Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2016) 82:2075–2086

DOI 10.1007/s00170-015-7525-0

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Evaluating surface roughness, tool life, and machining force
when milling free-form shapes on hardened AISI D6 steel
Innocenzo Scandiffio 1 & Anselmo Eduardo Diniz 2 & Adriano Fagali de Souza 3

Received: 7 March 2015 / Accepted: 1 July 2015 / Published online: 16 July 2015
# Springer-Verlag London 2015

Abstract Today, the AISI D6 tool steel has been employed in
the manufacture of dies and molds that require high mechanical properties. Such hard material is not trivial to machining.
Milling free-form geometries of D6 is a challenge usually
faced at die and mold industries. Therefore, the current paper
presents an investigation of free-form milling of hard material
AISI D6 tool steel using a ball-end cemented carbide cutting
tool. The influence of the toolpath direction (descendant and
ascendant) and tool-workpiece surface contact were examined, and the machining forces, surface roughness, tool wear,
and tool life were evaluated. The experiments were performed
in two kinds of workpieces: in the first one, the milled surface
was a cylindrical and in the second, the surface was inclined
planes (with three different inclinations). The results indicate
that the most influential factor for tool life was tool vibration.
The higher the vibration, the shorter the tool life. Further,
unlike milling of ordinary materials for molds and dies, the
engagement of the center of the tool tip during cutting is

* Adriano Fagali de Souza
Adriano.fagali@ufsc.br
Innocenzo Scandiffio
innocenzo@globo.com
Anselmo Eduardo Diniz
anselmo@fem.unicamp.br
1

Technology College SENAI “Roberto Mange”, 71 Pastor Cicero
Canuto de Lima Street, São Bernardo, Campinas, SP 13036-210,
Brazil

2

State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Cidade Universitária
Zeferino Vaz, Mendeleiev Street s/n, Barão Geraldo,
Campinas, SP 13083-970, Brazil

3

Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), 406 Presidente
Prudente de Moraes Street, Joinville, SC 89218-000, Brazil

advantageous for the machining process of hard materials because it improves cutting stability, thus reducing surface
roughness and increasing tool life.
Keywords Free-form milling . AISI D6 tool steel . Cutting
tool wear

1 Introduction
Several papers have been published in recent decades about
milling free-form geometries using ball-end cutting tools to
manufacture dies and molds. These tools, which are widely
used in modern industry, play a key role in the manufacture of
a variety of articles made of plastics to hard materials, e.g.,
bottles and toys, electronics, and highly sophisticated automotive and aerospace components [1]. Most of these papers address issues such as the effects of cutting force, cutting tool
deflection, and geometrical errors on manufactured parts. All
these studies focus on a single goal, which is to determine
cost-effective machining speeds [2].
The phenomena involved in milling free-form geometries
with a ball-end cutting tool are still not fully understood because this process differs drastically from conventional milling [3]. In free-form milling, the contact between tool and
machined surface changes constantly, particularly in finishing
operations. A significant influential factor in complex surface
machining by ball nose milling for part accuracy and tool life
is the cutting force. There has been little research on cutting
force model for ball nose milling [4].
The current paper contributes to the body of knowledge on
the subject, investigating the influence of toolpath direction
and tool-workpiece surface contact on machining force, surface roughness, tool wear, and tool life in free-form milling
with a ball-end cutting tool when milling hard materials, as

Souza et al. Ozturk et al. Souza et al. The work contributed to understand the tool-surface contact in free-form milling. in this case. According to Toh [8]. 2 Free-form milling During free-form milling. [7] tested cylindrical surface machining with a ball-end mill on AISI P20 steel with approximately 30 HRc of hardness. the Cartesian components of force were more stable in the ascendant direction. in this case. and reducing the effective cutting diameter reduces the cutting speed. [10] investigated the influence of lead and tilt angles on surface finish quality. The machining strategies they adopted were ascendant and descendant direction at three different cutting speeds. in this condition. neither the tool wear nor tool path strategies were investigated. Descendant tool path were assumed and the work reports the damages on the machining process when the tool tip center was engaged on the cutting area. both angles formed between the surface normal direction (N) and the cross-feed direction.2076 Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2016) 82:2075–2086 quenched and tempered AISI D6 steel. In the case of clockwise rotating tools. The work presented a geometrical analysis of the alteration of the contact between the ball-end tool with the machined surface along the path. whose cutting speed is null. the tool may deflect toward Lead angle 4th quadrant 3th quadrant Lead angle F | Fx F | Fx Shearing cut Ploughing cut Tool tip in the cutting area Material to be removed Tool tip out of the cutting area . They stated that these angles should be zero to minimize workpiece shape error because the radial and tangential components of machining force are minimal in this condition. which has zero cutting speed. Thus. 2c). Based on their study. The factor to be considered when selecting the tilt angle is tool deflection. periodically engages in the cutting area. In a previews work. 10]. which may be detrimental to the machining process. Tool-workpiece engagement varies continuously and cannot be calculated analytically [6]. both angles can be formed even in three-axis milling. which leads to plastic deformation of the workpiece material. The cutting force is influenced by the effective cutting diameter. 2a). usually used to manufacture dies and molds. which changes constantly along the toolpath. In such cases. The work addresses neither the tool wear nor the free-form milling of hard materials. the best cutting direction for machining free-form shapes with a ball-end tool is ascendant milling using the copy milling strategy because. and the influences of the cutting speed. Depending on the complexity of the surface. the center of the tool comes into contact with the workpiece causing the cutting speed to be zero and stimulating plastic deformation on the machined surface. 2b). A tilt angle is formed when the machined surface is rotated around the feed axis (Fig. when the tilt angle is negative. When milling a planar surface perpendicular to the tool axis using a three-axis milling machine. The authors also noted that. the lead angle should be positioned in a slightly positive direction. the cutting force increases by about 100 %. the reduction of the effective tool radius is smaller than in descendant direction. plastic deformation instead of shearing may occur. The most significant factor that increases the machining force is the engagement of the center of the tool during cutting. and a lead angle is formed when the machined surface is rotated in the cross-feed direction (Fig. However. which also minimizes tool deflection. [11] investigated the milling of free-form surfaces of soft tool steel (30 HRc). However. greatly reducing the contact between tool tip and machined surface. Figure 1 illustrates such a case. the authors concluded that with the parameters adopted in their tests. can engage in the cutting process at some moments of the tool trajectory [5]. when the center of the tool tip is engaged. which proved to be the best option for surface milling. which increases surface roughness [7]. the angle formed between the surface normal direction (N) and the feed direction is null (Fig. the cutting speed is zero. The center of the tool tip. depending on the direction of the cutting force. the inconveniences of machining at low cutting speeds and significant plastic deformation (plowing) can be avoided [9. They observed that the forces are strongly influenced by the Fig. 1 Tool-workpiece surface contact in ascendant and descendant milling tool-workpiece contact position. the contact of a ball-nose tool changes constantly and the center of its tip. Therefore. thus increasing the machining forces.

The workpiece material was AISI D6 steel with 60 HRc of hardness. the opposite is also true. this study investigates these aspects applied to the milling of free-form geometries of hard tool steel using a ball-end cutting tool. 3) in the direction perpendicular to the feed. 3 Experimental procedures Two experimental phases were required to achieve the goal of the proposed work. tool life. the lead angle varied as the tool traveled along the workpiece. the engagement of the tool center in the cutting results in poor quality finish and short tool life. According to Wojciechowski [12]. The correct choice of these parameters reduces cutting forces while minimizing tool deflection [14]. and Cross-feed direction (b) Plane cross feed-tool axis. particularly with respect to milling hard materials used in the manufacture of dies and molds. The workpiece material had a hardness of 300 HB. In all experiments. leading to imperfections in finish and dimensional tolerance. inclining the tool (either lead or tilt angles difference of zero) prevents its central area from engaging in the machining process. a second experimental phase was necessary. planar surfaces with different inclinations were milled and tool life was evaluated. Such variations are detrimental to the tool and the machined surface quality. and radial depth of cut (ae). Each roughness value reported in this paper represents the average of five values measured in each region. was used. Therefore. and surface roughness were analyzed. First. A better description of both experimental phases is described ahead. the tilt angle was the input variable (three different inclinations of the surface). the surface inclination have a significant quantitative and qualitative effect on the cutting forces and Fan and Loftus [13] reported that variations in machining force could cause premature tool wear and poor quality finish. When the milling was made in a circular surface using three axis milling. To gain a better understanding of this cutting process. The tool used in their experiments was a 16-mmdiameter TiCN-coated ball-end mill. Boujelbene et al. 2 Tilt and lead angles when milling free-form geometries Tool axis Tilt angle Cross-feed direction Feed direction Tool axis Normal to surface direction (N) (a) Directions the workpiece. In general. a positive tilt angle should be avoided whenever possible. measured in four positions in each region (see Fig. According to the authors. which increases the cutting speed and improves the surface quality of the machined workpiece. With counter-clockwise-rotating tools. Variations in machining force can cause tool deflection. [9] tested the effect of milling tool orientation on tool life and surface of dies and molds for plastic injection. Al)N. resulting in excessive removal of material. the literature review carried out for this study revealed a gap in knowledge about tool wear. On the other hand.000. After the experiments. According to the authors. . The roughness parameter used was Ra with a cutoff length of 0. In this second phase. tool wear.8 mm. Tilt angle Lead angle Normal to surface direction (N) (c) Plane Feed-tool axis. particularly in terms of tool wear and tool life.Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2016) 82:2075–2086 2077 Tool axis Fig. a workpiece with a free-form surface (circular shape) was milled and the components of the machining force. Lead angle surface roughness. ISO code R216F-1640E-L. a 16-mm-diameter indexable ball-end mill cutting tool with ISO H grade carbide inserts coated with (Ti. To minimize deflection. the experiments made in planar surfaces. In the current work. axial depth of cut (ap). The experiments were performed in a five-axis CNC machining center operating at a maximum power of 24 kW and maximum spindle rotation capacity of 12. Roughness was measured with a digital roughness meter. tool wear was measured with a microscope coupled to a camera and image processing software. the worn tools were examined in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) coupled to an EDS analyzer in order to determine the behavior of the tool during the experiments. The combination of lead and tilt angles can increase the limit of process stability by up to fourfold [10]. During the experiments. one must find the best compromise between tool length and diameter (related to the rigidity of the tool). Their study indicated that machining with an inclined tool reduces the polishing time by approximately 37 % and increases tool life by 110 %.

To this end. so the cutting speed is low or even zero. Machining force (Fu) is a tridimensional vector generated by the removal of material in a machining process. and Fz) can be determined by means of piezoelectric dynamometers. the axial component of the machining force is Fz itself. the tool tip does not engage with the workpiece. i. and dynamometer coordinate system.1 First experimental phase: free-form milling Workpiece The workpiece geometry was chosen to represent dies and molds and to evaluate the forces and their behavior when milling a non-planar surface with a ball-end tool.2078 Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2016) 82:2075–2086 Fig. 4 Diagram of cutting force (Fc) and radial force (Fr) obtained from the Cartesian components of machining force at a specific moment during cutting . 3b illustrates what were considered regions 1. Machining force The components of the machining force were evaluated to shed light on the behavior of surface roughness and tool wear. the effective tool diameter is higher. F c ¼ F act x cos φ ð1Þ Fig. and (iii) the CNC programs were generated using circular interpolation commands (G02 or G03–NC codes) to exclude the influence of feed rate oscillations.000 points per second) and an eigth order lowpass filter with a cutoff frequency of 600 Hz were used. 4. and the edge position along each cut. but because the area of the intersection of both circular arcs (workpiece and cutting tool) is kept constant. In the experiments of this study. tool. A high sampling rate (10.. In region 1. a quarter-cylinder with a radius of 27 mm and toolpaths along its circular arc was identified as a suitable geometry/ process to study the forces and their behavior during the milling of non-planar surfaces. after which it disengages. and 3 in the analysis of the results. as illustrated in Fig. and the cutting speed changes as a function of the tool’s effective diameter. Fy. The radial component (Fr) of Fu is responsible for tool deflection together with Fc. This geometry enables one to understand the machining phenomena in a situation similar to that of the real application because (i) the center of the tool is engaged in cutting at the beginning of the milling process (in descendant feed direction). The Cartesian components of the machining force were determined using a KISTLER 9272 piezoelectric dynamometer connected to an OPHIR RF model 5019 signal amplifier. The Cartesian components of machining force (Fx. 2. The measuring ranges of the dynamometer were as follows: Fx and Fy from −5 to 5 kN and Fz from −5 to (b) Regions of roughness measurement 20 kN. (ii) the position of contact between the cutting edge and workpiece also alternates from moment to moment. the programmed feed rate was equal to the actual feed rate during machining. 3 Workpiece scheme (a) Workpiece and dynamometer position 3. 1 and 2 were used to calculate Fc and Fr. which kept the actual feed per tooth constant. Both components (Fc and Fr) can be determined using the Cartesian components Fx and Fy obtained from a dynamometer. 4. the diameter of the tool in contact with the workpiece is very small. Cutting force (Fc) is the component of Fu on the cutting plane tangential to the cutting direction. Eqs.e. In regions 2 and 3. while Fig. Based on Fig. the volume of removed material should also be constant throughout the tool-work piece contact. Figure 3a depicts the workpiece.

6b.1 Components of the machining force Components Fax. the components of the machining force must be correlated with the tool position. feed per tooth (fz) 0. In these experiments. the tool tip (with null cutting speed) engages the cutting area at the beginning of the path. 4 Results and discussion 4.1 mm. 2.3 Cutting parameters applied to all the experiments Climb milling was used in all the tested strategies.2 mm or catastrophic tool failure occurred. which are usually present in free-form milling. Due to these characteristics. Both ascendant and descendant strategies were tested (Fig. Table 1 describes the strategies used in all the experiments of the two phases. maximum cutting speed (vcmax) 360 m/ min. b 45°. and 3 of the cylindrical workpiece.Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2016) 82:2075–2086 2079 F r ¼ F act x sem φ ð2Þ F z ¼ Axial forceð F ax Þ where:Fact =vectorial sum of Fx and Fya’=instantaneous angular position of the cutting edge. The machining process remained in this mode of instability up to the end of the path. the experiment was interrupted and the tool was considered to have reached its end of life. In general. All the experiments were replicated once. the cut becomes end milling and the axial force increases considerably. the region where the center of the tool was in contact with the workpiece or the region where the external diameter was in contact with it. the following geometric aspects must also be considered: (i) the constant change in effective tool diameter according to the tool’s position along the path. 5). 3. 6b. In the descendant direction. When the lead angle is zero the tool axis is perpendicular to the machined surface. 6d–f) between each action of the cutting edge. To better understand the behavior of tool wear as a function of the tool contact with the machined surface. the tool contact point with the workpiece remained constant.2 Second experimental phase: milling of planar and inclined surfaces To check the critical surface inclination for machining in terms of tool life. axial depth of cut (ap) 0. c). and hence. 7a–c). First. The cutting parameters used in the experiments were as follows: tool revolution (n) 7162 rpm. 3. These inclinations correspond to the average inclination in regions 1. sometimes even reaching zero. Figure 6 shows these components when milling in an ascendant direction. tool wear was spread along the tool edges in all the experiments. (ii) the change in angle between the tool axis and the machined surface (lead angle). These characteristics. and (iii) the constant change in contact angle between the cutting edge and the workpiece at each revolution of the tool. and Fr are presented according to the toolpath during machining with descendant and ascendant trajectories for the circular milling. and c 85° (a) (b) (c) . In addition. the effective tool diameter is small.2 mm. the goal in the second experimental phase was to determine which cutting region was more detrimental to the tool. To understand the behavior of the forces that are active in such machining conditions. 45°. All the machining strategies were performed without cutting fluid. 6a) increased by about 11fold at the end of the path compared to its value at the beginning of the cut (lead angle equal to 90°). The radial and tangential components of the force (Fig. with a vibration period of close to 50 cutting actions of the tool edges (25 tool revolutions). 5 Experimental procedure with planar surface tilted at a 5°. visualizing the force signals. A reduction in cutting speed increases the forces. In other words. Fc. and radial depth of cut (ae) 0. planar surfaces with 5°. increasing the complexity of the machining process. the second experimental phase was proposed and is described below. and 85° of inclination were milled.3 mm. since the entire periphery of the cutting edge had contact with the workpiece during milling of the quarter-cylinder. c) exhibited a remarkable phenomenon. The magnitude of the forces was very high at the beginning of the path where the lead angle is close to zero (Fig. the forces increase at the end of the path when the lead angle approaches zero because when the tool is cutting this region. This is attributed to the following factors that were generated by the Fig. and this reflected strongly on the surface roughness and tool wear. a low-frequency vibration of force signals can be observed (Fig. Therefore. alter the cutting speed and the direction and magnitude of the forces. as discussed in this paper. When the tool flank wear (VB) reached 0. The axial component (Fig. the cutting speed is very low. the workpiece vibrated at the tooth passing frequency (see Fig.

Second. the axial force was about 4-fold higher than when the lead angle was close to 90° (maximum effective tool diameter). 7b. cutting became intermittent and Fax reached zero in the intervals when no cutting edge was engaged. as indicated by the arrows in Fig.2 and 4. At the end of the toolpath. The third noteworthy point of the experiments is that Fax was always in the positive direction for a certain period at the beginning of the descendant path. Therefore. After this period. [7] experiments. which involved milling D6 steel. in our study. 6 Ascendant milling. a Fax (axial force). as the lead angle increased. when milling P20. When milling D6. in which the effective tool radius and cutting speed increase and the forces change direction. The following discussion is aimed at understanding why the descendant path favored much greater machining stability. this machining strategy proved to be much more stable than the ascendant direction (Fig. At the end of the trajectory. since the force never reached zero. b Fr (radial force). First. as discussed in items 4. the Souza et al. This did not seem to be intermittent cutting as in ordinary milling. the authors found that when the lead angle was close to zero (tool tip in cutting). Therefore. the Fax value when milling D6 is much higher than Fr and Fc when the lead angle is close to zero. c). Fax was about threefold higher than Fr at the beginning of the path. No significant vibration occurred when milling P20 in both directions (ascendant and descendant milling).7a. and proposes some conclusions. Components Fc and Fr (Fig. c Fc (cutting force) (c) (f) . still citing the aforementioned work [7].2080 Table 1 Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2016) 82:2075–2086 Machining strategies Strategy Machining condition Strategy 1 Circular descendant Strategy 2 Circular ascendant Strategy 3 Strategy 4 Linear with descendant cut and 5° workpiece inclination Linear with ascendant cut and 5° workpiece inclination Strategy 5 Strategy 6 Linear with descendant cut and 45° workpiece inclination Linear with ascendant cut and 45° workpiece inclination Strategy 7 Linear with descendant cut and 85° workpiece inclination Strategy 8 Linear with ascendant cut and 85° workpiece inclination fact that the effective tool diameter is at its lowest value along the toolpath: (i) the tool-workpiece contact angle in each revolution is higher in that region and (ii) in addition to the force needed to remove the chip. This stability was reflected in better surface roughness and longer tool life in descendant cutting. Conversely. 8.3 of this paper. Fr and Fc were somewhat higher than Fax. This was attributed to the fact that the effective (b) (e) Fig. Fr was about 20 % higher than Fax. c) showed some changes in direction due to the alteration of the tool contact on the machined surface. as illustrated in Fig. revealed that the axial force (Fax) was about 10 % (a) (d) higher than the radial force Fr at the beginning of the descendant path. This is the result of the transition of end milling to tangential milling. Fr and Fc are responsible for tool deflection and vibration. which involved milling cylindrical surfaces of AISI P20 (30 HRc) with ballend tools. However. 6b. contrary to reports in the literature. it can be concluded that the phenomenon of plastic deformation is much more intense when milling a hard and high resistant steel like the D6 than when milling the softer P20 steel. the tool also has to overcome the force needed to plastically deform the material due to the low cutting speed. the axial force decreased about 15-fold from lead angles 0° to 90° (beginning and end of the path).

b Fr (radial force). c Fc (cutting force) tool diameter in that region was so small that it made the tool contact angle very high. 6). cutting in the ascendant direction favored low stability at the beginning of the path when milling D6 steel because the larger effective tool diameter generated higher radial/ tangential than axial forces (Fig. Fig.Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2016) 82:2075–2086 2081 (a) (d) (b) (c) (e) (f) Fig. there was always a cutting edge engaged in cutting. a Fax (axial force). This was not the case in the ascendant path because the effective tool diameter was higher and the tool tip (zero diameter) was never engaged in the cut. Therefore. On the other hand. Moreover. the high plastic deformation of the material in this region also contributed to prevent Fax from reaching zero. 7 Descendant milling. Fax and tip center in cutting preventing vibration Because of these aforementioned points. 8 Descendant path. This resulted in significant . the tool in the descendant path started cutting in a stable condition and maintained this stability up to the end of the path.

60 0. The roughness measured in region 1 for descendant and ascendant cutting was very similar. the variations in Fr and Fc cannot deflect the tool and can therefore not cause the formation of surface roughness.00 Region 1 Region 2 Descendant Ascendant Region 3 . in the three regions of the samples.40 0.20 0. surface roughness in this region is similar in both ascendant and descendant cut machining. as indicated by the analysis of force signal already made. it was even smaller than in ascendant cut. comparisons are made of tool life in circular milling (strategies 1 and 2) and linear milling (strategies 3 to 8) to determine in which cutting region (1.2. only a portion of the edge of the cutting tool is in contact with the workpiece. when the tool tip is engaged in cutting and the axial force is much higher than Fc and Fr. In both strategies the effective tool diameter was small. In addition to the oscillations of the forces in the interval between each action of the tool edges. This is because plastic deformation of the workpiece material occurred in this region as the result of the low cutting speed. Three-axis descendant cut and ascendant cut machining In this section. a low-frequency variation of force signals occurred. the machining behavior was very stable.00 0. Figure 9 also shows that region 1 is the one with the highest roughness in descendant milling. 9 Comparison of roughness. In ascendant milling. c shows that this low-frequency vibration also occurred during cutting in region 1 (end of the tool trajectory). In summary. 2. causing the tool life to be approximately twofold longer than in the ascendant milling and circular strategy. 6b. which is attributed to the fact that this component of force does not deflect the tool. The results depicted in Fig. or 3) the tool undergoes greater damage.2082 Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2016) 82:2075–2086 vibration (caused by tool deflection). favors low-frequency vibration. 4. as it was already mentioned. as will be discussed in section 4. This condition Fig. c. as illustrated in Fig. In linear milling. the tool-workpiece contact diameter (effective diameter) is greater than in descendant milling and the center of the tool engages in cutting only at the highest point of the trajectory. As the tool moves along the circular path. roughness decreases. the tool tip exits the workpiece. the tool is pressed against the workpiece and is thus prevented from deflecting. In ascendant milling. Figure 6b. This larger diameter and therefore higher cutting speed decrease the influence of plastic deformation of the material during cutting in region 1 of the workpiece. The axial force increases drastically at the end of the path. obtained with fresh cutting edges.2 Surface roughness The roughness in circular machining strategies in descendant and ascendant milling conditions is presented by Fig. which remained until the tool reached the end of the path. the cutting speed increases. roughness was higher in regions 2 and 3 than in descendant milling because the tool begins cutting with its maximum effective diameter.24 0.51 0.80 0. but in descendant cut. which explains the higher values of roughness in ascendant milling. since the main cause of roughness in both machining directions is plastic deformation.20 0. but since the axial component of the force (which pushes the tool against the workpiece) is very high in this region. 9. favoring a more stable machining operation.3 Tool life 4. This difference in the effective diameter (and consequently in cutting speed) made the axial component of the force (Fax) to be smaller for the ascendant cut (see Figs. so wear occurs only in that portion. plastic deformation ceases. the tool vibration was smaller than in ascendant milling.56 0. and may also be a reason for shorter tool life in Comparison of Roughness–3-axis ascendant cut and descendant cut machining Roughness (Ra) 1. which cutting region generates the highest tool wear. In this strategy.72 1. thus generating better surface roughness in position 1 of the workpiece. 9 indicate that the variation of force in the tool’s axial direction does not affect surface roughness.. Thus. In circular descendant milling.15 0. Figure 10 compares tool life in all the experiments.52 0. tool life in circular milling is longer than in linear milling because wear is distributed along all the length of the cutting edge due to variations in effective tool diameter during cutting. and therefore. i.e. which reduced tool deflection (and vibration) caused by radial and axial forces. 6a and 7a). As can be seen.

i. Figure 10 also shows that strategies 3 and 4 (linear cutting and lead angle of +5° in descendant milling and −5° in ascendant milling) resulted in longer tool life than other linear strategies. Ti (a) (b) . W) Chipping and adhesion (Fe. b Ascendant little during each contact with the workpiece. 10 Comparison of tool life Comparision of Tool Life considering eight Strategies Tool Life -minutes 200 180 159 160 140 112 120 100 78 80 60 42 40 28 21 20 26 20 0 Strategy 1 Strategy 2 Strategy 3 Strategy 4 Strategy 5 Strategy 6 Strategy 7 Strategy 8 ascendant milling. However. One hypothesis to explain the negligible influence of cutting speed on tool life is that the cutting edge-workpiece contact angle in each revolution of the tool is very low (and decreases as the “lead angle” increases). so the temperature of the tool increases very Fig. Therefore.. as discussed in section 4. an 18 % increase in cutting speed reduced the tool life by no more than 5 %. so we consider this reason unimportant. the tool reaches its end of life mainly due to wear/damage resulting from a large effective tool diameter (region 3 in Fig. at least in terms of tool life.e. indicating that the plastic deformation of workpiece material that occurs during cutting with small lead angles is not so detrimental to the tool. As discussed in section 4. lower cutting speed and (b) greater stability of the process because. the difference in cutting speed was very small. respectively. both in ascendant milling) resulted in similar tool lives. if a cylindrical surface is cut while keeping the angle between tool and surface constant (which can be done in a machine with more than three axes). This indicates that cutting speed was not an influential factor in tool life. To summarize. ascendant cut led to greater variations in force along the toolpath (vibration). with a low angle of inclination. the lead angle should be as small as possible. by Chipping and Micro-chipping (W) adhesion (Fe. W) Adhesion (Fe. This point will be discussed in detail later in this section. hence.2. It should also be noted that strategies 5 to 7 (lead angles of 45° and 85°.1. This may be attributed to two factors: (a) smaller effective tool diameter and.Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2016) 82:2075–2086 2083 Fig. One reason for this difference may be the higher cutting speed applied in the ascendant milling strategy. tool life was more affected by tool feed direction (descendant or ascendant cut) than by cutting speed. since the effective diameter and cutting speed were higher with lead angle of 85° (cutting speed of 360 m/min) than with lead angle of 45° (cutting speed of 304 m/min). respectively. This indicates that. forcing the tool against the workpiece and thus reducing tool deflection and vibration. both in descendant milling) and strategies 6 to 8 (lead angles of −45° and −85°. Figure 10 also shows that all the strategies tested in the descendant cutting condition led to 30 to 165 % longer tool lives compared to those obtained in the corresponding ascendant cutting condition. a Descendant. Si) Al. when cutting a circular surface similar to that used in these experiments. The vibration that occurred in the ascendant cut strategies not only affected surface roughness but was also detrimental to tool life. 11 Tool flank face. 3). Threeaxis machining. even at high cutting speeds. However. our results indicate that the best option in terms of tool life is to copy the surface without changing the surface inclination. which affected workpiece roughness. Therefore. the axial force is higher.

b. was found in some regions of the tool’s cutting edge. An EDS analysis revealed the presence of tungsten (W). As discussed in section 4. which is present in the workpiece material. it can be Fig. This vibration generated an irregular chip flow and caused extrusion of the deformed material in the chip formation zone between the workpiece and the cutting edge. providing ideal conditions for its adhesion on the flank face. since the contact now takes place against a material (the tool substrate) whose friction coefficient is higher than that of the coating. adhesion of workpiece material occurred on the tool’s flank face due to vibration. 13 Tool flank face. Iron.1. since varying the lead angle during the tool trajectory. indicating that the tool’s coating was removed by micro-chipping. it can also be noted that the feed direction did not influence the wear the wear type and mechanism. albeit less intensely than in ascendant milling. which is an element of the insert substrate. thereby promoting adhesion (attrition). a Descendant. Judging from the presence of Fe in the worn area. In Fig. Machining at 85°. Machining at an angle of 5°. Ti Fe. Although the workpiece material was hardened and hence had low ductility. Figure 11b depicts one of the edges of the tool used in ascendant milling of the cylindrical surface. which enabled the attrition mechanism. 4. in the region where this micro-chipping occurred. The feed direction must be descendant in all cases. This micro-chipping undoubtedly increased the tool’s flank wear. it can be stated that in addition to micro-chipping. thus extending the tool life. W (a) (b) concluded that the main cause of wear was adhesion (attrition). workpiece material in the form of chips has to be extruded between the tool edge and the workpiece. b Ascendant cut Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2016) 82:2075–2086 Center of ball-end mill Center of ball-end mill W Fe Al. Note that the tool presented flank wear. Note that the edge presents flank wear and. leading to process instability and creating space for the extrusion of material between the cutting edge and the workpiece. which is the most common type of wear that occurs during the machining process. a Descendant cut. This strategy spreads the wear along all the edge. vibration occurred during the experiments mainly in ascendant milling. which accelerated the tool wear. [16] for the adhesion mechanism to occur at the tool flank face. The adhesion mechanism can be triggered by another phenomenon that begins the wear process by removing the tool coating layers and enabling adhesion. the adhesion and attrition mechanism (cyclical adhesion and removal of the adhered particles together with particles of the tool [15]) occurred in descendant milling. W Fe. The adhesive wear mechanism can occur at both low and high cutting speeds. 12 Tool flank face. 11a. b Ascendant Fe W W (a) Fe (b) .4 Analysis of tool wear in a scanning electron microscopy Figure 11a shows one of the edges of the tool used in descendant milling of the cylindrical surface. The cutting edge presented micro-chipping. provided the flow of chips is irregular. According to Diniz et al.2084 Fig. given the greater amount of workpiece material on the edge than in descendant milling.

2. as discussed earlier herein. Lee A (1995) Analysis of cutting forces in ballend milling. of extrusion of workpiece material/ chips between the tool and workpiece. a 125 % increase in cutting speed would cause a much more significant decrease in tool life. In conventional milling. these also note that the wear region is closer to the center of the tool in descendant cut. In these figures. indicating the negligible influence of cutting speed on tool life. and hence. Tsai C. Acknowledgments The authors thank FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation) and FAPESC (Santa Catarina Research Foundation) for funding this research project and the Technology College SENAI “Roberto Mange” for its practical support. The best way to cut a cylindrical surface is to use a strategy that allows the lead angle to vary as cutting proceeds in order to ensure that tool wear is spread along all the tool edge.18 mm in descendant milling and 4. The two feed directions resulted in similar types of tool wear. It should be noted that this tool inclination and resulting low cutting speed (close to zero) favor plastic deformation of the material. when hardened D6 steel was milled with a ball-end mill under the conditions applied in this study: – – – – – – In ascendant milling strategy. Kazuman K (2004) Speciality of HSC in manufacturing of forging dies. The determining factor for the shorter tool life was the higher vibration rate in ascendant milling. the higher level of vibration in ascendant milling (discussed earlier in this paper) enhanced the wear rate and made tool life when using this strategy shorter than in descendant milling.90 mm in the ascendant milling strategy. Figure 13a. J Mater Process Technol Amst 47(3/4):231–249 . References 1. we can state that the wear mechanism of these tools was similar to that obtained when cutting surfaces inclined at 85°. Kopa Z. Figure 12a. particularly in regions 2 and 3 of the workpiece. Kopac J (2004) A contribution to the understanding of chip formation mechanism in high-speed cutting of hardened steel. 5. these figures show that the worn areas had portions of workpiece material adhered on the wear land and that portions of the tool substrate were exposed. Kacelj B. In milling with circular trajectory. However. J Mater Process Technol 157– 158:536–542 Dolinsek S. thereby facilitating the occurrence of chip side flow. Again. respectively. The tool lives differed very little when cutting plane surfaces with a 45° lead angle and a 85° angle. The effective diameter of the cutting tool was 2. J Mater Process Technol 157–158:485–490 Liu N. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 45:1152–1161 Subrahmanyam KVR. since the contact diameter in this strategy is lower than that in ascendant cut milling. since tool life was 165 % higher in descendant milling than in ascendant milling. tool life in ascendant milling was shorter because the tool vibrated more in this condition. Loftus M. the descendant cut presented tool life around twice longer than in ascendant cut. This variation in diameter represents a 125 % increase in the cutting speed at a 5° angle in the ascendant milling strategy when compared with the 5° angle in the descendant milling strategy. The lower vibration in descendant milling favored lower workpiece surface roughness than in ascendant milling. albeit in different regions of the tool. it cannot be stated that the increase in cutting speed was a crucial factor in reducing the tool life. San WY. Thus. Thus. we will not describe our analysis of the flank wear land of the tools used in cutting surfaces inclined at 45°. To save space. All the tested strategies resulted in the same type of wear (flank wear) and the same wear mechanism (adhesion— “attrition”). which was triggered by vibration. In these strategies. ball nose milling applications. Kampu Z. the main wear mechanism was caused by attrition. it can be stated that. 4. respectively. vibration was much lower than in other conditions. where roughness values were two to five times higher in ascendant milling. This indicates that the wear mechanism was the same as the one that occurred when cutting the workpiece at 5° angle of inclination. Sheng H (2010) Cutting force prediction for ball nose milling of inclined surfasse. Once again.Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2016) 82:2075–2086 flank wear occurred in both feed directions. In other words. Whitten A (2005) Surface finish visualisation in high speed. b shows the cutting edges used in the machining strategy with surfaces inclined at 85° in the descendant and ascendant conditions. with microchipping and adhesion (attrition). 3. with the workpiece surface inclined at an angle of 5°. Ekinovic S. However. 2085 5 Conclusions Based on the results of this work. The higher vibration in the ascendant milling strategy was responsible for shorter tool life when compared to descendant milling. Soon HG. b depicts the edges of the tools used in linear machining in the descendant and ascendant directions. What made the lives of the tools used in cutting the surfaces at angles of 45° and 85° significantly shorter (two to four times) than that of the tool used in cutting the surface with a 5° lead angle was the higher stability of the tool in the latter type of cut. adhesion of material may occur at the flank face. The predominant type of wear in descendant cut and ascendant cut milling at a 5° angle of inclination was flank wear with some material adhesion. vibration was higher than in descendant milling. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 48(1–4):23–32 Chiang S.

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