Experimental Investigation of the Machinability of Polycarbonate Reinforced With Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes

[+] Author and Article Information
J. Samuel, R. E. DeVor, S. G. Kapoor, K. J. Hsia

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 128(2), 465-473 (Sep 17, 2005) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2137753 History: Received June 10, 2005; Revised September 17, 2005

The machinability of a polycarbonate nanocomposite containing multiwalled carbon nanotubes is investigated and contrasted with its base polymer and with a conventional carbon fiber composite. The material microstructures are characterized using transmission electron and scanning electron microscopy methods. Micro-endmilling experiments are conducted on the three materials. Chip morphology, machined surface characteristics, and the nature of the cutting forces are employed as machinability measures for comparative purposes. Polycarbonate chips are seen to transition from being discontinuous to continuous as the feed-per-tooth (FPT) increases, while, at all FPT values the nanocomposite is seen to form comparatively thicker continuous chips. The nanocomposite and the carbon fiber composite are seen to have the lowest and the highest magnitudes, respectively, for both the surface roughness and cutting forces. Shearing along the nanotube-polymer interface and better thermal conductivity are speculated to be the mechanisms responsible for the observations seen in the nanocomposite.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

TEM image of multiwalled carbon nanotube

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Figure 2

TEM image of the polycarbonate nanocomposite

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Figure 3

(a) SEM image of plain polycarbonate microstructure (scale: bar=500nm); (b) SEM image of a polycarbonate nanocomposite microstructure (scale: bar=500nm); (c) SEM image ofa polycarbonate carbon fiber composite microstructure (scale: bar=100μm)

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Figure 4

Experimental setup

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Figure 5

Characteristic chip morphologies seen at different feed-per-tooth values (scale: bar=100μm)

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Figure 6

Close up of Fig. 5 polycarbonate chip (scale: bar=100μm)

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Figure 7

Close up of Fig. 5 carbon fiber composite chip (scale: bar=100μm)

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Figure 8

Plot of average chip thickness versus FPT

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Figure 9

Floor of slot machined in plain PC with FPT =2μm (scale: bar=120μm)

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Figure 10

CNTs seen at the floor of the slot (the arrow denotes the direction of tool pass) (scale: bar=500nm)

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Figure 11

Fractured carbon fibers at the floor of the slot machined with FPT 1.33μm (scale: bar=50μm)

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Figure 12

Surface roughness (Ra) measured along the center of the slot

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Figure 13

(a)Y force at FPT=0.33μm; (b)Y force at FPT=4μm

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Figure 14

(a) Peak-to-valley X force versus FPT; (b) Peak-to-valley Y force versus FPT




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