The effect of cutting tool coating on the form and dimensional errors of machined holes in GLARE® fibre metal laminates

Khaled Giasin, Jacob Hawxwell, Hom Dhakal, Jos Sinke, Uğur Köklü, Emmanuel Brousseau

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Fibre metal laminates (FMLs) are multilayered metal composite materials currently used in aeronautical structures, especially where fatigue and impact resistance are required. FMLs are produced in large panels and often require assembly using the drilling process for riveting purposes. Hole making is a critical machining process in the joining and assembly of aeronautical components, which has to meet stringent tolerance requirements. This paper reports a systematic analysis of hole integrity when drilling an FML known as GLARE®. In particular, the primary objective is to investigate the impact of three different drill coatings (TiAlN, TiN and AlTiN/TiAlN), against several important hole parameters: thrust force, hole size, circularity, cylindricity and perpendicularity. The results show that TiAlN-coated drills produced the highest thrust force, while TiN-coated drills produced holes with the lowest deviation between the hole diameter measured at the entry and the exit and that the drill coating was the most influential parameter for the resulting hole size. TiAlN-coated drills resulted in the highest circularity at the upper part of the hole, while hole cylindricity tended to be best when using AlTiN/TiAlN- and TiN-coated drills. The ANOVA analysis shows that the drill coating and the spindle speed had a significant influence on hole size and circularity, while drill coating was the only influential parameter on hole cylindricity, and spindle speed was the only contributing parameter on hole perpendicularity. Finally, scanning electron microscopy analyses showed two distinct hole wall surface damage phenomenon due to broken fibres and evacuated metallic chips.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Early online date27 Mar 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 27 Mar 2020


  • drilling
  • thrust force
  • coatings
  • hole size
  • circularity
  • cylindricity
  • perpendicularity
  • Glare®


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