Using metallographic and microhardness techniques, temperature distributions have been determined in twist drills. The methods rely on the fact that certain high speed steel materials exhibit microstructural changes when subjected to temperatures greater than 600°C. Quick-stop specimens have also been obtained to study the metal flow patterns over the drill flutes. These results have been used to comment on the different wear mechanisms that affect the performance of a twist drill. Preliminary results show that bulk plastic flow occurs near the margin of the drill where the temperatures are in the vicinity of 900°C when machining AISI 1045 steel at 40 m/min.

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