Increasing governmental fuel economy requirements drives automakers to increase the fuel economy of their fleets. One of the methods for improving fuel economy is lightweighting vehicles through the use of materials with high strength to weight ratios. Some of these new metals entering the automotive sector are difficult to machine and cause drastically reduced tool life and increase machining cost. It has been shown that electricity has the ability to reduce cutting force during orthogonal cutting and turning. In this research, a design of experiments study on an electrically assisted drilling operation is conducted to determine the impact and interaction between the following input parameters: applied electric current, feedrate, spindle speed, and number of holes cut. These variables used to determine impact and interaction on the following output variables: flank wear, axial cutting force, and temperature evolution. A 2D finite volume method model is used to predict drilling temperature during the process, and is used to aid in predicting axial force. It is found that electric current can reduce cutting force by 10% for 1008 steel at the cost of increased temperature, however, arcing at initial contact causes increased tool wear at higher current inputs.

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