As the demand for composite materials is growing mainly in aerospace, automotive, transportation and energy applications, the request for optimized composite parts machining and time saving become the highest priority for parts manufacturers and cutting tool suppliers. The main aim of this work is to experimentally emphasize on the machining of composite materials, more specifically on trimming of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) parts. Results and analysis are based on cutting tool material, geometry and surface finish quality of CFRP parts as well as machining parameters.
The study involves carbide and PCD based composite routers for a real aerospace panel trimming operation with major target on best surface quality of final product according to major Aerospace OEM’s parts specifications. The right choice of the cutting tool and cutting conditions is paramount. The cutting tool has to withstand the high abrasion of the carbon fibers and also create surfaces without burrs or uncut fibers and acceptable finish according to the specs. Carbide tools are good alternative solution for obtaining a machined shape without burrs due to easier production of the high positivity of cutting edge. However, the life time of such a tool is compromised on whether a special coating such as CVD or uncoated tool has to be used. Results analysis are parts quality driven and discussed according to factors such as type of tool, type of composite and used / optimized machining data.
- Understand the importance of the right trimming process for composite parts
- understand and explore all cutting tools options for composite trimming
- How to use the right cutting data with the right selected composite
Why Is It Important?
Composite netshape parts can only be achieved by means of trimming them according to the final profile on the drawing. Since this is one the last operations before assembling the parts, it is very important to understand how to machine them and to use the right tools with the right cutting conditions according to the parts composite type, size and application.