This paper presents an experimental study of the effect of process parameters on chip morphology when machining hardened steel. Cutting tests are performed using ceramic inserts at (90–200) m/min cutting speed, (0.01–0.2) mm feed and (0.2–4) mm depth of cut. The chips obtained are examined using SEM and optical microscope. The effect of tool wear and different combinations of cutting speed and feed on chip morphology are studied. In addition, the effects of cutting conditions on chip segmentation frequency are investigated. Microhardness tests are also performed on the chips collected at different cutting conditions. The results obtained show that the cutting process parameters alter significantly the chips microhardness distribution.

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