Research Papers

Micromilling Responses of Hierarchical Graphene Composites

[+] Author and Article Information
Bryan Chu

Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Mechanical Aerospace
and Nuclear Engineering,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
110 8th Street,
Troy, NY 12180
e-mail: chub3@rpi.edu

Johnson Samuel

Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Aerospace
and Nuclear Engineering,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
110 8th Street,
Troy, NY 12180
e-mail: samuej2@rpi.edu

Nikhil Koratkar

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

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received April 24, 2013; final manuscript received August 20, 2014; published online November 26, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Burak Ozdoganlar.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 137(1), 011002 (Feb 01, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: MANU-13-1181; doi: 10.1115/1.4028480 History: Received April 24, 2013; Revised August 20, 2014; Online November 26, 2014

The objective of this research is to examine the micromachining responses of a hierarchical three-phase composite made up of microscale glass fibers that are held together by an epoxy matrix, laden with nanoscale graphene platelets (GPL). To this end, micromilling experiments are performed on both a hierarchical graphene composite as well as on a baseline two-phase glass fiber composite without the graphene additive. The composite microstructure is characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) methods. Tool wear, chip morphology, cutting force, surface roughness, and fiber–matrix debonding are employed as machinability measures. In general, the tool wear, cutting forces, surface roughness, and extent of debonding are all seen to be lower for the hierarchical graphene composite. These improvements are attributed to the fact that GPL improve the thermal conductivity of the matrix, provide lubrication at the tool–chip interface, and also improve the interface strength between the glass fibers and the matrix. Thus, the addition of graphene to a conventional two-phase glass fiber epoxy composite is seen to improve not only its mechanical properties but also its machinability.

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Fig. 1

High resolution transmission electron microscopy of graphene platelets [14,20].

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Fig. 2

Microstructural information of the hierarchical three-phase graphene composite

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Fig. 3

Micromilling setup

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Fig. 4

Microtool geometry after cutting at a velocity of 62 m/min (note: arrows depict epoxy debris attachments, scale bar = 20 μm)

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Fig. 5

Tool wear pattern seen at a cutting velocity of 62 m/min and FPT of 1 μm (close-up of Fig. 4(a), scale bar = 10 μm)

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Fig. 6

Morphology of the chips collected at cutting velocity of 30 m/min for various FPT values (scale bar = 100 μm)

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Fig. 7

Close-up of Fig. 6 showing fiber failure modes at a cutting velocity of 30 m/min for various FPT values (scale bar = 2 μm)

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Fig. 8

Concept of effective fiber failure length for the same depth-of-cut

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Fig. 9

SEM image of the floor of the slot machined at a FPT of 10 μm and a cutting velocity of 30 m/min (scale bar = 10 μm)

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Fig. 10

Cutting force signals and power spectrum at a cutting velocity of 30 m/min and FPT of 1 μm

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Fig. 11

Peak-to-valley variation in the cutting forces

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Fig. 12

Surface roughness trends

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Fig. 13

Surface scan of the top of the slots machined at a cutting velocity of 30 m/min

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Fig. 14

Sidewall image taken along the climb milling side of the slot machined at FPT of 1 μm at a cutting velocity of 30 m/min (scale bar = 10 μm)




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