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Research Papers

Experimental Investigation of the Machinability of Epoxy Reinforced With Graphene Platelets

[+] Author and Article Information
Ishank Arora

Research Assistant
e-mail: arorai@rpi.edu

Johnson Samuel

Assistant Professor
e-mail: samuej2@rpi.edu

Nikhil Koratkar

Professor
e-mail: koratn@rpi.edu
Department of Mechanical Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering. Manuscript received March 5, 2012; final manuscript received April 27, 2013; published online July 17, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Patrick Kwon.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 135(4), 041007 (Jul 17, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: MANU-12-1073; doi: 10.1115/1.4024814 History: Received March 05, 2012; Revised April 27, 2013; Accepted April 30, 2013

The objective of this research is to study the effect of graphene platelet (GPL) loading on the machinability of epoxy-based GPL composites. To this end, micro-milling experiments are conducted on composites with varying GPL content and their results are contrasted against that of plain epoxy. The material microstructure is characterized using transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy methods. Chip morphology, cutting force, machined surface morphology, and tool wear, are employed as the machinability measures for comparative purposes. At lower loadings of GPL (0.1% and 0.2% by weight), the deformation of the polymer phase plays a major role; whereas, at a higher loading of 0.3% by weight, the GPL agglomerates and interface-dominated failure dictates the machining response. The minimum chip thickness value of the composites decreases with an increase in GPL loading. Overall, the 0.2% GPL composite has the highest cutting force and the lowest tool wear.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

High-resolution transmission electron microscopy of graphene platelets

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Fig. 2

Scanning electron microscope image of 0.3% graphene-epoxy composite. Wrinkled graphene sheets (indicated by the circles) are apparent on the fractured surface.

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Fig. 3

Experimental testbed

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Fig. 4

Characteristic chip morphology (cutting speed 17 m/min, scale bar = 100 μm)

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Fig. 5

Effecting of graphene loading on the cutting force

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Fig. 6

Surface morphology at feed-per-tooth of 1 μm and cutting speed of 17 m/min (scale bar = 5 μm)

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Fig. 7

Effecting of graphene loading on the area surface roughness (Sa)

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Fig. 8

Tool wear observed in the micro-endmill while machining plain epoxy (Note: dark regions denote worn out areas of the tool edge)

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Fig. 9

Tool wear data for GPL composites

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