SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Sangil Han
TIME: Monday, March 6, 2006, 11:00 a.m.
PLACE: MARC Building, 114
TITLE: Mechanisms and Modeling of White Layer Formation in Orthogonal Machining of Hardened and Unhardened Steels
COMMITTEE: Shreyes Melkote, Chair (ME)
Steven Liang (ME)
Thomas Kurfess (ME)
Hamid Garmestani (MSE)
Paul Griffin (ISYE)


With the advent of new cutting tool materials such as PCBN, turning of hardened materials (>45 HRC) is becoming increasingly feasible. However, the formation of white layer has become a hurdle in its widespread acceptance by industry. Despite the various characteristics of white layer, there is limited understanding of the exact thermo-mechanical conditions present during its formation. Therefore, the research objectives of this thesis are as follows: (1) Investigate the effects of carbon content, alloying, and heat treatment of steels on white layer formation, (2) Prove/disprove that the temperature for phase transformation in machining is the same as the nominal phase transformation temperature of the steel, (3) Quantify the contributions of thermal and mechanical effects to white layer generation in machining, (4) Develop a semi-empirical procedure for prediction of white layer formation that accounts for both thermal and mechanical effects. These research objectives are realized through experimental and modeling efforts on steels. Depth and hardness measurements of the white layers formed in steels show the importance of heat treatment and carbon content on white layer formation. Measurements of workpiece surface temperature and X-Ray Diffraction characterization of the machined surfaces show that phase transformation occurs below the nominal As temperature suggesting that mechanical effects play an important role in white layer formation. The maximum workpiece surface temperature, the effective stress, and plastic strain on the workpiece surface are measured and/or calculated and shown to affect the white layer depth and amount of retained austenite. A semi-empirical procedure is developed by correlating the maximum workpiece temperature and the unit thrust force increase with white layer formation. The procedure is experimentally verified and shown to be capable of predicting presence its approximate depth for a given range of machining conditions.