A study on the machinability of advanced arc PVD AlCrN-coated tungsten carbide tools in drilling of CFRP/titanium alloy stacks

Dave Kim, Sam R. Swan, Bin He, Viktor Khominich, Eric Bell, Seok Woo Lee, Tae Gon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to investigate the effect of an aluminum chromium nitride (AlCrN) coating on tool wear and hole quality in the conventional drilling process of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) composites, titanium alloy (Ti), and CFRP–Ti stack workpieces popular in the aerospace industry. The advanced arc plasma acceleration (APA) method of physical vapor deposition (PVD) was used for all AlCrN coatings. The drilling experiments were conducted with uncoated drills as well as AlCrN-coated drills. When drilling CFRP only, the AlCrN coating was removed at the drill cutting edges and the margin area, which suggests the carbon fibers abraded the coatings. When drilling Ti only, the AlCrN-coated drill mitigated the Ti adhesion formation, which resulted in less tool wear. In addition, hole quality for both CFRP and Ti was improved when the coating was used versus the uncoated tool. The machinability of CFRP–Ti stacks in the drilling process was improved by utilizing the advanced AlCrN coating on the WC tool in terms of drilling forces and hole quality parameters such as average hole size, average hole roundness, hole surface roughness, and Ti exit burr height.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-507
Number of pages11
JournalCarbon Letters
Issue number3
Early online date28 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Korean Carbon Society.


Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH) in the Republic of Korea [grant number JE190014, entitled “Development of machinability optimization in carbon fiber-reinforced plastics machining system using machine learning algorithm”].


  • AlCrN coating
  • Carbon fibers
  • CFRP–titanium alloy stacks
  • Drilling
  • Hole quality
  • Tool wear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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