Milling force modelling of multidirectional carbon fiber reinforced polymer laminates
Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) usage in the aerospace industry has been steadily increasing due to its superior material properties such as high strength, low weight, high resistance to corrosion, and a low thermal expansion coefficient. In addition, CFRP parts are produced near-net-shape, a process that eliminates rough machining operations. However, machining operations such as drilling, side milling, and slotting are still necessary to give the CFRP parts their final shape. A majority of the studies on machining of CFRP laminates are on drilling. The number of studies on milling of CFRPs is quite limited. In this study, a mechanistic cutting force model for milling CFRPs is proposed based on experimentally collected cutting force data during slot milling of unidirectional CFRP laminates using a polycrystalline diamond cutter. Cutting force coefficients in radial and tangential directions are calculated as a function of fiber cutting angle. The mechanistic model is shown to be capable of predicting cutting forces during milling of multidirectional CFRP laminates and capable of investigating stability of machining. © 2012 The Authors.