Machinability Aspects of Metal Matrix Composites

  • Antoniomaria Di IlioEmail author
  • Alfonso Paoletti


Machining of Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs) is notoriously known to be difficult due to both the presence of two or more distinct phases, one of which is very abrasive, and for the marked differences between the two constituents: the hard ceramic reinforcement and the ductile metal matrix. For this reason, a number of efforts have been made to produce metal matrix composite components in near-net-shape forms. However, such parts always have to be machined to match the final design requirements. The aim of this chapter is to give an overview of the present knowledge about the machinability of MMCs, which represents one of the most important concerns which tends to limit the number of applications of these materials in industry. After an introduction about the meaning of machinability, the main characteristics of the material, which can play a significant role on the machinability of MMCs, are presented. Such characteristics are then analysed and discussed in the subsequent sections as regards their influence on cutting tool wear, surface integrity, cutting forces and chip formation.


Residual Stress Tool Wear Machine Surface Tool Life Flank Wear 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to acknowledge Elsevier Publishers for their kind permission to reuse figures and illustrations from a previously-published material.


  1. 1.
    Iuliano L, Settineri L, Gatto A (1998) High-speed turning experiments on metal matrix composites. Composites Part A 29:1501–1509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ciftci I, Turker M, Seker U (2004) Evaluation of tool wear when machining SiCp-reinforced Al-2014 alloy matrix composites. Mater Des 25:251–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lane G (1992) The effect of different reinforcement on PCDtool life for aluminuim composites. In: Proceedings of the Machining of Composite Materials Symposium. ASM Materials Week, Chicago, IL, pp 3–15Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lin JT, Bhattacharya D, Lane C (1995) Machinability of a silicon carbide reinforced aluminium metal matrix composite. Wear 181–183:883–888CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Davim JP, Baptista AM (2000) Relationship betwen cutting force and PDC cutting tool wear in machining silicon carbide reinforced aluminium. J Mater Process Technol 103:417–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Davim JP, Conceição António CA (2001) Optimal drilling of particulate metal matrix composites based on experimental and numerical procedures. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 41:21–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Paulo DJ (2002) Diamond tool performance in machining metal-matrix composites. J Mater Process Technol 128:100–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Norrul Haq A, Marimuthu P, Jeyapaul R (2008) Multi response optimization of machining parameters of drilling Al/SiC metal matrix composite using grey relational analysis in the Taguci method. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 37:250–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pederson W, Ramulu M (2006) Facing with carbide tools SiCp/Mg metal matrix composites. J Mater Process Technol 172:417–423 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rai RN, Datta GL, Chakraborty M, Chattopadhyay AB (2006) A study on the machinability behaviour of Al-TiC composite prepared by in situ technique. Mater Sci Eng A 428:34–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Karacas MS, Acir A, Ubeyli M, Ogel B (2006) Effect of cutting speed on toolperformance in milling of B4Cp reinfrced aluminium metal matrix composites. J Mater Process Technol 178:241–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cheung CF, Chan KC, To S, Lee WB (2002) Effect of reinforcement in ultra-precision machining of Al6061/SiC metal matrix composites. Scripta Materialia 47:77–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chandrasekaran H, Johansson JO (1996) On the behaviour of fibre/particle reinfeorced aluminium alloy matrix composites in milling and grinding. VDI Ber 1276:463–478Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Xiaoping Li, Seah WKH (2001) Tool wear acceleration in relation to workpiece reinforcement percentage in cutting of metal matrix composites. Wear 247:161–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chambers AR (1996) The machinability of light alloy MMCs. Composites Part A 27A:143–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Li XP, Lu L (2003) Study of reinforcement percentage of Al-Mg-SiC MMC in relation to the mechanical properties and machinability. Mat Sci Forum 437–438:185–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Basavarajappa S, Chandramohan G, Davim JP, Prabu M, Mokund K, Ashwin M, PrasannaKumar M (2008) Drilling of hybrid aluminium matrix composites. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 35:1244–1250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Basavarajappa S, Chandramohan G, Davim JP (2006) Some studies on drilling of hybrid metal matrix composites based on Taguchi techniques. J Mater Process Technol 196:332–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Brown CA, Surappa MK (1988) The machinability of a cast aluminium alloy-graphite particle composite. Mater Sci Eng A 102(1):31–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hung NP, Boey FYC, Khor KA, Phua YS, Lee HF (1996) Machinability of aluminium alloys reinforced with silicon carbide particulates. J Mater Process Technol 56:966–977CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Barnes S, Pashby IR, Hashim B (1999) Effect of heat treatment on the drilling performance of Aluminium/SiC MMCs. Appl Compos Mater 6:121–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    El-Gallab M, Sklad M (1998) Machining of Al/SiC particulate metal matrix composites. Part II: Workpiece surface integrity. J Mater Process Technol 83:277–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Reddy NSK, Kwan-Sup S, Yang M (2008) Experimental study of surface integrity duruing end milling of Al-SiC particulate metal-matrix composites. J Mater Process Technol 201:574–579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lin JT, Bhattacharya D, Ferguson WG (1998) Chip formation in the machining of SiC-particle-reirforced aluminium-matrix composites. Compos Sci Technol 58:285–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Dandekar CR, Shin YC (2009) Multi-step 3-D finite element modelling of substrate damege in machining particulate reinferced metal matrix composites. Composites Part A 40:1231–1239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Zhang H, Ramesh KT, Chin ESC (2005) Effects of interfacial debonding on rate dependent response of metal matrix composites. Acta Mater 53:687–700Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Pramanik A, Zhang LC, Arsecularatne JA (2008) Machining of metal matrix composites: effect of ceramic particles on residual stress surface roughness and chip formation. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 48:1613–1625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Capello E (2005) Residual stress in turning, Part I: influence of process parameters. J Mater Process Technol 160:221–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Morin E, Masounave J, Laufer EE (1995) Effect of drill wear on cutting forces in the drilling of metal-matrix composites. Wear 184:11–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Cronjager WM, Meister D (1992) Machining of fibre and particle reinforced aluminium. Ann CIRP 41(1):63–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Armarego EJA, Brown A (1969) Machining of metals. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall, pp 36–62Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Kannan S, Kishawy HA (2008) Tribological aspects of machining aluminium metal matrix composites. J Mater Process Technol 198:399–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tosun G, Muratoglu M (2004) The drilling of an Al-SiCp metal-matrix composite. Part I: Microstructure. Compos Sci Technol 64:299–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Olivas ER, Swadener JG, Shen YL (2006) Nanoindentation measurement of surface residual stresses in particle-reinforced metal matrix composites. Scripta Materialia 54:263–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università dell’AquilaL’AquilaItaly

Personalised recommendations