Inclusion Characteristics and Their Link to Tool wear in Metal Cutting of Clean Steels Suitable for Automotive Applications

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: This thesis covers some aspects of hard part turning of carburised steels using a poly?crystalline cubic boron nitride (PCBN) cutting tool during fine machining. The emphasis is on the influence of the steel cleanliness and the characteristics of non?metallic inclusions in the workpiece on the active wear mechanisms of the cutting tool. Four carburising steel grades suitable for automotive applications were included, including one that was Ca?treated.A superior tool life was obtained when turning the Ca-treated steel. The superior machinability is associated with the deposition of lubricating (Mn,Ca)S and (CaO)x-Al2O3-S slag layers, which are formed on the rake face of the cutting tool during machining. Moreover, the transfer of work material to the rake face crater is characteristic in hard part turning of clean steels. It can be because of the lack of sulfides that protect the cutting edge when turning machinability treated steels. This corresponds to the more pronounced crater wear caused by the low?sulfur steels than that of the steels with higher sulfur contents. It was also concluded that the composition of the non?metallic inclusions in the Ca?treated steel is a more important factor than the inclusion number and size, in hard part turning using a PCBN cutting tool. Also, a 3D analysis after electrolytic extraction was found to give a more precise characterisation of non?metallic inclusions than the conventional 2D analysis by SEM?EDS. In turn, better correlations to machinability and mechanical properties can be obtained. Hence, the use of this technique is beneficial for future material development.Finally, the challenge for future metallurgy is to manufacture high?performance steels with improved combined properties of mechanical strength and machinability.