Solid single-point cutting tools can be made of a variety of materials, such as high speed steel, carbide, and diamond. The nomenclature is the same for both solid- and carbide-tipped tools and includes the size, shank, base, face, tool point, cutting edge, nose, and flank. In metal cutting, tool failure can be categorized as gradual tool wear or catastrophic failure. Important requirements for any cutting tool material are good wear resistance, toughness, and hot hardness. Cutting-tool materials are usually divided into the following general categories: high-speed steels, cast cobalt alloys, carbides, coated carbides, ceramics, cubic boron nitride, and diamond. Cutting fluids typically perform numerous functions simultaneously, including cooling the work piece/tool interface, lubricating, minimizing the effects of built-up edge.
By Gary Conner
By George N Bullen FSME