A series of commercially available cemented carbides coated with single or composite layers of TiC, TiN, and Al2O3 were used to cut three types of steel, En8 (∼AISI 1042), En24 (∼AISI 4340), and En9 (∼AISI 1055). For comparison, two uncoated cemented carbides and some Al2O3-ceramic inserts were also tested. The worn surfaces were examined using optical and scanning electron microscopy techniques and tool/work interfacial conditions were evaluated from quick-stop experiments and tool temperature estimates. By linking this information with observed wear rates, various rake and flank wear mechanisms are proposed.

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