The experimental verification, interpretations, and applications of the concept of cutting rate-tool life (R-T) characteristic functions are presented in this paper. Two statistically designed experiments, one on sawing and the other on milling, verifying the concept are described. The analytical and geometrical interpretations of the concept, including the existence of optima in the R-T domain, are presented. The applications discussed include economic selection of machining conditions, economic tool life determinations, comparison of machining response, objective function for adaptive control, and maximization of material removal at a desired level of surface integrity. The concept can be applied to other machining responses of conventional as well as nontraditional material removal processes.

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