This paper presents evidence of phase transformation in turning titanium work material and discusses its impact on tool wear. Tool wear of polycrystalline diamond inserts was studied in turning experiments on Ti-6Al-4V. Confocal laser scanning microscopy was conducted to analyze the rake face of the turning inserts. At cutting speeds of 61m/min, the rake face exhibited scalloped-shaped, fractured, uneven, and rough wear. This is characteristic of attrition wear. At cutting speeds of 122m/min, wear was smooth and even in nature, which is a typical characteristic of diffusion/dissolution wear. At a cutting speed of 91m/min, the wear was a combination of those observed at speeds of 61m/m and 122m/m. A comparison of the wear on the PCD tools to that of WC-6Co from earlier work is also discussed. A significant difference in wear existed between the two different cutting tool materials at the low cutting speed. This difference in wear was linked to a transition from alpha to beta phase in the titanium work material. Temperature estimates on the rake face of the tool previously extracted from FEM support the possibility of phase transformation at the cutting data tested.

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