The cause and the mechanism of regenerative chatter vibrations due to the deflection of workpiece occurring in machining metals are investigated experimentally. The regenerative chatter vibration is induced by the phase lag of the undulations in successive cutting. This means that small undulations initially produced on a work surface by the transient vibration of the workpiece become larger and the undulations extend over the whole work surface because a given amount of energy is available for exciting or maintaining the vibration owing to the phase lag of successive undulations. Then, a differential equation of chatter vibration is introduced based on the experimental results, and some remarks on the properties of chatter vibration are given.

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