A curious observation of phenomena occurring during lapping/polishing processes

Yue Yang, Haonan Li, Zhirong Liao, Dragos Axinte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate that the kinematics of the polishing process is more intriguing than an idealized planetary movement as all the previous studies reported. In reality, the workpiece is pseudo-constrained by the planetary carrier and because of this its relative motion to the polishing pad also incurs a 'parasitic' movement that previously has not been observed. Here, we report and model this parasitic movement and quantify its effect upon the workpiece surface roughness. Using a motion capture system, the principal and 'parasitic' movements between the sample and polishing tool have been tracked and our models validated. It is proved that considering this parasitic movement the prediction of workpiece surface morphology can be significantly improved when compared with the idealized approach (i.e. planetary). Our observations and modelling framework open the avenue to carefully consider the compliance between the tools and workpiece in other manufacturing processes for accurate predictions of the process outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20190304
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2230
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • 'Parasitic' movement
  • Lapping/polishing
  • Surface roughness


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