Machining behaviour of three high-performance engineering plastics

Juan C. Campos Rubio*, Tulio H. Panzera, Fabrizio Scarpa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Polymeric materials have been widely used to replace traditional metallic materials due to their high specific elastic properties. Even though polymeric materials can be produced as near net shapes, machining is still required to make the assembling of the final products. The selection of tool and cutting conditions is very important to machine plastics because of the high ductility and low melting point of the materials. In this study, the machining behaviour of high-performance engineering polymers, such as ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, polyoxymethylene and polytetrafluoroethylene, has been investigated using a full-factorial design (design of experiment). The effect of the factors such as feed speed, spindle speed and drill point angle was identified for each of the response variables (circularity error, surface roughness (R<inf>a</inf>) and thrust force (F<inf>f</inf>)). The drilling mechanism was substantially affected by the physical and mechanical properties of the polymers. Different cutting set-up conditions were able to optimize the responses. The polytetrafluoroethylene exhibited better results, achieving lower circularity error, surface roughness and thrust force. In the opposite manner, the ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene exhibited a rough topography at low feed rate and spindle speed levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-37
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Drilling
  • Engineering plastics
  • Geometrical errors
  • Polymeric material
  • Thrust force


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