A laser touch-dressing process is developed which enables the generation of clearance angles on stochastic abrasive surfaces. The process is demonstrated on electroplated mono-layered diamond dressing tools. The achieved clearance angles are in the order of 2.4°. Dressing experiments on vitrified bond corundum reveal a considerable reduction of processing forces compared to tools touch-dressed by a conventional mechanical process. Comprehensive analyses of the abrasive surfaces on conventionally touch-dressed tools and laser touch-dressed tools with both positive and negative clearance angles are conducted. Besides higher dressing quality in terms of flank face integrity and cutting edge condition, the contact area is identified as the influencing factor for the processing forces. The continuous increase in process forces over the lifetime of laser touch-dressed tools are not fully explained by the presented analyses. Further influences, such as shape and morphology of the contact zone, cutting edge radii, and condition of the rake face can be investigated for a better understanding of the cutting behavior of abrasive tools with positive clearance.
The generation of clearance on abrasive tools is a promising complement to existing tool conditioning processes. The touch dressing time can be more than halved by the laser process in comparison to the conventional touch dressing process. Future work will investigate the possibility of applying the process to the preparation of grinding tools, more complex tool geometries, and other abrasive materials.