The Influence of Thermo Electric Current on the Wear of Tungsten Carbide Tools

  • L. J. Bredell


Apart from the obvious benefits from machining studies, it is also used as a technique to study material properties, reactions between clean solid state surfaces and to gain information concerning the relative bonding strengths between surface atoms1,2,3. One of the interesting phenomena mentioned in the literature of the last two decades is that of the effect of the thermo electric current resulting from the EMF generated between tungsten carbide tool and workpiece, on the wear-rate of the tool. The literature survey can briefly be summarized as follows: Reduction of wear can be obtained by insulation and/or current compensation with an external current source4–8. No satisfactory explanation has yet appeared although Opitz’s4 electron microscopic analyses suggested that the thermo electric current aided the transfer of carbon atoms in the direction “hard metal to steel”. A few workers claimed that thermo electric effects did not play a role in tool wear9.


Wear Rate Tool Wear Work Piece Flank Wear Titanium Carbide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    J.F. Prins, Microcutting: A method to study surface plasticity at very high strain rates,” Surface effects in crystal plasticity”, Noordhof, Leyden (1977).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    L.J. Bredell and J.F. Prins, Microcutting of steel using pyramidal diamonds with different apex angles, (To be published).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    A.G. Thornton and J. Wilks, Tool wear and solid state reactions during machining, Wear 53: 165 (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    H. Opitz, About wear on cutting tools, Proc. Conf. Lubrication and Wear, Inst. Mech. Eng. 664, Oct. (1957).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    V.A. Bobrovskii, Extending tool life by breaking the thermo-electromotive force circuit, Russian Eng. J. 46: 70 (1966).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Ellis and G. Barrow, Tool wear in metal cutting and its relationship with the thermoelectric circuit, Ann C.I.R.P. XVII: 39 (1969).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    H.S. Shan and P.C. Pandey, Wear of cutting tools: Thermo-electric effects, Wear 32: 167 (1975).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    T. Hehenkamp, Untersuchungen über den elektrisch kompensierbaren Verschleiss an Drehmeissein aus Hartmetallen, Archiv Eisenhueten. 29: 249 (1958).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    G. Engstrand, “Influence of thermoelectric currents on cutting tool wear”, Kungl. Tekniska Hogskolans Handlinger, Sweden (1959).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. J. Bredell
    • 1
  1. 1.Physics DepartmentUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations