This paper re-examines the problem of thermal cracking of carbide tools during intermittent cutting. In the paper a two-dimensional tool model is presented. A square-wave type of heat flux is assumed in the model to simulate the thermal loading of the tool during the cutting and non-cutting cycle. The transient temperature and thermal stress distributions of the tools are obtained by the finite element method. Two examples are considered in the paper to illustrate the procedures. It is found that tensile stress near the cutting edge and strong compressive thermal stress may exist in the tool respectively at different cutting cycles. Their magnitudes depend upon the tool material properties and the cutting conditions.

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