Influence of hole diameter, workpiece thickness, and tool surface condition on machinability of CFRP composites in orbital drilling: a case of workpiece rotation

  • Nazir Ahmad
  • Sarmad Ali Khan
  • Syed Farhan RazaEmail author


Carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites are considered as difficult-to-machine materials. Due to good strength to weight ratio and comparatively light weight than metallic alloys, their usage in aerospace industry is increasing where drilling is primary machining process for joining of components. Material removal using drilling process in CFRP composites is challenging due to its abrasive nature together with certain problems such as matrix burn out and uncut fibers etc. The advantages associated with orbital drilling over conventional drilling technique are now established. Literature review in orbital drilling of CFRP composites revealed that published data is limited to geometrical and analytical modeling while loading a cutting tool in rotation as well as in orbital motion. In the current work, orbital drilling (OD) is performed by rotating the workpiece in an orbit instead of cutting tool. Cutting tool is used for spindle speed only. Thickness of the workpiece and tool surface condition was studied at two levels, i.e., 6 mm and 8 mm when employing coated and uncoated cutting tools. Holes of three different diameters of 8, 10, and 12 mm were drilled. Tool wear, workpiece surface roughness, and diametric error were reduced due to less loading on the cutting tool. Performance of coated tool was found to be better than its uncoated counterparts on all output responses.


Orbital drilling CFRP composites Tool wear Surface roughness Diametric error 



The work is a part of thesis submitted for Partial fulfillment MSc Manufacturing Engineering degree completed from Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department, UET Lahore, Pakistan.


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© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of LahoreLahorePakistan
  2. 2.Department of Industrial and Manufacturing EngineeringUniversity of Engineering and TechnologyLahorePakistan

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