Machined surface quality determines the reliability, wear resistance and service life of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) workpieces. In this work, the formation mechanism of the surface topography and the machining defects of CFRPs are proposed, and the influence of milling parameters and fiber cutting angles on the surface quality of CFRPs is obtained, which can provide a reference for extended tool life and good surface quality. Trimming and slot milling tests of unidirectional CFRP laminates are performed. The surface roughness of the machined surface is measured, and the influence of milling parameters on the surface roughness is analyzed. A regression model for the surface roughness of CFRP milling is established. A significance test of the regression model is conducted. The machined surface topography of milling CFRP unidirectional laminates with different fiber orientations is analyzed, and the effect of fiber cutting angle on the surface topography of the machined surface is presented by using a digital super depth-of-field microscope and scanning electron microscope (SEM). To study the influence of fiber cutting angle on machining defects, the machined topography under different fiber orientations is analyzed. The slot milling defects and their formation mechanism under different fiber cutting angles are investigated.
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