It is shown that the wear of single abrasive grains in a simulated grinding operation (over-cut fly milling) is governed by a thermally activated mechanism. The model adopted in this theoretical treatment assumes that most of the energy expended during grinding enters the workpiece via adiabatic plastic flow. The accompanying rise in temperature at the grain-workpiece interface decreases the shear flow stress of the softer metal. This permits a greater adhesive wear rate. The predictions of the theory agree with the results of extensive experimental data.

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