Enhanced heat transfer and tool wear in high-pressure coolant assisted turning of alloy 718

Abstract: Heat generated in a machining process is a common and critical obstacle faced in today's manufacturing industries. The heat generated in the cutting zone has adirect negative influence on the tool life, which, in turn contributes to increasing the manufacturing costs. Especially in the machining of Heat Resistant Superalloys, HRSA, this is a very limiting factor. HRSA are capable of retaining their mechanical strength and hardness at elevated temperatures. This property is advantageous for applications such as aero-engines, but also a disadvantage, since it also lowers the machinability significantly.This work is an attempt to improve the heat transfer from the cutting zone, which would lead to an increase in the tool life. To achieve this goal, the effect of cooling the flank face (tertiary shear zone) with high-pressure is studied; furthermore, the cutting tool has been modified to create an improved interface between the high pressure coolant and the tool where high-temperature gradient exists.Three main generations of inserts have been designed and investigated. Firstly, an insert with surface texture features created with the purpose of increasing the available surface area for heat dissipation: First generation, Gen I. Secondly, GenI+, a modified rake design of Gen I, for improved frictional conditions on the tool-chip contact. Thirdly, Gen II was designed as a further improvement of GenI. Here, several channel features on the rake face were added, reaching out from the contact zone to the near proximity of the cutting edge. This has the purpose of improving access of the coolant closer to the cutting edge.The experiments were conducted in facing operations of Alloy 718 with uncoated round carbide inserts. All experiments were carried out with high-pressure coolant, with a maximum available pressure of 16 MPa on the rake face and 8MPa on the flank face, respectively. The three generations of inserts, Gen I, I+and II, were experimentally evaluated by tool wear analysis in comparison with a regular insert. The results shows that the tool life increased significantly for the Gen I insert, compared to catastrophic failure of the regular insert at the same conditions. Regarding the Gen II insert, an increase in tool life by approximately30-40 percent, compared to Gen I inserts was observed. XRegarding the coolant-boiling phenomenon, results revealed the existence in form of dark region (Ca precipitate) below the flank wear land. The location and size of the coolant-boiling region is interrelated between flank wear, cutting zone temperature, coolant pressure and vapour pressure of the coolant at the investigated coolant pressure levels. The coolant applied at a pressure lower than the vapour pressure of the coolant itself will cause the "Leidenfrost effect" to appear that will effectively act as a coolant barrier region. However, most importantly, this effect led to the observation of a new wear mechanism present "Cavitation Wear". This type of wear appears in the form of erosion pits on the flank surface of the insert and it is observed for flank pressure conditions of 4and 8 MPa. It is a new phenomenon in tool wear to be seen on uncoated WC cutting tools during machining operations with high-pressure coolant.