Case Study


Machining of Polymers

Variables Affecting Surface Finish

Material Variables
Glass Transition Temperature (Tg)
Melt Temperature (Tm)
Molecular Weight
Machining Variables
Cutting Speed (relaxation rate)
Cutting Edge Radius
Tool Angles (Rake/Clearance)
Tool surface tribological properties

Representative Temperature Sweep for Thermoplastic Polymers

Rationale Behind Temperature Control (Tg < Room Temperature)

Rationale Behind Temperature Control (Tg > Room Temperature)

PEEK Machining Demonstration


To investigate the impact of various cryo gas temperatures on burr formation.

To compare surface characteristics of hydroxyapatite filled PEEK when machined dry and cryogenically.


Unfilled PEEK, hydroxyapatite filled PEEK.

Machining conditions:

Tooling and machining standards per publicized guidelines (constant for dry and cryo machined samples).


– Compressed air

– Various cryogenic cooling conditions:

+ Liquid nitrogen, Cryo gas at -250°F, -150°F, -100°F and -50°F.

+ Cryo brushing at -250°F.

Analytical information:

Light microscopy, SEM, EDS analysis.

Note: Cryo gas temperature measured at End-of-Line (EOL) box prior to nozzle.

Dry Machining vs. Cryo-machining Results

Comparison of Surface Profiles (Dry Cutting Vs. ICEFLY)

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