The effects of drilling parameters and material properties are investigated on epoxy matrix syntactic foams reinforced with 20, 40, and 60 volume percent glass microballoon. The influences of cutting speed, feed, drill diameter, and filler content on drilling performance are studied based on the full factorial design of experiments using tungsten carbide twist drills. Based on experimental results, machinability aspects within the range of the chosen input parameters are predicted using response surface methodology-based models, which can guide industrial practitioners for choosing the appropriate process parameters. Microscopy is conducted on the drilled specimens to understand crack initiation and propagation mechanisms. The thrust force and specific cutting coefficient of syntactic foam are 40 % lower as compared to those of neat epoxy. The surface roughness of syntactic foams is higher than that of neat epoxy. The micrographs of drill bits show negligible tool wear. These results show the possibility of using syntactic foams in industrial applications in which the drilling of material is required for reasons such as joining using bolts.
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