The wear mechanisms to which a cutting tool is subject may be separated into those causing acute failure, e.g., edge breakage due to cracking, and those causing gradual loss of material, e.g., crater wear or continuous flank-face wear. In the present paper only continuous flank-face wear is considered and an analysis is given in which wear is attributed to adhesion between tool and workpiece materials while acknowledging that other wear mechanisms could, and on occasion undoubtedly do, produce continuous flank-face wear. The fundamental basis on which the analysis rests is the realization that in a continuous cutting operation the temperature of the subsurface layer of the workpiece increases much less than that of the subsurface layer of the tool. The analysis leads to the Taylor tool-life equation, the extended Taylor tool-life equation, the Schallbroch-Schaumann equation, the relation between the Taylor and the Schallbroch-Shaumann indices and the factors influencing the life of a cutting tool.

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