New metastable β titanium alloys are receiving increasing attention due to their excellent biomechanical properties and machinability is critical to their uptake. In this study, machining chip microstructure has been investigated to gain an understanding of strain and temperature fields during cutting. For higher cutting speeds, ≥60 m/min, the chips have segmented morphologies characterised by a serrated appearance. High levels of strain in the primary shear zone promote formation of expanded shear band regions between segments which exhibit intensive refinement of the β phase down to grain sizes below 100 nm. The presence of both α and β phases across the expanded shear band suggests that temperatures during cutting are in the range of 400–600 °C. For the secondary shear zone, very large strains at the cutting interface result in heavily refined and approximately equiaxed nanocrystalline β grains with sizes around 20–50 nm, while further from the interface the β grains become highly elongated in the shear direction. An absence of the α phase in the region immediately adjacent to the cutting interface indicates recrystallization during cutting and temperatures in excess of the 720 °C β transus temperature.
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