Tool wear of polycrystalline diamond inserts was analyzed in turning experiments on Ti-6Al-4V. Evidence of phase transformation in turning titanium work material is presented and its impact on tool wear is discussed. Confocal laser scanning microscopy was used to analyze the rake face of the turning inserts. At cutting speed of 61 m/min, the rake face exhibited scalloped-shaped, fractured wear, characteristic of typical attrition wear. At cutting speed of 122 m/min, a smooth crater was observed, which is a typical characteristic of diffusion/dissolution wear. At the cutting speed of 91 m/min, the wear features were a combination of those observed at speeds of 61 m/min and 122 m/min. A comparison of the wear on the polycrystalline diamond (PCD) tools to that of WC-6Co from our earlier work is also discussed. Microstructural analysis of the of both the undeformed work material and the chip using electron-backscatter diffraction provided evidence to support the phase transformation. Temperature estimates on the rake face of the tool previously extracted from Finite Element Method (FEM) support the possibility of phase transformation at the high cutting speed tested. The difference in the wear pattern was also linked to the extent of recrystallization in the titanium work material. At 61 m/min there was more alpha phase in the work material without much recrystallization, which generated uneven scalloped wear. At 122 m/min, phase transformation of the existing alpha phase to the beta phase in the work material and recrystallization increased the dissolution/diffusion wear process.

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