Stress distribution along a tool rake face were measured directly in the orthogonal machining of various metals. The method of measurement was based on the use of a composite tool which was divided into two parts parallel to a cutting edge in order to measure separately the force acting on one section of the tool. The stress distributions under actual cutting conditions were revealed, and the relationship between the nature of stress distribution and the mechanical properties of work material was clarified. It was ascertained that the nature of stress distribution was closely connected with the strain hardening index of work material and the frictional coefficient between tool and material.

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