Direct measurements of the distributions of normal and frictional stresses on a rake face under cutting conditions have been considered to be practically impossible. However, as reported in this paper, the stress distributions have been successfully obtained photoelastically by using a tool made of a photoelastic material. According to the authors’ experiment, the frictional stress on the rake face is distributed uniformly over a wide range of the tool-chip contact length, but it decreases rapidly near the point of chip-separation on the rake face. As to the normal stress, it has a peak near the cutting edge, being rather stationary in the middle part of the contact length and decreasing gradually toward the point of chip-separation.

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