Machining of Grey Cast Iron Using Advanced Ceramic Tool Materials
The paper outlines the results of a comprehensive series of machinability tests on grey cast iron bars containing varying proportions of ferrite/ pearlite. The tools used were coated carbide, zirconia-toughened alumina, silicon nitride (sialon) and cubic boron nitride. A high speed lathe was employed and tests were performed at cutting speeds of up to 1100 m/min.
In terms of cutting edge life, based on a flank wear criteria, the alumina tools proved the most durable over the complete range of cutting speeds employed, irrespective of changes in workpiece microstructure. With cast iron bars containing a predominantly ferritic microstructure the alumina tools provided a 10–15 x improvement in tool life over the less conventional sialon and cbn ceramics. Though less dramatic, the results when machining the fully pearlite bars (83–85% pearlite) show a similar trend however the VT curve plotted for one of the two different types of cbn compact used, shows the tool life to increase dramatically as the cutting speed is increased.
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