Hole-making processes and their impacts on the microstructure and fatigue response of aircraft alloys

  • Dan SunEmail author
  • Patrick Lemoine
  • Daniel Keys
  • Patrick Doyle
  • Savko Malinov
  • Qing Zhao
  • Xuda Qin
  • Yan Jin
Open Access


A comparative study on conventional drilling and helical milling has been reported under the context of aircraft alloy hole making. The impacts of these two different machining processes on the microstructures and the fatigue performance of different aircraft alloys have been elaborated. Results show that both alloys undergo more severe surface/subsurface plastic deformation under conventional drilling comparing to helical milling process. Helical milling leads to a longer coupon fatigue life compared to conventional drilling for both alloys. The fatigue life of Al 2024-T3 is significantly longer than that of Ti-6Al-4V under all machining conditions. The use of coolant generally produces less damaged surface and leads to enhanced fatigue performance of the machined alloys. In addition, the machined surface roughness has been studied to further elaborate the effects of different machining processes.


Aircraft alloys Drilling Helical milling Fatigue 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© The Author(s) 2016

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringQueen’s University BelfastBelfastUK
  2. 2.The Nanotechnology and Integrated BioEngineering CentreUlster UniversityNewtownabbeyUK
  3. 3.Tianjin Key Laboratory of Equipment Design and ManufacturingTechnologyTianjin UniversityTianjin CityPeople’s Republic of China

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