhancement of thermal conductivity with Cu for nanofluids using chemical reduction method. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 2006, 49 (17–18), 3028–3033.] noticed 23.8% improvement in thermal conductivity at 0.1 vole% Cu nanoparticles in cutting fluid due to increased surface area. Also, You et al. [23 You, D.H.; Hong, K.S.; Yang, H.S. Study of thermal conductivity of nanofluids for the application of heat transfer fluids. Thermochemical Act 2007, 455 (1–2), 66–69.] concluded in his investigation that ratio of surface area and volume of nanoparticles may be the primary factor that affects thermal conductivity of nanofluids. It is well understood that this ratio will always be increased by the addition of smaller size nanoparticles into base fluid. Chon et al. [24 Chon, C.H.; Kim, K.D.; Lee, S.P.; Choi, S.U. Empirical correlation finding the role of temperature and particle size for nanofluid Al2O3 thermal conductivity. Applied Physics Letters 2005, 87, 152107, 1–3.] also observed enhancement of thermal conductivity of nanofluids at higher temperatures due to Brownian motion of nanoparticles. Choi et al. [25 Choi, S.U.S.; Eastman, J.A. Enhancing thermal conductivity of fluids with nanoparticles. In ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, San Francisco, CA, November 12–17, 1995.] found that nanoparticles increase the rate of heat transfer without an increase in pumping power. Vijay and Das [26 Vijay, R.S.; Das, D.K. A review and analysis on influence of temperature and concentration of nanofluids on thermo physical properties, heat transfer and pumping power. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 2012, 55, 4063–4078.] observed that 6% Al2O3 in base fluid increases the thermal conductivity by 22.4% at room temperature. Qing and Yemen [27 Qing, L.; Yemen, X. Convective heat transfer and flow characteristics of Cu-water nanofluid. Science in China (Series E) 2002, 45 (4), 408–416.] found that nanofluid with 2 vole %. Cu nanoparticles has 60% more convective heat transfer coefficient compared with base fluid. He et al. [28 He, Y.; Jin, Y.; Chen, H.; Ding, Y.; Can, D.; Lu, H. Heat transfer and flow behaviour of aqueous suspensions of TiO2 nanoparticles (nanofluids) flowing upward through a vertical pipe. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 2007, 50, 2272–2281.] discovered that addition of nanoparticles into base fluid improves the thermal conduction. It was also found that the thermal conduction improved with the increasing particle concentration and decreasing particle size. A few researchers like Choi et al. [29 Choi, S.U.S.; Zhang, Z.G.; Yu, W.; Lockwood, F.E.; Grille, E.A. Anomalous thermal conductivity enhancement in nanotube suspensions. Applied Physics Letters 2001, 79 (14), 2252–2254.] and Yang et al. [30 Yang, Y. Carbon nanofluids for lubricant application. PhD thesis, University of Kentucky, 2006.] reported a very high improvement in thermal conductivity of nanofluid by adding multi-walled carbon nano tube (MWCNT) up to 150% and 200%, respectively, as compared to base fluid. Furthermore, many researchers [31 Mushed, S.M.S.; Leong, K.C.; Yang, C. Investigation of thermal conductivity and viscosity of nano fluids. International Journal of Thermal Sciences 2008, 47, 560–568.32 Chen, H.; Yang, W.; He, Y.; Ding, Y.; Zhang, L.; Tan, C.; Lampkin, A.A.; Boykin, D.V. Heat transfer and flow behaviour of aqueous suspensions of titan ate nanotubes (nanofluids). Powder Technology 2008, 183, 63–72.33 Turgot, A.; Taman, I.; Charcot, M.; Schumann, H.P.; Saunter, C.; Taman, S. Thermal conductivity and viscosity measurements of water based TiO2 nanofluids. International Journal of Thermo physics 2009, 30, 1213–1226.34 Yu, W.; Xian, H.; Chen, L.; Li, Y. Investigation of thermal conductivity and viscosity of ethylene glycol based No nanofluid. Thermochemical Act 2009, 49, 92–96.35 Jose, M.; Gallegos, P.; Lugo, L.; Legion, J.L.; Pinero, M.M. Thermal conductivity and viscosity measurements of ethylene glycol-based Al2O3 nanofluids. Nano scale Research Letters 2011, 6, 221.36 Sardinia, M.; Behead, M.A.A.; Raze, P. Thermal and rheological characteristics of Cu-base oil nanofluid flow inside a circular tube. International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer 2012, 39, 152–159.37 Decherd, B.L.; Kari, S.N.; Hamid, M.; Ghadimi, A.; Sadeghinezhad, E.; Metselaar, H.S.C. Investigation of viscosity and thermal conductivity of alumina nanofluids with addition of SDBS. Heat and Mass Transfer 2013, 49, 1109–1115.38 William, J.K.M.; Ponmani, S.; Samuel, R.; Nagarajan, R.; Sangwai, J.S. Effect of Cu and No nanofluids in xanthan gum on thermal, electrical and high pressure rheology of water-based drilling fluids. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 2014, 117, 15–27.39 Yang, Y.; Grille, E.A.; Zhang, Z.G.; Wu, G. Thermal and rheological properties of carbon nanotube-in-oil dispersions. Journal of Applied Physics 2006, 99, 114307.40 Phuoc, T.X.; Massoudi, M.; Chen, R.H. Viscosity and thermal conductivity of nanofluids containing multi-walled carbon nanotubes stabilized by chitosan. International Journal of Thermal Sciences 2011, 50, 12–18.41 Ruan, B.; Jacobi, A.M. Ultrasonication effects on thermal and rheological properties of carbon nanotube suspensions. Nano scale Research Letters 2012, 7, 127.42 Meng, Z.; Han, D.; Wu, D.; Zhu, H.; Li, Q. Thermal conductivities, rheological behaviours and photo thermal properties of ethylene glycol-based nanofluids containing carbon black nanoparticles. Procedia Engineering 2012, 36, 521–527.43 Meng, Z.; Wu, D.; Wang, L.; Zhu, H.; Li, Q. Carbon nanotube glycol nanofluids: Photo-thermal properties, thermal conductivities and rheological behavior. Particuology 2012, 10, 614–618.44 Wang, B.; Wang, X.; Lou, W.; Hao, J. Thermal conductivity and rheological properties of graphite/oil nanofluids. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 2012, 414, 125–131.45 Ettefaghi, E.; Rashidi, A.; Ahmadi, H.; Mohtasebi, S.S.; Pourkhalil, M. Thermal and rheological properties of oil-based nanofluids from different carbon nanostructures. International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer 2013, 48, 178–182.46 Mehrali, M.; Sadeghinezhad, E.; Latibari, S.T.; Kari, S.N.; Mehrali, M.; Zubir, M.N.B.; Metselaar, H.S.C. Investigation of thermal conductivity and rheological properties of nanofluids containing grapheme nanoplatelets. Nano scale Research Letters 2014, 9, 15.47 Haitao, Z.; Changjiang, L.; Daxiong, W.; Ying, Z.C.; Yansheng, Y. Preparation, Characterization, viscosity and thermal conductivity of CaCO3 aqueous nanofluids. Science China Technological Sciences 2010, 53 (2), 360–368.48 Taman, I.; Turgot, A.; Charcot, M.; Schumann, H.P.; Taman, S. Experimental investigation of viscosity and thermal conductivity of suspensions containing nanosized ceramic particles. Archives of Materials Science and Engineering 2008, 34 (34–2), 99–104.] reported an appreciable improvement in thermal conductivity of base fluid by the inclusion of metallic, non-metallic, carbon nano tubes (CNTs), and ceramic particles.
FIGURE 1 —Variation in nodal temperatures with machining time [20 Srikant, R.R.; Rao, D.N.; Subrahmanyam, M.S.; Vase, K.P. Applicability of cutting fluids with nanoparticle inclusion as coolants in machining. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology 2009, 223, 221–225.].
Besides thermal conductivity, the friction between tool and workpiece may also be an important factor responsible for high temperature generation at cutting zone that affects the workpiece dimensional accuracy, surface quality, and, more importantly, the tool life during machining. Lee et al. [49 Lee, C.G.; Hwang, Y.J. Choi, Y.M.; Lee, J.K.; Choi, C.; Oh, J.M. A Study on the Tribological characteristics of graphite nano lubricants. International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing 2009, 10 (1), 85–90.] found that addition of graphite nanoparticles improves the lubricating property of conventional lubricants due to the reduction in the friction coefficient. Because of their low friction behavior, the graphite and MoS2 solid lubricants may contribute in the reduction of cutting force and reduce the surface roughness in machining [50 Reddy, N.S.K.; Rao, P.V. 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Many researchers have reported about a lot of work on application and effects of nanofluids in different machining operations. However, to the best of these authors’ knowledge, there is no comprehensive literature available on the same. The main aim of the present study is to review the use of different nanofluids and their effects on different machining operations such as, grinding, milling, turning, and drilling. A summary of selective research work on different machining processes with nanofluids is listed in Table 1 and a summary of literature review of machining parameters for different machining processes is listed in Table 2. Table 3 presents a summary of literature review for workpiece materials, its dimensions, and geometry.