Fabricating micro-structures on optical materials has received great interest in recent years. In this work, micro-grooving experiments were performed on polycrystalline zinc selenide (ZnSe) to investigate the feasibility of surface micro-structuring on polycrystalline soft-brittle material by diamond turning. A photosensitive resin was coated on the workpiece before cutting, and it was found that the coating was effective in suppressing brittle fractures at the edges of the grooves. The effect of tool feed rate in groove depth direction was examined. Results showed that the defect morphology on the groove surface was affected by the tool feed rate. The crystallographic orientation of grains around the groove was characterized by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), and it was found that the formation of defects was strongly dependent on the angle of groove surface with respect to the cleavage plane of grain. The stress distribution of the micro-grooving process was investigated by the finite element method. Results showed that the location of tensile stresses in the coated workpiece was farther from the edge of the groove compared with that in the uncoated workpiece, verifying the experimental result that brittle fractures were suppressed by the resin coating.
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