Wear on Alumina Coated Tools and the Influence of Inclusions when Turning Low-Alloy Steels : Master Thesis - Chemical Engineering

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Tillämpad materialvetenskap


In this master thesis, performed at Sandvik Coromant Västberga (Stockholm), a comprehensive study has been made to investigate the wear on textured alumina (Inveio™) coated cutting tools when turning low-alloy steels. Specifically, wear studies have been made on tools’ rake faces when turning two separate batches of SS2541, after an initial turning time of 4 min. A particular focus has been given to elucidate what particular role the inclusions might have for the wear of the alumina coating onthe tools. Evaluation of tool wear has been made by employing several different analytical techniques, such as LOM, SEM, Wyko, Auger-spectrometry (AES), EPMA and XRD.

The results shows that the arisen wear marks on both tested tool types may be divided into three separate and highly distinguishable wear zones, denoted here in thiswork as “wear bands”. Largest amount of wear tended to occur initially at the topmost part of the 3rd wear band. This was true for both tested tool types. This area demonstrated a characteristic 'lamellar' wear pattern, composed of narrow andstructured ridges.

All the tools tested demonstrated the adhesion of workpiece materials of various composition that formed into smeared layers in these formed ridges. Depth-profiling Auger-spectrometry revealed that a significant amount of calcium was present in the machined alumina coating layers. This suggests that a reaction between the calcium-containing inclusions found in the steel and the aluminacoating layer had occurred during the performed turning tests.These results arecontradictory to the general belief that alumina is chemical inert during machiningand has previously, to the authors knowledge, not yet been published.

Based on the results from this thesis and from a literature review concerning thebehavior of α-alumina during deformation, a new theoretical wear model has been developed. In this model, it is emphasised that the sliding of hard inclusions from the steel may activate pyramidal slip systems in the textured alumina coating. This causes a nano-crystallisation and/or amorphisation in the topmost part of the coating, which facilitates the further wear of these coated tools.

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