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Tamkang Journal of Science and Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp.

15-22 (2000) 15

Modeling of Cutting Forces in End Milling Operations
Wen-Hsiang Lai
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045
E-mail: wenhsiang_lai@yahoo.com

Abstract
According to previous research of dynamic end milling models,
the instantaneous dynamic radii on every cutting position affects the
cutting forces directly since the simulated forces are proportional to
the chip thickness, and the chip thickness is a function of dynamic
radii and feedrate. With the concept of flute engagement introduced,
it is important to discuss it with respect to radial and axial depths of
cut because the length of the engaged flutes is affected by factors in
the axial feed and rotational directions. Radial and axial depths of cut
affect the “contact area”, which is the area that a cutter contacts with
the workpiece. When radial and axial depths of cut increase, the
cutting forces also increase since the engaged flute lengths are
increased. Therefore, in order to have a clearer idea of the milling
forces, the influences of dynamic radii, cutting feedrate, and radial and
axial depths of cut are discussed in this paper.

Key Words: simulated forces, milling forces, dynamic radii, cutting
feedrate, flute engagement, radial and axial depths of
cut, rake angle

1. Introduction important to discuss it with respect to radial and
axial depths of cut since the flute engagement is
Milling operations are one of the most common affected by factors in the axial feed and rotational
machining operations in industry. It can be used for directions.
face finishing, edge finishing, material removal, etc. “Flute engagement” refers to the flutes on a
There are several parameters that influence the cutter that are engaged at any instant in time as a
forces acting on the cutter. Because of these milling operation is performed. The role of flute
parameters, the forces may become unpredictable engagement in milling operations is important
and result in larger dimensional variations when because it affects not only the cutting forces, but also
products are produced. the cutting surface. However, flute engagement is
In order to discuss these dimensional variations, influenced by the radial and axial depths of cut
several flexible simulation models have been because radial and axial depths of cut affect the
introduced [1, 7, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17]. In these width and length of the “contact area” in the axial
flexible models, simulated forces are proportional to feed and rotational directions, respectively. That is,
the “chip thickness”— Tc. The chip thickness refers the deeper the radial or axial depths of cut, the more
to the thickness of material that each flute on a cutter flutes will be engaged, and thus increase the length
removes at a certain position. The chip thickness is of the engaged flutes. Figure 1 shows the geometry
expressed as a function of dynamic radii and feedrate. of the “contact area”.
Therefore, the dynamic radii and feedrate are key Figure 2 shows the “flattened” representation of
factors influencing simulated forces. With the a cutting tool. On the diagram, a horizontal and a
concept of flute engagement introduced, it is vertical line are drawn from the lower left corner.

and AL is the distance between each In a simulation model. Sutherland and DeVor depths of cut. the dynamic radii for Figure 2.376 0. 0. the chip thickness is mainly diagramming technique will be used later in the affected by dynamic radii. Influences of Dynamic Radii length of the contact surface between the cutter and the workpiece. 3. the circular 2. “Flattened” representation of cutting tool each flute are shown in Figure 3 within one revolution of the tool. a. Figure 1.3745 0.j. 1 (2000) The length of the horizontal line is CL. when φ ≈ 0. No.k)=RAD+[ρ+(PL-Z[i])sin(τ)]cos(λ-δλ-2π(k-1)/ Nf) AL a => RAD(i.3735 0 10 25 35 50 60 75 85 100 110 125 135 150 160 175 185 200 210 225 235 250 265 275 290 300 315 325 340 350 Degrees (a) Tooth 1 . (PL-Z[i])²sin²(τ)+2(PL-Z[i])sin(τ)(ρcos(φ) 1/ 2 +RADcos(λ-δλ-2π(k-1)/Nf-φ))] (1) Cutting tool where ρ: cutter offset φ: locating angle for the end mill tilt Contact area λ: locating angle for cutter offset δλ: measured angle τ: end mill tilt angle Z[i]: height above the free end of the cutter Nf : number of flutes Workpiece PL : effective length of cut β(i.3765 Dynamic radius (inches) 0. Another important influence on indicate that the dynamic radii caused by cutter milling operations is the influence of rake angle. equation (1) can be rewritten as: RAD(i.Z[i]) sin (τ) (3) CL According to equation (2). and cos²(λ-δλ-2π(k-1)/Nf )≈1 (or λ-δλ-2π(k-1)/Nf ≈ 0 or π). The geometry of the contact area jth angular position and kth flute Therefore. This thickness. In [17]. which are caused by paper to describe the effects of radial and axial cutter runout and tilt.3755 0. The length of the vertical influence on peripheral milling forces is the chip line is equivalent to the axial depth of cut.k): flute engagement angle on the ith disk.374 0. the most significant flute in the axial direction.k)=[RAD²+ρ²+2RADρcos(λ-δλ-2π(k-1)/Nf)+ this paper.375 0.k) =RAD+ξ cos (λ -δλ-2π(k-1)/Nf) (2) where ξ = ρ + (PL . Vol.16 Tamkang Journal of Science and Engineering. However. runout and tilt are: The concept of rake angle will be also discussed in RAD(i.

The dynamic flute radii within one revolution for a 4-flute.375 0.374 0. From another point of view.375 0.374 0.374 0 10 20 35 45 60 70 85 95 110 120 135 145 160 170 185 195 205 220 230 245 255 270 280 295 305 320 330 345 355 Degrees (e) 4 flutes Figure 3.3745 0.3745 0. that is.3755 0.e.375 0. 3/8 inch diameter tool. Wen-Hsiang Lai: Modeling of Cutting Forces in End Milling Operations 17 0. it is obvious that dynamic moment not only because of the flute position radii are expressed as a function of the axial cutting (caused by δλ).3755 (inches) 0. by considering radii varying between RAD+ξ and RAD-ξ. “One revolution” refers to the angle (δλ) measured back as the flute engagement wraps up the helix angle.3735 0 10 25 35 50 60 75 85 100 110 125 140 150 165 175 190 200 215 225 240 255 265 280 290 305 315 330 340 355 Degrees (c) Tooth 3 0.376 (inches) 0.3745 ξ 0.375 inch.375 0.376 0.3755 0. RAD = 0.3765 Dynamic radius 0. the cutter radius varies at any spacing angles between them equal 180°. instead of a function of the rotational (caused by ρ). flute 2 and flute 4 respect to the position of engaged flutes and cutter become the minimum radii respectively because the offset.3735 0 10 25 35 50 60 75 85 100 110 125 140 150 165 175 190 200 215 225 240 255 265 280 290 305 315 330 340 355 Degrees (d) Tooth 4 0.374 0.37575 0.3745 0.376 (inches) 0.3765 Dynamic radius 0. In the effect of cutter offset (ρ) and the measured addition.376 0. the cutter radius is modified with flute 3 reach the maximum radii. i. Figure 3 (e) shows the dynamic angle.37475 0.3755 ξ Dynamic radius 0. Figure 3 also shows that when flute 1 and angle (δλ).37525 (inches) 0.3765 Dynamic radius 0. Nf =4.3735 0 10 25 35 50 60 75 85 100 110 125 140 150 165 175 190 200 215 225 240 255 265 280 290 305 315 330 340 355 Degrees (b)Tooth 2 0. but also because of the cutter offset length (Z[i]). From equation (2).37425 0. .

it is necessary to assume the feedrate (f) is 20 much smaller than the radius. ft (feed per flute) will Samples become very small and fit the above assumption.k) (6) 20 10 where m represents flute k is removing the material 0 left by flute k-m (explained in [8]). and the forces becomes larger.18 Tamkang Journal of Science and Engineering. However. radial (c) f = 3 (in/min. Influences of Feedrate 60 Y Forces (lb) 50 40 In order to assume the path that every flute cuts is 30 a circle. the chip thickness 4.k)=RAD(i. 1 269 537 805 1073 1341 1609 1877 2145 2413 2681 2949 Samples Figure 5 shows the effect of different radial depths of cut on the width of the contact area. That of the tool. No. Influences of Radial and is increased instantaneously as expressed by equation Axial Depths of Cut (7). Also.k)-RAD(i. 60 4. Each affect the width and length of the “contact area” in cycle on the graphs correspond to a single revolution the feed and rotational directions. However. exhibited by higher force variations within a cycle.k) and feedrate. 1 (2000) 3. it is also influenced by the radial and axial Figure 4 shows four different measured forces with depths of cut because radial and axial depths of cut respect to four different increasing feedrate. (d) f = 4 (in/min.j.375) radius − RAD(i. respectively.k-m)+m×ft×sinβ(i. Flute engagement in the milling forces is ft = f / (N × Nf) (7) important because it influences the forces directly. RAD = 0. When the feedrate is increased.) Therefore. the “contact area” increases in the rotational direction. the more flutes will be engaged. it is obvious that Tc on the ith disk. the of the forces increase correspondingly. the deeper the radial or axial depths of cut. and the tangential forces increase because the forces are proportional to the chip area (Dz × Tc). Kt and Kr are the 1 329 657 985 1313 1641 1969 2297 2625 2953 Samples coefficients of tangential and radial force equations. and thus the lengths of effect of dynamic radii increase with the feedrate as the engaged flutes. the magnitude is. tangential forces (DFTAN). 3. Vol. the width of the “contact 60 area” is increased. jth Figure 4.j. When the radial (a) f = 1 (in/min. As the feedrate increases. Y Forces (lb) 50 40 30 20 10 0 1 324 647 970 1293 1616 1939 2262 2585 2908 Samples (b) f = 2 (in/min. 17]. In [8.) forces (DFRAN) and chip thickness are expressed as: 60 50 Y Forces (lb) DFTAN = Kt × Dz × Tc (4) 40 DFRAN = Kr × DFTAN (5) 30 Tc(i. Simulated forces with respect to four angular position and kth flute is a function of dynamic different feedrate (Nf = 4.) . and thus increases the forces. if the 10 cutting speed in the x-direction is low and the 0 1 324 647 970 1293 1616 1939 2262 2585 2908 spindle speed (N) is high.) depth of cut increases. and Dz is the chip thickness in axial direction.1 Radial depth of cut Y Forces (lb) 50 40 30 The radial depth of cut plays an important role in 20 milling forces because as the radial depth of cut is 10 0 increased.

PL increases. when the axial depth of 20 10 cut is increased.O. and the milling forces also increase.O.C.O. with respect to different radial D. Representation of a cutting tool exits the workpiece simultaneously. In addition. the preceding flute Figure 5.O.O.O. Simulated forces with respect to different PL radial depths of cut (1 sample ≈ 0. = 33% Samples cutter circular length CL FSL (c) Radial D. milling forces increase CL cutter circular length since the “contact area” is increased. 1 314 627 940 1253 1566 1879 2192 2505 2818 Figure 7 and 8 show that when the radial depth of cut Samples is fixed (<50%). This is due to the flute engagement a because when the radial D. = 33% of cut on the length of the “contact area” increases. Wen-Hsiang Lai: Modeling of Cutting Forces in End Milling Operations 19 cutter circular length CL FSL 50 45 40 Y forces(lb) 35 PL 30 25 a 20 15 10 flute 4 5 flute 3 0 flute 2 1 223 445 667 889 1111 1333 1555 1777 1999 2221 2443 2665 2887 flute 1 (a) Radial D. and thus the forces. = 50% radial depth of cut increases.2 Axial depth of cut 50 Axial depth of cut is another factor influencing Y Forces (lb) 40 the “contact area” since it affects the axial cutting 30 length of the area.O.2 degree) a From Figure 6.C.O. = 66% one flute enters the workpiece. is 50% or 100%. Y forces(lb) 35 30 cutter circular length 25 CL FSL 20 15 C 10 5 PL 0 AL a 1 210 419 628 837 1046 1255 1464 1673 1882 2091 2300 2509 2718 2927 A Samples flute 4 flute 3 (b) Radial D. = 66% Figure 6. it FSL also shows that the shape of the measured force charts becomes smoother when radial D. This is because when (c) Radial D.C.C. That is. it demonstrates that when the (b) Radial D.C. 50 When the axial depth of cut increases.C. the length of 45 40 the contact area is increased. 4. the effect of different axial depths (a) Radial D.C.O.C. the length of engaged flutes 0 increases. = 50% flute 2 flute 1 (a) a < C . the engaged length is constant.C.

3. Figure 10 where αhx is the helix angle. more flutes will be engaged and thus resulting in increased forces. the total deeper. when the radial depth of cut is less than 50%. engaged in the cut. If the leading edge of the cutting tools is into the material). In this case. the angle is. and positive y negative. On the contrary. CL. Representation of a cutting tool this case. Rake angles as: FSL = 2π × RAD / Nf (8) The formal definition of a rake angle is "the CL = RAD × cos − 1 (1 − r/RAD) (9) angle between the leading edge of a cutting tool and AL = FSL / tan(αhx) (10) a perpendicular to the surface being cut". x-forces are changed from ahead of the perpendicular. Figure 9 (a) shows the force analysis in x CL FSL and y directions with the radial depth of cut much C less than the radius (<< 50%). FSL. while y-forces are always cutting tools is behind the perpendicular. the angle is. and the y-forces are also in the direction of positive y-direction. 25 Y Forces (lb) 20 x (positive) 15 10 y (positive) 5 Ft (x) Fr (x) 0 1 299 597 895 1193 1491 1789 2087 2385 2683 2981 Samples radial force tangential force (a) a = 0. and AL can be expressed 5.25 in. shows the picture of the rake angle. only one AL a PL flute is engaged in the cut. by definition. Simulated forces with respect directions to different axial depths of cut From another point of view. negative values to positive values when the radial negative. No. In Figure 7. two flutes (more than one flute) are with respect to different axial D. positive and (with positive x in direction of feed. and x-forces are 30 always kept in positive x-direction. When the values of cutting forces are measured Rake angles come in two varieties. and the y-forces are always in the positive y-direction and x-forces are in A the negative x-direction. forces load the workpiece in the positive x-direction if the axial depth of cut is larger than AL (a ≥ C).O. . and positive y-direction. The geometry of total forces in X and Y Figure 8. Vol. it should be noted that if the axial on the engaged tooth load the workpiece in the depth of cut is less than AL (a < C) and the radial negative x-direction and positive y-direction. Figure 9 (b) shows the (b) a ≥ C radial depth of cut larger than the radius (>50%). 1 (2000) cutter circular length positive. when the axial depth of cut is the radial depth of cut is greater than 50%. Fr (y) + Ft (y) (a) Radial depth of cut is less than 50% 30 25 Fr (y) radial force Y Forces (lb) 20 flute 1 Fr (x) + Ft (x) 15 10 flute 2 Ft (y) tangential force 5 0 tangential force 1 296 591 886 1181 1476 1771 2066 2361 2656 2951 radial force Samples (b) Radial depth of cut is more than 50% (b) a = 0. the forces will be larger.20 Tamkang Journal of Science and Engineering. if the leading edge of the depth of cut is increased. Figure 9.5 in.C. When depth of cut is fixed. On the other hand. the total forces acting From Figure 7.

= 66% Figure 11. When feedrate is increased. larger. pp. Current Measurements. However.O. (b). the instantaneous chip Reference thickness is increased. 6 4 2 0 1 346 691 1036 1381 1726 2071 2416 2761 Samples (c) Radial D.386-392. Simulated X forces with respect to different radial depth of cut Figure 10. Wen-Hsiang Lai: Modeling of Cutting Forces in End Milling Operations 21 by definition. and forces are increased. the contact area is increased. . and (d). respectively. Conclusion The authors gratefully acknowledge the support provided by the University of Kansas School of In the simulation model. "Prediction of Cutting Forces and From Figure 11. positive. May.= 33% of crushed dentin. the material is cut by separating one molecule -5 -6 of material from the work piece and creating a chip 1 348 695 1042 1389 1736 2083 2430 2777 that curls away from the edge of the cutting tools. pp. It's sort of like -6 spreading butter on a toast or scraping paint with a -8 plane cutting tools. (c). forces is apparent from Figure 4 (a).C. the most significant Engineering. which consists of a layer (a) Radial D. [2] Altintas Y." Journal of Engineering for Industry." Journal of Engineering Furthermore. D.C. -2 When a positive rake angle is used. Structures. the dynamic radius caused by cutter This work was also partially supported by a grant runout and tilt is another key point to affect chip from the National Institute of Standards and thickness. That is. "Dynamic Peripheral Milling of Flexible when the radial and axial depth of cut are increased. 2 November negative values to positive values when radial depth (199). Budak. influence on the forces is the chip thickness (Tc). It requires a lot of pressure to -10 keep the cutting tools in contact with the surface 1 345 689 1033 1377 1721 2065 2409 2753 Samples being cut. the forces also increase. the measured X forces change from for Industry.= 50% keep the cutting tools from digging into the work- 10 piece.. Radial and axial depths of cut affect the width and [1] Altintas Y. (1992).137-145. Vol. it is obvious that when radial Tool Breakage in Milling from Feed Drive depth of cut increases. When a negative rake angle 0 instrument is used. and the forces become Vol.. The effect of feed per flute on milling Technology. 114. length of the contact area. Department of Mechanical Engineering. of cut is changed from 25% to 75%. This pressure and burnishing creates what is known as a smear layer. Rake angle Acknowledgment 6. and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing Laboratory. Compared to the negative rake angle. the material is cut by applying X Forces (lb) -2 downward pressure which creates a compression -4 wave ahead of the cutting tools. necrotic debris and bacteria that 2 1 X Forces (lb) gets burnished into the dentinal tubules and lateral 0 -1 canals. .C. 114. this is a X Forces (lb) 8 very efficient way of cutting. Samples This cuts so readily that we have to make an effort to (b) Radial D.O.O. on the other -3 -4 hand. Montgomery and E.

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