Authors: T. Alsaeed; B.F. Yousif
Addresses: Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD, Australia ' Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD, Australia
Abstract: Nowadays, there is interest in using natural fibres as reinforcement for polymer composites for different applications to replace synthetic fibre composites. In this paper, the machinability of epoxy composites based on date palm fibres is evaluated in terms of hole accuracy, entry and exit delamination factor, specific cutting pressure, surface roughness and power consumption. The results were compared with synthetic fibre/epoxy composites based on glass fibres. Several operating parameters were considered in drilling process using CNC machine, i.e., feed rates (0.06, 0.09 and 0.12 mm/rev), drilling speeds (120, 690, and 1,450 rpm), and drill diameters (3, 7, 10 mm). Optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used to examine the hole surface. The results revealed that most of the machinability measurements were controlled by the operating parameters. The addition of the date palm fibres to the composites was very competitive to the neat epoxy and much better than the glass/epoxy composites in term of power consumption, delamination and surface roughness. The main contributor to the low performance of the glass/epoxy composites is the abrasive nature of the glass compared to the date palm fibres.
Keywords: machinability; fibre polymer composites; synthetic fibres; natural fibres; drilling process; glass fibres; date palm fibres; CNC machining; hole accuracy; delamination; cutting pressure; surface roughness; surface quality; power consumption; feed rates; drilling speeds; drill diameters; abrasiveness.
International Journal of Machining and Machinability of Materials, 2014 Vol.16 No.2, pp.129 - 150
Received: 12 Nov 2013
Accepted: 15 Mar 2014
Published online: 10 Sep 2014 *