Study of ductile mode cutting in grooving of tungsten carbide with and without ultrasonic vibration assistance

  • K. Liu
  • X. P. Li
  • M. Rahman
  • X. D. Liu
Original Article


In this study, ductile mode chip formation in conventional cutting and ultrasonic vibration assisted cutting of tungsten carbide workpiece material has been investigated through experimental grooving tests using CBN tools on a CNC lathe. The experimental results show that as the depth of cut was increased there was a transition from ductile mode to brittle mode chip formation in grooving both with and without ultrasonic vibration assistance. However, the critical value of the depth of cut for ductile mode cutting with ultrasonic vibration assistance was much larger than that without ultrasonic vibration assistance. The ratio of the volume of removed material to the volume of the machined groove, f ab , was used to identify the ductile mode and brittle mode of chip formation in the grooving tests, in which f ab <1 indicates ductile mode chip formation and f ab >1 indicates brittle mode chip formation. For the same radius of tool cutting edge, the value of f ab at the ductile-brittle transition region either with or without ultrasonic vibration was less than 1. However, the f ab value with ultrasonic vibration assistance was close to 1. The experimental results demonstrate that ultrasonic vibration assisted cutting can be used to improve the ductile mode cutting performance of tungsten carbide work material.


Ultrasonic vibration Ductile cutting Tungsten carbide Grooving CBN 




A1, A2

cross-section areas of the ridge


cross-section area of the groove


the value of A V subtracted by A1+A2


vibration frequency


ratio of work material removal




nominal cutting speed


vibration velocity


true cutting speed in ultrasonic cutting


angular frequency



The authors would like to express their sincere thanks to Mori Seiki, Japan, for their generous donation of the CNC lathe, SL-35, to our advanced manufacturing laboratory, in which the experiments of this study were carried out.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringNational University of SingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Machining TechnologySingapore Institute of Manufacturing TechnologySingapore

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