Title: Electrical discharge drilling of carbon fibre reinforced composite materials

Authors: Konstantinos Gourgouletis, Nikolaos M. Vaxevanidis, Nikolaos I. Galanis, Dimitrios E. Manolakos

Addresses: School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Iroon Polytechniou Av, Zografou 15780, Athens, Greece. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering Educators, School of Pedagogical & Technological Education (ASPETE), 14121 N. Heraklion Attikis, Greece. ' School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Iroon Polytechniou Av, Zografou 15780, Athens, Greece. ' School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Iroon Polytechniou Av, Zografou 15780, Athens, Greece

Abstract: This work investigates the feasibility of applying die sinking electrical discharge machining (EDM) for blind hole drilling of carbon fibre reinforced composite (CFRC) materials. Both carbon fibre reinforced polymers as well as carbon-carbon composites were tested. Machining was performed with copper electrodes, at various currents, pulse durations and polarities. The machined surfaces are evaluated in terms of dimensional accuracy, material removal rate and surface roughness and are also examined by microscope. Research indicates that EDM is a feasible method for blind-hole drilling of CFRC materials however; proper selection of operational parameters is needed. Optimal results are, in general, obtained by low pulse currents and pulse durations and by using tool with positive polarity.

Keywords: blind hole drilling; electrical discharge machining; die sinking EDM; electro-discharge machining; carbon fibre reinforced composites; CFRC; machinability; copper electrodes; dimensional accuracy; material removal rate; MRR; surface roughness.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMMM.2011.042190

International Journal of Machining and Machinability of Materials, 2011 Vol.10 No.3, pp.187 - 201

Published online: 31 Aug 2011 *

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