Cooling and lubrication systems for processing FRP

Users are faced with major challenges when processing fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) because of the abrasiveness of carbon fibers and the heterogeneity of material properties. Machining these materials causes tools to wear fast, which impairs process results. As the process quality decreases, delamination occurs more frequently and edges start to fray. Consequently cost-intensive new tools have to be purchase and components repaired. Process parameters can only be adjusted to a limited extent because of the risk of component damage due, for example, to excessive warmth or mechanical defects. The uncontrolled and possibly even harmful development of dust when machining CFRP is also a health hazard for workers. One way of solving these problems is to implement a cooling and lubrication concept.

Not only are tool wear, processing times and dust emission reduced but also machining qualities improved if a cooling lubricant is used when machining fiber-reinforced plastics. This results in cost advantages arising from a longer tool life, improved process quality and shorter processing times. Furthermore, lower dust emissions enhance the safety of man and machine.

The Department of Lightweight Construction Technologies investigates the process quality and tool life of machines used with and without cooling lubricants to process FRP. We assess the chemical compatibility of cooling lubricants with workpiece materials. We also develop new coolants/lubricants and cooling and lubrication technologies. If desired, for our customers we optimize parameters for processing FRP with cooling lubricants.