Flank Wear – Causes, Effects and Prevention.

Cutting tools undergo several intense rubbing processes due to which the shape of tool changes from its original shape as tool wear.
Tool wear slowly causes loss of tool material. It also results in degradation in the performance of the cutting tool.

There are many types of cutting tools based on part of tool in which occur and the reason for the wear.
One of the most common tool wear is Flank Wear which will be discussed in this article.

Flank Wear:

Wear on the flank face (relief or clearance face ) of the cutting tool is called flank wear.
Flank Wear is most commonly caused due to abrasive wear of the cutting edge against the machined surface.
Flank Wear generally occurs when the speed of cutting is very high. It causes many losses but one of them is increased roughness of surface of the final product.

Above you can see the image of single point cutting tool. Here you can see the minor flank and major flank. When wear occurs in any of these flanks due to various reasons is known as Flank Wear.

The main properties of flank wear are following:

i) It is generally caused due to high temperatures which affect tools and work materials.
ii) Flank wear results in the formation of wear land which is not always uniform along the major and minor cutting edge of the tool.
iii) It is the most general wear that appears on the flank surface parallel to the cutting edge.
iv) It can be measured using the average wear land size ( V3 ) and maximum wear land size (VBmax).
v) It can be described using the tool life expectancy equation.

The main reasons for occurrence of flank wear and increase in rate of flank wear are listed below:

i) One of the main reason for flank wear is increased in cutting speed that causes flank wear to grow rapidly.
ii) Another reason for flank wear is high value of feed and depth of cut.
iii) Abrasion by hard panicles of the workpiece.
iv) Shearing of micro welds between tool and work material.
v) Abrasion by fragments of built-up edge (BUE), built-up edge is caused in the cutting operation due to friction between tool and workpiece. Built-up Edges are formed due to the melting of workpiece material because increased temperature caused due to friction.

Effects and Losses due to Flank Wear:

i) Flank wear increases the total cutting force required to cut.
ii) It affects component’s dimensional accuracy.
iii) It also increases the final product surface roughness.
iv) Sometimes flank wire also changes the shape of the components produced.

Flank Wear can be prevented by following ways:
i) Flank wear can be prevented by reducing the cutting speed.
ii) Reducing the feed and depth of cut.
iii) It can also be prevented by using chip breakers which prevents the
formation of built-up edge.
iv) By using good quality of carbide in the cutting tool.

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