During turning of quenched and tempered AISI4140 surface layer states can be generated, which degrade the lifetime of manufactured parts. Such states may be brittle rehardened layers or tensile residual stresses. A soft sensor concept is presented in this work, in order to identify relevant surface modifications during machining. A crucial part of this concept is the measurement of magnetic characteristics by means of the 3MA-testing (Micromagnetic Multiparameter Microstructure and stress Analysis). Those measurements correlate with the microstructure of the material, only take a few seconds and can be processed on the machine. This enables a continuous workpiece quality control during machining. However specific problems come with the distant measurement of thin surface layers, which are analyzed here. Furthermore the scope of this work is the in-process-measurement of the tool wear, which is an important input parameter of the thermomechanical surface load. The availability of the current tool wear is to be used for the adaption of the process parameters in order to avoid detrimental surface states. This enables new approaches for a workpiece focused process control, which is of high importance considering the goals of Industry 4.0.
In this paper, a balanced-to-balanced (BTB) branch-slotline directional coupler (DC) is firstly presented, which can realize an arbitrary power division ratios (PDRs). The coupler is composed by microstrip-to-slotline (MS) transition structures and branch-slotline coupled structures. The single-ended to balanced-ended conversion is simplified and easy to implemented by the MS transition structures, which intrinsically leads to the differential-mode (DM) transmission and common-mode (CM) suppression. Moreover, the different PDRs which are controlled by the widths of branch-slotlines can be achieved. In order to verify the feasibility of the proposed design method, two prototype circuits of the proposed coupler with different PDRs are fabricated and measured. The return loss and the isolation of two designs are all better than 10 dB. Moreover, the CM suppressions are greater than 35 dB. A good agreement between the simulation and measurement results is observed.