Scanning Auger analysis of fracture surfaces of chips from cutting 4340 steel bars and 4130 steel tubing using CCl4 as a model cutting fluid provide evidence that it is possible for cutting fluid or vapor to penetrate into the chip along fissures created during chip formation. Similar analysis of the rake face on the tools provide evidence of partial penetration between the tool and chip as well. The effect of the penetration is to reduce the energy required for the cutting process by facilitating the chip formation and reducing the adhesion forces between the tool and chip. The penetration can be explained by the capillary action of fissures that provide reactive surfaces and fast propagation paths for the cutting fluid and vapor.

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