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§ 4.7.2 Cutting in Vacuum

Cutting with an electron or particle beam falls within machining, and will include trimming, "drilling" holes, and general machining. Indeed, wire can be made from sheets in this manner. This method is rarely employed on Earth due to the need for vacuum.

Conventional cutting tools use a fluid to keep the tool cool. If both the tool and the machined material are of compatible metals, then "cold welding" must be prevented by a fluid, especially in a vacuum. A pressurized chamber and a working fluid are desirable in these applications. Nonmetallic, ceramic grinders will probably use spinel minerals or calcia ceramic wheels derived from non-terrestrial materials.






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