This paper treats a fundamental investigation of tool wear and tool life mainly from the viewpoint of flank wear. The result reveals that the mechanism of tool wear in turning can be classified into two basic types: The mechanical abrasion which is directly proportional to the cutting distance and independent of the temperature; and the other is, so to speak, a physicochemical type which is considered to be a rate process closely associated with the temperature, of course. Although it depends upon the cutting condition which type of wear plays a more important role, the latter is predominant under usual conditions. According to the analyses and the experimental results, it has been found out that the tool life from the standpoint of flank wear can be predicted to a first approximation by the initial cutting temperature.

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