High-speed milling is often modeled as a kind of highly interrupted machining, when the ratio of time spent cutting to not cutting can be considered as a small parameter. In these cases, the classical regenerative vibration model, playing an essential role in machine tool vibrations, breaks down to a simplified discrete mathematical model. The linear analysis of this discrete model leads to the recognition of the doubling of the so-called instability lobes in the stability charts of the machining parameters. This kind of lobe-doubling is related to the appearance of period doubling vibrations originated in a flip bifurcation. This is a new phenomenon occurring primarily in low-immersion high-speed milling along with the Neimark-Sacker bifurcations related to the classical self-excited vibrations or Hopf bifurcations. The present work investigates the nonlinear vibrations in case of period doubling and compares this to the well-known subcritical nature of the Hopf bifurcations in turning processes. The identification of the global attractor in case of unstable cutting leads to contradiction between experiments and theory. This contradiction draws the attention to the limitations of the small parameter approach related to the highly interrupted cutting condition.

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