Machinability study on SiC particle reinforced aluminum alloy composite (SiCp/Al) material with CVD diamond coated end mills

Document Type

Conference Presentation


Mechanical Engineering

Conference Title

ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)

Date of Presentation



Particle-reinforced metal matrix composites (pMMC) such as silicon carbide particle reinforced aluminum alloys (SiCp/Al) require special cutting tools due to the high hardness and abrasive properties of the ceramic particles. Diamond coated cutting tools are ideal for machining this type of pMMC. Previous research studies focus on the machinability of pMMCs with low ceramic content. The aim of this research is to determine the optimal cutting parameters for machining SiCp/Al material containing high silicon carbide particle reinforcement (>25%). Material removal rate (MRR) was used to determine the optimal cutting parameters with the tool wear and surface roughness as constraints. Cutting speed, feed rate, and depth of cut were used as design parameters for the design of experiment. High burr formation and cutting forces were observed during the experiments. Experimental milling tests are conducted using CVD diamond coated end mills and nondiamond tungsten carbide end mills. It was found that low tool rotation speeds, feed rates and depths of cut are necessary to achieve smoother surface finishes of Ra < 1 μm. A high MRR to low tool wear and surface roughness ratio was obtainable at a tool rotation speed of 6500 r/min, feed rate of 762 mm/min, and depth of cut of 3 mm. Results showed that a smooth surface roughness of the workpiece material was achieved with nondiamond tungsten carbide end mills, however, this was at the expense of extreme tool wear and high burr formation. An endurance test was run to test for complete tool failure.