Cutting temperature is a major factor in controlling tool wear rate. Thus, sensing and control of cutting temperature is important in achieving a desired tool performance. This paper is concerned with estimating the cutting interface temperature distribution based on remote temperature measurements. This class of problems of estimating unknown boundary conditions from known interior quantities is called the inverse problem. The inverse problem of a square insert under steady state conditions is considered in this paper. The temperature distribution in a square insert is best described in Ellipsoidal Coordinates. The mapping functional in the one-dimensional case is solved analytically. The mapping functionals in general three-dimensional cases are solved numerically using the semianalytical finite element method. The mapping functional in a three-dimensional case is represented by a transformation matrix which maps one vector representing the cutting interface temperature distribution to another vector representing the remote temperatures. The transformation matrix is then used to solve the inverse problem of estimating the interface temperature distribution with redundant remote measurements. Measurement errors and transformation matrix errors are imposed in simulation studies. The sensitivity of inverse solutions to these errors is discussed.

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