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CNC Lathe Tool Wear Process


CNC lathe tool wear is a gradual process that occurs during the machining of workpieces.

As the cutting tool engages with the workpiece material, it experiences mechanical and thermal stresses, leading to wear and gradual deterioration of the cutting edge.

Understanding the tool wear process is essential for optimizing machining parameters, tool life, and overall machining efficiency. Here are the key stages of CNC lathe tool wear:

Initial Sharpness

At the beginning of a cutting operation, the tool’s cutting edge is sharp and in optimal condition. During this stage, the cutting action is efficient, and the tool removes material with ease.

Built-Up Edge (BUE) Formation

As the cutting proceeds, especially when machining materials like aluminum or stainless steel, small chips of workpiece material can adhere to the cutting edge due to the high temperature and pressure generated during cutting. This accumulation of workpiece material on the tool’s edge is known as the built-up edge (BUE) formation. BUE can affect the cutting performance, leading to increased cutting forces and potential surface finish issues.

Crater Wear

Crater wear occurs on the rake face of the cutting tool due to high temperatures and friction between the tool and the workpiece. This results in the gradual erosion of the cutting edge, leading to a reduction in tool life and potentially affecting the surface finish.

Flank Wear

Flank wear is the most common type of tool wear in CNC lathe operations. It happens on the flank face of the cutting tool due to abrasion and friction with the workpiece material. As the tool’s flank wears away, the cutting forces increase, and the cutting performance deteriorates.

Chipping and Breakage

As tool wear progresses, the cutting edge weakens, making it susceptible to chipping or breakage, especially when machining materials that are particularly hard or abrasive.

Tool Failure

Tool failure occurs when the tool wear reaches a critical point where the cutting edge is no longer effective or breaks completely. Tool failure leads to interrupted machining, increased downtime, and potential damage to the workpiece or machine.

To manage CNC lathe tool wear effectively, operators and programmers can take the following steps:

  • Monitor tool wear regularly during machining, either manually or through tool wear sensors if available.
  • Optimize cutting parameters, such as cutting speed, feed rate, and depth of cut, to minimize tool wear while maintaining machining efficiency and surface finish.
  • Use appropriate cutting tool materials and coatings that are specifically designed for the workpiece material and cutting conditions.
  • Implement proper cooling and lubrication to reduce the impact of high temperatures on tool wear.
  • Perform regular tool maintenance, such as tool regrinding or replacement, to ensure consistent performance and extend tool life.

By understanding the tool wear process and implementing effective strategies to manage it, manufacturers can achieve longer tool life, better machining efficiency, and improved overall productivity in CNC lathe operations.

The wear of the tool increases gradually as the cutting continues. The wear process of the tool can be represented by the wear curve, as shown in Figure 5-31. Practice has proved that the tool wear process can be divided into three stages.

  • Initial wear stage (I) In the short time when the tool starts cutting, the turning tool wears quickly. The CNC lathe is because the cutting edge of the newly sharpened turning tool is sharp, and the actual contact area between the back and the transition surface of the workpiece is small, so that the cutting edge has a large force per unit area, and the CNC lathe and the rear surface are rough and unequal defects. 05-O.imm。 The size of CNC lathe wear depends on the quality of turning tool sharpening and grinding, general initial wear is 0. 05-O.imm.
  • The normal wear stage (II) After the initial wear, the cutting edge is relatively smooth, and a narrow wear band is ground at the back, so that the contact area is increased, the pressure is reduced, and the tool is evenly stressed. Improve the compressive capacity, so that the wear amount VB increases at a slow and uniform speed with the increase of cutting time, forming a straight line with a small slope in the figure. This stage of the CNC lathe is the validity period of the turning tool work. When using the turning tool, this stage should not be exceeded.
  • Rapid wear stage (III) With the continuous increase of wear amount, the cutting edge becomes dull, resulting in the increase of cutting force and the increase of cutting temperature. When the wear amount of the CNC lathe reaches a certain value (such as point B), the contact between the tool and the workpiece deteriorates significantly, and the severe mechanical friction causes the cutting temperature to rise sharply. Under the high temperature state of CNC lathe, the high-speed steel turning tool will produce phase change wear, and the carbide turning tool will produce diffusion wear, etc., so that the tool will be transformed from slow normal wear to sharp wear, resulting in burning or damage of the tool, loss of normal cutting ability. So before this happens. The turning tool should be reground or replaced in time to avoid this phenomenon.

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