Chip evacuation is a critical issue in metal cutting, especially continuous chips that are generated during the machining of ductile materials. The improper evacuation of these kinds of chips can cause scratching of the machined surface of the workpiece and worsen the resultant surface quality. This scenario can be avoided by using a properly designed chip breaker. Despite their relevance, chip breakers are not in wide-spread use in polycrystalline diamond (PCD) cutting tools. This paper presents a systematic methodology to design chip breakers for PCD turning inserts through finite element modelling. The goal is to evacuate the formed chips from the cutting zone controllably and thus, maintain surface quality. Particularly, different scenarios of the chip formation process and chip curling/evacuation were simulated for different tool designs. Then, the chip breaker was produced by laser ablation. Finally, experimental validation tests were conducted to confirm the ability of this chip breaker to evacuate the chips effectively. The machining results revealed superior performance of the insert with chip breaker in terms of the ability to produce curly chips and high surface quality (Ra = 0.51–0.56 µm) when compared with the insert without chip breaker that produced continuous chips and higher surface roughness (Ra = 0.74–1.61 µm).
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