Surface roughness generation in a turning operation is examined by using a FFT analyzer. It is found that the roughness profile of a workpiece is composed of several periodical components: the cutting tool feed component, the spindle rotational error component, and the chatter vibration error component. A block diagram of surface roughness generation in a turning operation has been drawn to give a clear illustration of the process. To examine the origin of these error components, a series of cutting tests were carried out with different spindle bearing arrangements and with different types of workpiece material. It has been shown that the method presented in this study is very helpful in evaluating the machinability of workpiece material and also in diagnosing the conditions of the machine tool spindle system.
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