Faculty Advisor

Dr. Diran Apelian, Howmet Professor, Director of Metals Processing Institute

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Richard D. Sisson Jr., George F. Fuller Professor, Director of Manufacturing and Materials Engin

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Makhlouf M. Makhlouf, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Director, Aluminum Casting


Porous sintered ceramic foam made of 99.8% Alumina (AL2O3) was investigated for grinding applications in metallic bearings. The properties of this alumina foam were investigated and correlated to the grinding performance in an I.D. grinding application. The mechanical properties, such as density and Young's Modulus, were correlated to grinding performance. The physical properties, investigated with Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) analysis and a CT Scan, were used to study sintering behavior and porosity size and distribution. This work found an optimal friability and sintering temperature for the alumina foam grinding wheels. This will enable the alumina foam to become a viable grinding product and compete with the conventional vitrified products. This would be significant since the alumina foam has mainly one ingredient and is manufactured with a simpler process. It can also support a higher porosity than conventional grinding wheels, which has proven to provide better grinding performance and coolant access, keeping the work piece cooler and avoiding thermal damage.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Materials Science & Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





grinding application, alumina foam