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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)



First Advisor

Jiancheng Liu

First Committee Member

Tien Roehling

Second Committee Member

Brian Weick


Particle-reinforced MMCs (pMMC) such as aluminum alloys reinforced with ceramic silicon carbide particles (AlSiC) 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 AlSiC material containing high silicon carbide particle reinforcement (>25%). The optimal cutting parameters are determined by investigating the relationship between cutting forces, tool wear, burr formation, surface roughness, and material removal rate (MRR). Experimental milling tests are conducted using CVD diamond coated end mills and non-diamond 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 R a < 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 non-diamond tungsten carbide end mills, however, this was at the expense of extreme tool wear and high burr formation. The use of coolant caused a 50% increase in tool wear compared to the dry-cutting experiments which had lower cutting tool forces.





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