Cutting tool wear of polycrystalline cubic boron nitride (PcBN) tools was investigated in oblique turning experiments when machining compacted graphite iron at high cutting speeds, with the intention of elucidating the failure mechanisms of the cutting tools and presenting an analysis of the chip formation process. Dry finish turning experiments were conducted in a CNC lathe at cutting speeds in the range of 500–800m/min, at a feed rate of 0.05mm/rev and depth of cut of 0.2mm. Two different tool end-of-life criteria were used: a maximum flank wear scar size of 0.3mm (flank wear failure criterion) or loss of cutting edge due to rapid crater wear to a point where the cutting tool cannot machine with an acceptable surface finish (surface finish criterion). At high cutting speeds, the cutting tools failed prior to reaching the flank wear failure criterion due to rapid crater wear on the rake face of the cutting tools. Chip analysis, using SEM, revealed shear localized chips, with adiabatic shear bands produced in the primary and secondary shear zones.

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