Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composites have many excellent properties, which make them be widely used in many applications. After demolding processes, CFRP composites still need additional machining processes to achieve final shape with desired tolerances. Edge trimming is the first machining process performed on composites after their molding processes. Because of carbon fibers’ abrasive properties as well as CFRPs’ properties of inhomogeneity and anisotropy, CFRPs are regarded as the difficult-to-cut materials. Many problems are generated in traditional machining processes. To reduce and solve the problems, edge trimming using rotary ultrasonic machining (RUM) is reported in this manuscript. This paper, for the first time, makes the comparisons on machining performance (cutting forces, torque, and surface roughness) between edge trimming processes with and without ultrasonic vibration assistance. To better understand effects of ultrasonic vibration on such a process, machining mechanisms are also obtained and analyzed. This paper will provide guides for RUM edge trimming of CFRP composites.

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