Machinability of ultrafine-grained copper using tungsten carbide and polycrystalline diamond tools Academic Article uri icon


  • Equal channel angular extrusion (ECAE) is an effective process to produce bulk ultrafine-grained (UFG) materials from regular coarse-grained materials. Such ECAE-processed materials typically excel in strength, wear resistance, ductility, and high strain-rate superplasticity, with promising applications in lightweight transportation and medical industries. Precision machining work is generally indispensable for further applications after bulk materials are produced by ECAE. To effectively and efficiently machine such ECAE-processed materials for further broad applications, machining issues such as machinability and tool material selection should be considered. This study was undertaken to investigate the machinability of ECAE-processed pure copper using both tungsten carbide (WC) and polycrystalline diamond (PCD) cutting tools in order to facilitate broad applications of ECAE-processed UFG coppers. It is found that despite its higher cost, PCD is favored to machine UFG copper based on this study since it has better wear resistance, gives lower cutting forces, yields a better workpiece surface finish, and results in no smearing on the workpiece. In machining UFG copper, depth of cut notching was observed as the wear pattern and abrasion as the wear mechanism for the WC tool, while flank wear was observed as the wear pattern and diffusion as the wear mechanism for the PCD tool. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Morehead, M., Huang, Y., & Hartwig, K. T.

citation count

  • 27

publication date

  • February 2007