A novel finite element method approach in the modelling of edge trimming of CFRP laminates

Fernando Cepero-Mejias, Nicolas Duboust, Vaibhav A. Phadnis, Kevin Kerrigan, Jose L. Curiel-Sosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Nowadays, the development of robust finite element models is vital to research costeffectively the optimal cutting parameters of a composite machining process. However, various factors, such as the high computational cost or the complicated nature of the interaction between the workpiece and the cutting tool significantly hinder the modelling of these types of processes. For these reasons, the numerical study of common machining operations, especially in composite machining, is still minimal. This paper presents a novel approach comprising a mixed multidirectional composite damage mode with composite edge trimming operation. An ingenious finite element framework which infer the cutting edge tool wear assessing the incremental change of the machining forces is developed. This information is essential to replace tool inserts before the tool wear could cause severe damage in the machined parts. Two unidirectional carbon fibre specimens with fibre orientations of 45° and 90° manufactured by pre-preg layup and cured in an autoclave were tested. Excellent machining force predictions were obtained with errors below 10% from the experimental trials. A consistent 2D FE composite damage model previously performed in composite machining was implemented to mimic the material failure during the machining process. The simulation of the spring back effect was shown to notably increase the accuracy of the numerical predictions in comparison to similar investigations. Global cutting forces simulated were analysed together with the cutting tool tooth forces to extract interesting conclusions regarding the forces received by the spindle axis and the cutting tool tooth, respectively. In general terms, vertical and normal forces steadily increase with tool wear, while tangential to the cutting tool, tooth and horizontal machining forces do not undergo a notable variation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4743
Number of pages26
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


This research was funded by EPSRC grant number EP/L016257/1. The APC was funded by The University of Sheffield.


  • machining
  • machining forces
  • finite element
  • modelling
  • edge trimming
  • CFRP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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