Diamond coated cutting tools have been pursued as a cost-effective substitute to brazed polycrystalline diamond (PCD) tools in applications such as machining high-strength and lightweight materials. However, coating delamination has been known as the major failure mode of diamond coated tools, which terminates tool life prematurely. Once delamination failure occurs, the tool substrate often subjects to severe abrasive wear leading to catastrophic tool failures that imparts the part quality and interrupts machining operations. Hence, accurate detections and forecasts of coating delamination events can prevent production loss and assist process planning. In this study, the characteristics of acoustic emission (AE) signals when machining a high-strength aluminum alloy and a composite using diamond coated cutting tools were investigated. The AE signals were analyzed in both time and frequency domains at various machining conditions and different cutting times. It was found that AE root-mean-square values decrease considerably once coating delamination occurs. The results also indicate a correlation between the tool condition and fast Fourier transformation (FFT) spectra of AE raw data. In addition, the machining experiments implied that it may be feasible to use AE signals to monitor the condition of diamond coated tools during machining.

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