Intermittent machining using ceramic tools such as hard milling is a challenging task due to the severe mechanical shock that the inserts undergo during machining and the brittleness of ceramic inserts. This study investigates the machinability of hardened steel AISI 1045 during face milling using SiAlON and whisker (SiCW) based ceramic inserts. The main focus seeks to identify the effects of cutting parameters, milling configuration, edge preparation and work material hardness on machinability indicators such as resultant cutting force, power consumption and flank tool wear. The effects of these varying cutting conditions on performance characteristics were investigated using a Taguchi orthogonal array design L32 (21
) and evaluated using ANOVA. Results indicate lower resultant cutting forces were recorded with honed edge inserts of SiAlON ceramic grade. In addition, a decrease in resultant cutting forces was associated with reduced feed rates and increased hardness. The feed rate and cutting speed were also identified as the greatest influencing factors in the amount of cutting power. The main wear mechanisms responsible for flank wear on the ceramic inserts are micro-scale abrasion and micro-chipping. Increased flank wear was observed at low cutting speed and high feed rates, while micro-chipping mostly ensued from the cyclic loading of the radial tool edge form, which is more susceptible to impact fragmentation. Thus, the use of tools with chamfered tool-edge preparation greatly improved observed wear values. Additional confirmation tests were also conducted to validate the results of the tests.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited