The Correlation of the Volumetric Wear Rate of Turning Tool Inserts With Carbide Grain Sizes

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Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering




The objective of this paper is to analyze the effect of different carbide grain sizes on the tool material volume worn away from straight tungsten–carbide–cobalt (WC–Co) turning inserts. A previously developed metrology method for assessing the tool material volume worn away from milling inserts is adapted for quantifying the volumetric tool wear (VTW) of turning inserts. Controlled turning experiments are conducted at suitable points in the feed-speed design space for two sets of uncoated inserts having different carbide grain sizes. Three levels of Ti–6Al–4V stock removal volumes (10-cm3 each) are analyzed. For each insert, the tool material volume worn away (in mm3) as well as the three-dimensional (3D) wear profile evolution is quantified after each run. Further, the specific volumetric wear rate and the M-ratio (volume of stock removed to VTW) are related to the material removal rate (MRR). The effect of carbide grain size on VTW is examined using scanning electron microscopy and elemental analysis. Finally, the inverse dependence of the M-ratio on MRR enables the definition of actual usable tool life in terms of its efficiency in removing stock, rather than being based on a tool geometry related metric.