Investigating hole making performance of Al 2024-T3/Ti-6Al-4V alloy stacks: A comparative study of conventional drilling, peck drilling and helical milling

Jia Ge, Rincy Reji, Toby Feist, Alexander Elmore, John McClelland, Colm Higgins, Brian McLaughlin, Yan Jin, Dan Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
115 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This work reports a comparative study on different hole making methods, namely conventional drilling, peck drilling and helical milling, for Al 2024-T3/Ti-6Al-4V stacks in aircraft applications. The impacts of different hole making methods with constant or varied machining parameters across the stacked structures have been investigated. The resulting exit burr, hole surface roughness/microstructural change and fatigue behaviour of the machined stacks have been characterized in detail. Results show that the exit burr formation is most severe for conventional drilling and least burr is produced in helical milling coupons. Deploying varying parameters (i.e. optimal parameters for each individual metal layer) across the stacks can effectively reduce the burr formation in conventional drilling and peck drilling. 3D surface morphology shows that Al 2024-T3 hole surface contains multiple scratches and trenches, while Ti-6Al-4V hole surface features regular feed marks. Helical milling leads to the highest Al 2024-T3 hole surface roughness, which can be attributed to the abrasion caused by the evacuated Ti-6Al-4V chips. Sub-surface microstructural analysis shows that the Ti-6Al-4V layer is more prone to machining-induced microstructural change (i.e. white layer formation and/or grain plastic deformation along machining direction). The relatively low fatigue performance of stacks produced by conventional drilling and peck drilling with constant parameters can be related to the presence of the brittle Ti-6Al-4V white layer in these coupons. Deploying varied parameters across stacks in conventional drilling and peck drilling can effectively eliminate Ti-6Al-4V white layer formation and improve the stacks fatigue life by 72% and 38%, respectively. Helical milling leads to the longest stack fatigue life (~ 100% and 40% greater than conventional drilling and peck drilling, respectively).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5027–5040
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Volume120
Early online date24 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 24 Mar 2022

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