Experimental investigation of the machinability of polycarbonate reinforced with multiwalled carbon nanotubes

J. Samuel, R. E. DeVor, S. G. Kapoor, K. J. Hsia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The machinability of a polycarbonate nanocomposite containing multiwalled carbon nanotubes is investigated and contrasted with its base polymer and with a conventional carbon fiber composite. The material microstructures are characterized using transmission electron and scanning electron microscopy methods. Micro-endmilling experiments are conducted on the three materials. Chip morphology, machined surface characteristics, and the nature of the cutting forces are employed as machinability measures for comparative purposes. Polycarbonate chips are seen to transition from being discontinuous to continuous as the feed-per-tooth (FPT) increases, while, at all FPT values the nanocomposite is seen to form comparatively thicker continuous chips. The nanocomposite and the carbon fiber composite are seen to have the lowest and the highest magnitudes, respectively, for both the surface roughness and cutting forces. Shearing along the nanotube-polymer interface and better thermal conductivity are speculated to be the mechanisms responsible for the observations seen in the nanocomposite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-473
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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