Varying machining conditions are encountered in adaptively controlled machining situations where operating conditions such as the feedrate and spindle speed are adjusted continuously to achieve desired objectives. Proper design, of constraint-type adaptive control systems in particular, requires models of the milling process mechanics since the milling process is usually part of the feedback loop. The adequacy of available models of milling process mechanics is evaluated here experimentally for many cases of varying machining conditions, including changing axial and radial depths of cut and feedrate. Startup transients in the force as the cutter engages the workpiece are also investigated. The significance of dynamic effects in the milling process and of effects such as runout, for constraint-type adaptive control system design, is then evaluated.

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