This paper examines the plastic deformation process involved in chip formation during orthogonal cutting. Results of the grid deformation studies carried out on polymeric workpieces are reported. Chip formation is shown to result from the action of a curved shear surface, and it is shown that the configuration of the deformation volume during orthogonal cutting is fully determined by the orientation and curvature of the shear surface active during the cutting process. Implications of this model in metal cutting are discussed.

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