The objective of this research was to study the types of wear suffered by silicon carbide whisker-reinforced aluminum oxide inserts in the machining of Inconel 718. Further, it was desired to study the effects of tool wear and cutting conditions on cutting forces, workpiece dimensional accuracy, and surface finish. Machining tests were conducted using 12.7 mm diameter round inserts at cutting speeds ranging from 6.0 to 13.0 m/s. The feed rates ranged from 0.13 to 0.51 mm/rev and two depths of cut of 0.76 and 1.27 mm were used. Tool failure in the cutting of the relatively soft (220 HB) nickel-based superalloy was due to excessive wear. Flank wear played a larger role at the lower speeds, but depth-of-cut notch wear was significant at the higher speeds. Abrasion, adhesion, and chipping were found to be the dominant wear mechanisms. The results of this study are presented and discussed in this paper.

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