Catastrophic shear instability is the dominant mechanism during orthogonal cutting of Ti6Al4V. Chip segmentation even at low speeds testifies to the emergence of some kind of instability during plastic deformation of the material. Among the theoretical models, catastrophic thermoplastic slip is proposed as a mechanism to explain the destabilization of homogeneous plastic deformation, which results in localized, band-like adiabatic shear deformation. On the other hand, fracture models which consider machining as a mechanism of ductile or brittle fracture are used to explain the segmented chip formation as a periodic crack generation mechanism. This work aims at elucidating the fundamental mechanisms of the above theoretical models using a coupled thermomechanical rigid-viscoplastic FEM analysis. Introducing an energy criterion for ductile damage, numerical results showed that failure within the adiabatic shear band (ASB) is a post-localization mechanism occurring after intense shear localization. Simulations revealed a void initiation and coalescence mechanism which resembles an array of discontinuous degraded elements of nearly ellipsoidal shapes that grows and progressively coalesces forming a macro crack inside the ASB. Several aspects of ASB formation are addressed, among others, the micro-scale spatial temperature profile, parametric studies of critical damage energies, chip segmentation frequency, etc. Experimental results of ASB formation pertaining to chip morphology and cutting forces are compiled and analyzed to evaluate the FEM model at the low speed regime.
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