Drilling thick fabric woven CFRP laminates with double point angle drills
Carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) have many desirable properties, including high strength-to-weight ratio, high stiffness-to-weight ratio, high corrosion resistance, and low thermal expansion. These properties make CFRP suitable for use in structural components for aerospace applications. Drilling is the most common machining process applied to CFRP laminates, and it is difficult due to the extremely abrasive nature of the carbon fibers and low thermal conductivity of CFRP. It is a challenge for manufacturers to drill CFRP materials without causing any delamination on the work part while also considering the economics of the process. The subject of this study is the drilling of fabric woven type CFRP laminates which are known to be more resistant to delamination than unidirectional type CFRP laminates. The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of double point angle drill geometry on drilling performance through an experimental approach. An uncoated carbide and two diamond coated carbide drills with different drill tip angles are employed in drilling experiments of aerospace quality thick fabric woven CFRP laminates. Force and torque measurements are used to investigate appropriate drilling conditions based on drill geometry and ideal drilling parameters are determined. Tool life tests of the drills were conducted and the condition of the diamond coating is examined as a function of drilling operational parameters. High feed rate drilling experiments are observed to be favorable in terms of drill wear. Feed is observed to be more important than speed, and the upper limit of feed is dictated by the drill design and the rigidity of the machine drill. Hole diameter variation due to drill wear is monitored to determine drill life. At high feeds, hole diameter tolerance is observed to be more critical than hole exit delamination during drilling of fabric woven CFRP laminates.