Temperature-distribution measurements in cutting tools during the machining process are extremely difficult and remain an unresolved problem. In this paper, cutting temperature distributions are measured by thin film thermocouples (TFTCs) embedded into Polycrystalline Cubic Boron Nitride (PCBN) cutting inserts in the immediate vicinity of the tool-chip interface. Using these measurements, steady and dynamic phenomena during hard turning as well as the chip morphology and formation process were analyzed based on the cutting temperature distributions in the insert. The relationship between the cutting temperature-field distributions in the PCBN insert and the segmented chip formation is analyzed using temperature-distribution mapping. It is shown that the temperature-distribution in the cutting zone depends on the shearing band distribution in the chip and the thermal transfer rate from the heat generation zone to the cutting tool. Furthermore, it became evident that the material flow stress and the shearing bands greatly affect not only the chip formation morphology but also the cutting temperature field distributions in the cutting zone of the cutting insert.

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