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2.10.1

Machining studies on cast iron Developments in cast irons have widened their applications even

replacing steel for automotive parts. The higher hardness and certain degree of microstructural integrity of cast iron pose a few problems in machining. Normally, coated carbide tools are used for machining cast iron, however, tougher grades of ceramics can be used to machine cast iron with high productivity. Among the coated carbides, ZrO2 and TiN multi-layered coated cemented carbides exhibit better machining performance. Successful application of ceramic cutting tool materials can increase the metal cutting productivity by 3 to 4 times over that obtained by conventional coated carbide tools. Charles Wick (1988) has reported that switching from coated carbide tools to composite ceramic tools results in a 2.5 times improvement in tool life plus faster metal removal rate when machining automobile axle hubs made from malleable iron. Ceramic tools based on Si3N4 and Al2O3 have been used to machine a variety of engineering metals, including cast irons at high metal removal rates. Krishnamurthy and Sivasankaran (1994) have reported that the tougher grades of hot pressed black ceramic (Al2O3-TiC) composites give better machining performance than the white ceramic composites. Chemical reactions encountered during machining, limit the performance of Si3N4 while machining cast iron. Bhattacharyya et al (1989) has also observed that the tools based on mixed ceramics give better performance than those based on oxide and nitride ceramics, while machining cast iron. Ezugwu and Leong (1996) have carried out machining trials on a G-17 cast iron using round and square-shaped inserts of aluminium oxide based ceramic cutting tools. The test results show that the round-shaped ceramic tools produce better surface finish and less damage than square inserts. The surface finish deteriorates with increase in the depth of cut and machining

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time. Gnesin and Yaroshenko (1994) have studied the wear resistance of silicon based ceramic cutting tools on machining grey cast iron. The wear fractography of the cutting edges after machining grey cast iron reveals specific features and differences in wear mode of silicon nitride and Sialon materials. Ogasawara Toshio et al (1999) has evaluated the wear behaviour of silicon nitride ceramic tools in turning grey cast iron. The wear of the flank and rake faces decreases with increasing cutting speed in a range of 100 to 300 m/min. Mehrotra (1998) has observed that the application of Al2O3 based tools for finish machining and the application of Si3N4 based tools for rough machining can be understood in terms of their material properties. Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI) is a special type of ductile iron, which offers the best combination of lower cost, design flexibility, high strength-toweight ratio, good toughness, good wear resistance, and fatigue strength. ADI offers this superior combination of properties because it has all the advantages of a Ductile Iron casting plus mechanical properties, which are superior to all cast irons and most steel forgings and castings as a result of the special heat treatment process. When the substantial increases in strength and wear resistance offered by ADI are considered, it would be logical to assume that ADI would present machining problems. The machinability of the softer grades of ADI is equal or superior to that of steels with equivalent strength. Generally carbide cutting tools are widely used for machining steel, but these cutting tools are not suitable for machining high strength materials or high speed machining. An austempered ductile iron (ADI) is one such material, which exhibits excellent mechanical properties and wear resistance, however it has very poor machinability. Chen Ping and Keishima Toshihiro (1995) have reported that the carbide inserts fail on high speed machining of austempered ductile iron (ADI), a high performance

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structural material, due to diffusion wear and adhesion wear. The tool wear of the ceramic and CBN inserts is less sensitive to the cutting speed. Masuda Masahiro and Kori Tomonari (1994) have also conducted machining tests on ADI using zirconia toughened alumina and titanium carbide mixed alumina ceramic cutting tools. Al2O3-TiC tool exhibits longer tool life at low cutting speeds. Masuda Masahiro et al (1994) has also reported that the flank wear rate per cutting distance increases slightly for the alumina insert containing titanium carbide, when the cutting speed is increased, on machining austempered ductile iron. It is also reported that zirconia toughened alumina exhibits longer tool life at high speed. The transformation toughening mechanism in the zirconia toughened alumina ceramic cutting tool influences on the wear resistance of the tool at high speed. 2.10.2 Machining studies on plain carbon steel Generally steel machining is dominated by sintered carbide tools, but ceramic tools have the capacity to replace the sintered carbide tools. Bhola et al (1996) has observed that metal machining is a major industrial sector with wide applications in important industries such as automotive, and steel. The superior high temperature capabilities of ceramic cutting tools along with chemical stability have resulted in their application of the high speed machining. Increasing acceptance of these tools in industries is being reflected by a rapid development of machining centres devoted to work with ceramic tools. Ceramic tools are replacing tungsten carbide tools, as machining centres demand higher efficiency and lower costs. Another important factor, which brings the ceramic tools to the forefront, is high speed machining. Mehrotra et al (1994) has reported that high speed machining (HSM) of ferrous alloys can be accomplished by using

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ceramic cutting tool materials. Silicon nitride and Sialon tools can be used for rough, interrupted machining of irons at 3-4 times the metal removal rates obtained by coated carbide tools. Alumina based ceramic cutting tools can be used for finishing and semi-finishing of iron and steel at 1.4-2.6 times the metal removal rates obtained by coated carbide tools. However, silicon nitride based ceramic cutting tools like Sialon type ceramic tools have some limitations, in the machining of steel. Vleugels et al (1995) has reported that the commercial Sialon and Y-Sialon cutting tools are unsuitable for machining of steel because of the chemical incompatibility of these materials at elevated temperatures. A lot of research work has been carried out on machining a variety of steel materials like plain carbon steel, alloy steel, bearing steel, stainless steel etc. using ceramic cutting tools, and the machining performance of these tools have been evaluated. Machining studies have been conducted on plain carbon steels using ceramic cutting tools. Hayashi Katsura et al (1993) has performed high speed face milling operation on plain carbon steel S 45 C using ceramic cutting tools. TiC added alumina and zirconia toughened alumina ceramic cutting tools are mainly used. Zirconia toughened alumina ceramic cutting tool shows better crater wear resistance in high speed face milling than the other ceramic tools. However, in turning the same steel, the crater wear resistance of the zirconia toughened alumina ceramic cutting tool is almost the same when compared to the other ceramic cutting tools. Goh et al (1996) has conducted machining tests on medium carbon steel using alumina based ceramic cutting tools at a cutting speed of 450 m/min. The wear mechanisms identified in these ceramic cutting tools are plastic deformation and grain spallation. The crater wear is controlled by plastic deformation-induced necking. The flank wear land is characterised by ridges, formed by spallation of grains.

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AISI 1040 steel is a general purpose mild steel, and it is a medium carbon fine grain machinery steel. Its application includes axles, bolts, shafts, machinery parts and lightly stressed gears. Lo Casto et al (1991) has conducted wear tests on AISI 1040 steel with cutting speeds from 300m/min to 660 m/min using silicon nitride, sintered carbide, cubic boron nitride and alumina based cutting tools. Zirconia toughened alumina ceramic tool exhibits slightly better wear resistance than mixed alumina ceramic cutting tools. Lo Casto et al (1996) has reported that silicon nitride and silicon carbide whisker reinforced alumina ceramic tools show poor performance due to the low chemical stability of the inserts. Sintered carbide and cubic boron nitride cutting tools show high wear rate. Generally, the alumina based ceramic cutting tools show improved performance due to the chemical stability, together with their good mechanical properties. It can be concluded that alumina based ceramic cutting tools except silicon carbide whisker reinforced alumina can be used effectively for the machining of steel at relatively high speed. Lo Casto et al (1997) has conducted machining tests on the same steel using zirconia toughened alumina, Ti[C, N]-ZrO2 alumina ceramic cutting tool, SiC whisker reinforced alumina ceramic cutting tool and also a sintered carbide cutting tool at 234 m/min. The different wear mechanisms of these alumina based ceramic cutting tools are reported. In zirconia-toughened alumina, mixed-based alumina and sintered carbide, adhesion and plastic deformation are dominant wear mechanisms. SiC whisker reinforced alumina ceramic cutting tool is subjected to adhesion and chipping wear mechanisms. 2.10.3 Machining studies on hardened steel

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One of the distinct advantages of the ceramic cutting tools is the ability to machine work materials like steel in its hardened condition. Normally, ceramic cutting tools and cubic boron nitride tools are used for machining hard materials. Noaker Paula (1991) has observed that the ceramics have higher hot hardness and lower transverse rupture strength compared to carbides and hence they are best used when machining hard materials, large parts, or at high speeds. Anon (1995) has enumerated the advantages of hard turning as the increase in productivity, processing complex work pieces in one step and surface roughness comparable to grinding quality. Cubic boron nitride and titanium carbide mixed aluminium oxide cutting inserts are the two most common insert materials for hard turning. AISI 4340 steel is heat treatable and it is a low alloy steel containing nickel, chromium and molybdenum. It is known for its toughness and capability of developing high strength in the heat treated condition while retaining good fatigue strength. Luo et al (1999) has conducted machining tests on AISI 4340 hardened alloy steels using CBN and ceramic tools. The results show that the main wear mechanism for the CBN tools is the abrasion of the binder material by the hard carbide particles of the workpiece. For the ceramic tools, the wear mechanisms are adhesive wear and abrasive wear. Silva and Abrao (1999) have conducted machining tests on hardened AISI 4340 steel (49 HRC) using polycrystalline cubic boron nitride (PCBN) cutting tools and mixed alumina ceramic cutting tools. The mixed alumina ceramic cutting tool produces good surface finish and exhibits better performance than some of the PCBN tools. ElWardany et al (1993) has performed finish-machining operation on hardened steel using zirconia toughened alumina ceramic cutting tool and Ti[C, N] mixed alumina ceramic cutting tool. The results show that the plastic deformation of the ceramic cutting edge occurs triggering surface roughness deterioration, and eventually, edge fracture. The mechanical and thermal stresses on the ceramic

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cutting tools combined with high temperatures, cause plastic deformation. Hong Xiao (1990) has conducted tool wear studies on various ceramic cutting tools. Among the alumina based ceramic cutting tools, oxide and mixed alumina ceramic cutting tools are more suitable for machining hardened steel because of their superior flank wear resistance. Brandt (1986) has observed that mixed alumina ceramic tool has better flank wear resistance due to higher hot hardness and greater thermal conductivity than oxide alumina ceramic tools, while machining hardened steel.

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Bearing steel (AISI 52100) offers high hardness and excellent resistance to wear and deformation. They are made from the finest bearing quality steel. It is widely used in precision ball bearings as well as in a number of other industrial applications. This type of steel has a uniform hardness of 60-66 HRC regardless of size or grade. Modern furnaces with precisely controlled atmospheres and temperatures are used for heat-treating the bearing steel to assure uniform hardness and proper microstructure. Mendes Abrao Alexandre and Aspinwall David (1995) have conducted machining studies on AISI 52100 bearing steel hardened to 62 HRC using alumina based ceramic cutting tools and silicon nitride based ceramic cutting tools. The results indicated that in general, the radial force is the highest, followed by the tangential and axial forces. During rough machining, cutting forces are approximately 6-9 times higher than that during finish machining. Cutting force increases almost linearly with feed rate, depth of cut and tool wear, whereas it decreases slightly with cutting speed. Novaski Olivio and Lisboa Eduardo Silva (1997) have conducted machining tests on AISI 52100 bearing steel with 60 HRC using ceramic cutting tools in a CNC lathe, which has a milling head coupled to it. The machining tests are conducted on the work material using both turning and milling processes (turn-milling). The ceramic cutting tools produce good surface finish on the work material during turn-milling. Sintered high speed steel is manufactured using powder metallurgical process from various metal powders and it has good abrasion resistance, hardness and strength. Yanagihara Kiyoshi and Hirota Heiichi (1998) have reported about the machinability of reinforced sintered high speed steel using ceramic cutting tools. The results indicate that the cutting temperature of sintered high speed steel

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is about twice as high as that of the carbon steel (S45C) and the ceramic cutting tools show excellent machining performance and long tool life under all cutting conditions than the sintered carbide tools. 2.10.4 Machining studies on stainless steel Stainless steels are iron based alloys containing at least 10.5% Chromium. They achieve their stainless characteristics through the formation of an invisible and adherent chromium rich oxide film. AISI 310 steel is a general purpose austenitic stainless steel with a face centered cubic structure. It is essentially non-magnetic in the annealed condition and can be only hardened by cold working. Increased additions of Chromium and Nickel give good heat resistance. Lo Casto et al (1999) has conducted machining tests on AISI 310 steel using ceramic cutting tools and sintered carbide cutting tools for comparison. The most important wear mechanism in ceramic cutting tools is related to the segmented chips, which produces a notch at the end of the cut zone. Zirconia toughened alumina ceramic cutting tool is very sensitive to this kind of wear, whereas tools made of Sialon and SiC whisker reinforced alumina exhibit slightly better performances despite the concomitant chemical wear mechanisms. Liu Yourong et al (1997a) has conducted machining studies on 1Cr18Ni9Ti austenite stainless steel using silicon nitride based ceramic cutting tools. The tool life of ceramic cutting tools on machining plain carbon steel is 9.5 times greater than that on machining austenitic stainless steel. The main wear mechanisms for machining stainless steel is reported as adhesion and diffusion. From the above literature, we can conclude ceramic cutting tools can be effectively used for machining various types of steels. The development of

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ceramic cutting tools with better properties has made machining of steel in their hardened condition possible. Schneider Johannes (1999) has observed that machining of hard materials is mostly done by ceramics and cubic boron nitrides and they are preferred for their high material hardness, hot hardness at elevated temperature, wear resistance and chemical stability. Thus, for high speed machining and for machining steels in hardened conditions, ceramic cutting tools have distinct advantages over the sintered carbide tools. 2.10.5 Machining studies on nickel based alloys Inconel 718 is a precipitation-hardenable nickel-chromium alloy containing significant amounts of iron, niobium and molybdenum along with lesser amounts of aluminium and titanium. It has corrosion resistance, high strength and excellent creep-rupture strength at temperatures up to 973 K. It is used in gas turbines, rocket motors, spacecraft, nuclear reactors, pumps, and tooling. The machining of Inconel 718 alloy is difficult and it is one of the limitations of this alloy. But ceramic cutting tools are widely used to machine Inconel 718. Machining tests are conducted using ceramic cutting tools on these materials to evaluate the performance of the cutting tools. Narutaki et al (1993) has conducted high speed machining studies on Inconel 718 using SiC whisker reinforced alumina, silicon nitride and TiC added alumina ceramic cutting tools. The SiC whisker reinforced alumina ceramic cutting tool shows the best performance in respect of notch wear at the cutting speeds lower than 300 m/min. However, when the speed exceeds 400 m/min., the TiC added alumina ceramic cutting tool shows the smallest wear compared to other tools. Yamane Yasuo et al (1995) has reported that SiC whisker reinforced alumina ceramic cutting tool exhibits thermally activated wear at high cutting speeds

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because of its thermal instability towards Inconel 718. Yamane Yasuo et al (1993) has conducted high speed machining tests on Inconel 718 using SiC whisker reinforced alumina, silicon nitride and TiC added alumina ceramic cutting tools. All the ceramic cutting tools show maximum notch wear around the cutting speed of 100 m/min. The notch wear of these tools can be suppressed by pouring the cutting fluid at the depth of cut line. Wayne and Buljan (1990) have observed that the depth of cut notching is reduced with addition of SiC whiskers and to a lesser extent with TiC particles while machining Inconel 718. Thangaraj and Weinmann (1992) have studied the wear behaviour of SiC whisker reinforced alumina ceramic tools on machining Inconel 718. Flank wear plays a larger role at low speeds and notch wear is significant at high speeds. Gatto and Iuliano (1994) have conducted high speed turning tests on a heat resistant alloy (Inconel 718), using SiC whisker reinforced alumina ceramic cutting tools. The presence of whisker pull out mechanism is observed due to temperature effects on tool chip interface while machining Inconel 718 with SiC whisker reinforced alumina ceramic cutting tool. Kitagawa et al (1997) has conducted high speed machining studies on Inconel 718 using ceramic cutting tools. Notch wear in the ceramic cutting tools on machining Inconel 718, is correlated with variation of the chip formation mechanism and it is accompanied by large side flow of the chip and plastic burrs of the workpiece. TiC added alumina ceramic cutting tool exhibits better performance than silicon nitride ceramic cutting tool across a speed range of 250-500 m/min. El-Bestawi et al (1993) has observed that, while machining Inconel 718 at high speed, flank wear is predominant in SiC whisker reinforced alumina ceramic cutting tool and depth of cut notch is the cause of ending tool life at moderate speed.

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2.10.6

Machining studies on composites Composite materials are normally difficult-to-machine because of the

inclusions of ceramic materials like Al2O3 or SiC as reinforcement in aluminium matrix, in the form of particles, fibres or whiskers. As the cutting tools encounter the hard ceramic reinforcements in the composite, the machinability of composite materials becomes difficult. Cutting tools with high hardness are preferred for machining composites to overcome the hardness of the reinforcements in the composites. Yanming Quan and Zehua Zhou (2000) have conducted machining studies on SiC particles reinforced aluminium using ceramic tools and sintered carbide tools. The SiC particles in the composites micro-cut these tools due to their hardness. However, when the SiC particles in the composite are fine enough, the cutting tools are able to machine without much difficulty. Ceramic cutting tools with higher hardness can be used for machining composites reinforced with coarse SiC particles, whereas sintered carbide tools can be used to machine the composites reinforced with fine SiC particles. Hanasaki Shinsaku et al (1999) has conducted machining tests on fibre reinforced metal (FRM) using cemented carbide tools, ceramic tools and sintered diamond tools. The machinability of the composite materials namely SiC whisker reinforced aluminium and Al2O3 short fibre reinforced aluminium are evaluated using these tools. The ceramic cutting tools are subjected to severe tool wear in spite of their high hot hardness and sintered diamond tools show better performance than the other tools. Cupin and Ferreira (1993) have conducted machining tests on carbon and glass fibre hybrid composites using cemented carbide tools, ceramic tools, CBN tools and poly crystalline diamond (PCD) tools. Among the ceramic cutting tools Sialon tools exhibit the highest wear rate and SiC whisker reinforced

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alumina ceramic cutting tool exhibits the lowest wear rate. CBN and PCD tools exhibit better performance than cemented carbide and ceramic tools. From the above literature, the ceramic cutting tool materials are used to machine various types of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, composite materials etc. Ceramic cutting tool materials can be effectively used to machine ferrous materials and they can even replace carbide tools especially for the high speed machining of steel. The advantages of ceramic cutting tool materials are their high hot hardness and chemical stability with most of the metals. Kramer (1987) has reported that aluminium oxide based ceramic cutting tool materials are chemically stable with steel and nickel based alloys, however aluminium oxide based cutting tools react rapidly with titanium and they are the least wear resistant against titanium. The machining potential of ceramic cutting tool materials is not fully evaluated especially for hard materials. Most of the literatures report about the machining studies using ceramic cutting tools on cast iron, plain carbon steel and recently on Inconel 718. Very few literature are available on the machining of hardened steel or stainless steel. The recent trend of increased application of ceramic cutting tools in machining centres necessitates further machining studies and research using these cutting tools. Hard materials are normally machined by ceramic and CBN tools because of their high hardness. Machining of work materials in their hardened conditions needs further study, because, the wear of cutting tools drastically varies while machining work materials in their hardened conditions. The performance of ceramic cutting tools can be evaluated by conducting machining studies on various materials and the sparseness of information available on their machining performance will lead to under utilization of these cutting tools. Further research

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on ceramic cutting tools on their machining performance on hard work materials will lead to better utilization of these ceramic cutting tools.