While the behavior of metals under machining conditions has been extensively researched and is well understood, plastics are not. With plastics being a new material in comparison, the unique behaviors presented by plastics make it’s machining a unique challenge. Current techniques for selection of machining parameters for plastics result in large amounts of trial and error on the part of machinists. In order to make the same strides in the machining of plastics, it is necessary to begin developing the knowledge of the unique behaviors of plastics in order to allow for more effective machining techniques to develop.
To achieve this goal, a knowledge base on the behavior of plastics, as well as determination of the relations between machining parameters and the quality of machined parts must be developed. This involves the design of experiments in order to create a large enough sample space to begin drawing correlations and relationships from. In turn, these relationships will allow for proper selection of machining parameters (feeds, speeds, etc.) based on the material properties of a particular plastic, streamlining the machining process while still guaranteeing acceptable finish quality.