Difference Between Conventional and Non-Conventional Machining Processes


There has been a rapid growth in the development of harder to machine metals and alloys during the last two decades.

Here, you will know about the Conventional and Non-Conventional machining processes and their differences.

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Before I jump to the topic of the article, It would be nice to let get an overview of these terms before. What do you say?

♦There is two types of Metal removal process

  • Conventional Machining Process
  • Un-Conventional Machining Process

Conventional Machining Process-

As the name suggests, the Conventional Machining process is- Where the metal removing process is done manually or physically. This machining process is also known as the Traditional Machining process.

Conventional machining is uneconomical for such materials and the degree of accuracy and surface finish attainable is poor.

These are some examples of the same.

Example of Conventional machining process

  • Turning
  • Boring
  • Drilling
  • Milling
  • Shaping
  • Sawing
  • Planing
  • Broaching
  • Slotting
  • Reaming
  • Grinding
  • Tapping

These were some examples of the Traditional machining process, Now let’s talk about some advantages of the Traditional machining process.

Advantages of Conventional Machining Process

Here are some advantages-

  • The complex specimen can be machined
  • Easy setup
  • Economical


Non-Conventional Machining Process-

Non-conventional machining processes are those- where the metal removal process is done through mechanical, electrochemical, chemical, thermoelectric and without involving conventional tools. It is also known as the Modern Machining process or Un-Traditional Machining process.

Merchant(1960) emphasized the need for the development of newer concepts in metal machining. By adopting a unified programme and utilizing the result of basic and applied research.

The newer machining processes are often called ‘modern machining process’ or ‘Unconventional machining process methods’. These are unconventional in the sense that conventional tools are not employed for metal cutting, instead energy.

Example of Un-conventional machining process-

Classification of Un-conventional Machining Process-

The classification of modern machining processes is based on the energy used and the metal removal mechanism.

Type of Energy Mechanism of Metal Removal
Mechanical Erosion
Electrochemical Ion Displacement
Chemical Ablastive Relation
Thermoelectric Fusion

Application of non-conventional machining process-

Material Applications of the various machining methods are summarized-

  • Aluminium
  • steel
  • Super Alloys
  • Titanium
  • Refractories
  • Plastics
  • Ceramics
  • Glass

Selection of Machining Process-

To make efficient use of modern machining processes, it is necessary to know the exact nature of the machining process. It is to be understood that-

(i) These methods cannot replace the conventional machining processes.

(ii) A particular machining method found suitable under the given condition may not be equally efficient under other conditions.

A careful selection of the process for the given machining process is, therefore, essential.

Before selecting the process to be employed, the following aspect must be studied-

(i) Physical Parameters

(ii) Properties of the work materials and the shape to be machined

(iii) Process Capacity

(iv) Economic Considerations

When comparing the physical parameters of modern machining processes, it may be noticed that both EDM and USM require approximately the same power, whereas ECM consumes roughly forty times more power than EDM. It can be seen that although ECM consumes much greater power, it is an excellent method for drilling long slender holes.

Now, Let’s move to the difference between the Conventional machining process and Non-conventional machining process.

Difference Between Conventional and Non-conventional machining process-

Here are some differences are given in the table, Have a look-

 Conventional Machining Process Non-conventional Machining Process
01. Microscopic chip formation 01. May or may not formation of microscopic chip
02. Direct contact of tool & workpiece 02. Don’t have direct contact between tool & workpiece
03. Cutting forces are used to remove material 03. Forms of energy are used to remove material
04. Less capital cost 04. Hogh Capital cost
05. The high metal removal rate 06. The low metal removal rate
06. Surface finish & tolerances are limited by machining inaccuracy 06. High Surface finish & tolerances can be achieved
07. Machining of blind holes, small cavities, slits are difficult to process 07. Machining of micro-sized materials can be easily processed

If you need a little bit more explanation, Here is the video guide to satisfying you completely. Give a watch-


The non-conventional machining process is taking over the conventional machining process due to a variety of reasons, which I discussed in the difference between conventional and conventional machining processes.

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Before you go, Here are some Q&A sections, You may want to dig upon-


Q. How non-traditional processes are classified?

Ans. Non-Traditional Processes classified based on the Energy used during process-

  • Mechanical energy
  • Electrochemical energy
  • Chemical energy
  • Thermoelectric energy
Q. What are the 7 basic types of machine tools?
Ans. 7 basic types of machine tools-
  • Turning
  • Milling
  • Grinding
  • Broaching
  • Shaper
  • Planer
  • Drilling

Q. What was the first machine tool?

Ans. The first two tools were invented back in 1200 BC and that is- Bow Drill and Bow Lathe.

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