The chips produced in course of machining usually exhibit a finite radius of curvature. Though a part of this can be due to differential strains and thermal stresses, the tightly curled chip shape suggest the operation of some other mechanism which can give rise to the small radii of curvatures frequently observed. In this paper a possible mechanism which can give rise to the observed chip curvatures is advanced and the relevant analysis presented. The model advanced is based on optical metallographic analysis of chips produced under slow speed machining conditions. The chip curvatures observed are attributed to heterogeneous shear during chip formation.

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