The objective of this study is to investigate smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) method in simulating drilling process of both brittle and ductile materials. Drilling simulation is commonly performed by finite element method (FEM); however, it is challenging when applied to small debris generated by brittle materials or special cutting tools, due to the inability to capture small chip interactions. SPH was originally developed for flow analysis but has been recently used in cutting research. In this study, SPH is compared with FEM by four case studies. The results show that SPH can simulate ductile drilling, but the chip formation and forces are not as reasonable as FEM. On the other hand, SPH can capture small fragmented debris in brittle material drilling, which cannot be done by FEM with an equivalent mesh size. SPH method is also found to be affected by the distance between the particles (element size in FEM) and numerical errors on the free surfaces, both of which require further investigation beyond this paper.

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