Influence of process parameters on the cutting performance of SiAlON ceramic tools during high-speed dry face milling of hardened Inconel 718

  • F. MolaiekiyaEmail author
  • P. Stolf
  • J. M. Paiva
  • B. Bose
  • J. Goldsmith
  • C. Gey
  • S. Engin
  • G. Fox-Rabinovich
  • S. C. Veldhuis


Heat-resistant superalloys (HRSAs) exhibit excellent mechanical strength and structural stability at elevated temperatures. Hence, aerospace and power industries have consistently chosen nickel-based superalloys over the years for manufacturing hot-section components. However, poor machinability of these alloys has always been a challenge. This paper investigates the cutting performance of new-generation SiAlON ceramics under extreme conditions of dry high-speed face milling of hardened Inconel 718. Comprehensive characterization of the ceramic tool and its milling performance were conducted using instrumented micro/nano-mechanical indentations, tool life studies, optical 3D imaging, and SEM/EDS investigation of wear patterns. Also, experimental results were linked to the finite element analysis (FEA) of temperature and stress profiles. It is demonstrated that a few major factors govern the ceramic tool life under the outlined cutting conditions: (1) High temperature at the cutting edge exceeding 1250 °C. This temperature is close to the melting point of Inconel 718, and moreover, it is highly localized around the cutting edge-chip interface. (2) High resultant mechanical stress on the tool of around 5.8 GPa. (3) Thermal and mechanical fatigue loading due to the discontinuity of the milling process, combined with (4) intensive built-up edge formation caused by severe weldability of the softened workpiece to the tool. Combination of these phenomena results in a significant change in the machinability of the workpiece material after surpassing a certain limit of cutting speed. The cutting forces, tool wear, and chipping show a significant decline with increasing the speed high enough, which is attributed to the change in the material properties of the workpiece and dissolution of the hard particles within the Inconel microstructure.


High-speed milling Cutting parameters SiAlON ceramic Inconel 718 Tool wear Material characterization 


Funding information

This research was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) under the CANRIMT Strategic Research Network Grant NETGP 479639-15.


  1. 1.
    Wacinski M (2016) Keramische Schaftfräswerkzeuge für die Hochgeschwindigkeitsbearbeitung von Nickelbasis-Legierungen. Fraunhofer VerlagGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schulz H, Moriwaki T (1992) High-speed machining. CIRP Ann - Manuf Technol 41:637–643. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    King RI (ed) (1985) Handbook of high-speed machining technology. Springer US, Boston. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    M’Saoubi R, Axinte D, Soo SL, Nobel C, Attia H, Kappmeyer G et al (2015) High performance cutting of advanced aerospace alloys and composite materials. CIRP Ann - Manuf Technol 64:557–580. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Schirra JJ, Viens DV (1994) Metallurgical factors affecting the machinability of Inconel 718. Superalloys 1994:827–838CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rahman M, Seah WKH, Teo TT (1997) The machinability of inconel 718. J Mater Process Technol 63:199–204. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Li L, He N, Wang M, Wang ZG (2002) High speed cutting of Inconel 718 with coated carbide and ceramic inserts. J Mater Process Technol 129:127–130. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ezugwu EO (2005) Key improvements in the machining of difficult-to-cut aerospace superalloys. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 45:1353–1367. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hoffmann MJ, Petzow G (1994) Tailored microstructures of silicon nitride ceramics. Pure Appl Chem 66:1807–1814. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Metselaar R (1998) Terminology for compounds in the Si-Al-O-N system. J Eur Ceram Soc 18:183–184. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Izhevskiy VA, Genova LA, Bressiani JC, Aldinger F (2000) Progress in SiAlON ceramics. J Eur Ceram Soc 20:2275–2295. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Liu J, Ma C, Tu G, Long Y (2016) Cutting performance and wear mechanism of Sialon ceramic cutting inserts with TiCN coating. Surf Coatings Technol 307:146–150. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bitterlich B, Bitsch S, Friederich K (2008) SiAlON based ceramic cutting tools. J Eur Ceram Soc 28:989–994. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Devillez A, Le Coz G, Dominiak S, Dudzinski D (2011) Dry machining of Inconel 718, workpiece surface integrity. J Mater Process Technol 211:1590–1598. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Marques A, Guimarães C, da Silva RB, da Penha Cindra Fonseca M, Sales WF, Machado ÁR (2016) Surface integrity analysis of Inconel 718 after turning with different solid lubricants dispersed in neat oil delivered by MQL. Procedia Manuf 5:609–620. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Man X, Ren D, Usui S, Johnson C, Marusich TD (2012) Validation of finite element cutting force prediction for end milling. Procedia CIRP 1:663–668. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Santos C, Strecker K, Suzuki PA, Kycia S, Silva OMM, Silva CRM (2005) Stabilization of α-SiAlONs using a rare-earth mixed oxide (RE2O3) as sintering additive. Mater Res Bull 40:1094–1103. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lawn BR, Fuller ER (1975) Equilibrium penny-like cracks in indentation fracture. J Mater Sci 10:2016–2024. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Brandt G, Gerendas A, Mikus M (1990) Wear mechanisms of ceramic cutting tools when machining ferrous and non-ferrous alloys. J Eur Ceram Soc 6:273–290. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Fox-Rabinovich G, Paiva JM, Gershman I, Aramesh M, Cavelli D, Yamamoto K, Dosbaeva G, Veldhuis S (2016) Control of self-organized criticality through adaptive behavior of nano-structured thin film coatings. Entropy 18:290. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Zhang S, Li JF, Deng JX, Li YS (2009) Investigation on diffusion wear during high-speed machining Ti-6Al-4V alloy with straight tungsten carbide tools. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 44:17–25. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Çelik A, Sert Alağaç M, Turan S, Kara A, Kara F (2017) Wear behavior of solid SiAlON milling tools during high speed milling of Inconel 718. Wear 378–379:58–67. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hao ZP, Fan YH, Lin JQ, Ji FF, Liu X (2017) New observations on wear mechanism of self-reinforced SiAlON ceramic tool in milling of Inconel 718. Arch Civ Mech Eng 17:467–474. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Araujo LS, de Melo CH, Gonçalves RP, de Vasconcelos Varela A, de Almeida LH (2019) The effect of a very high overheating on the microstructural degradation of superalloy 718. J Mater Res Technol 2017:4–10. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Molaiekiya
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Stolf
    • 1
  • J. M. Paiva
    • 1
  • B. Bose
    • 1
  • J. Goldsmith
    • 2
  • C. Gey
    • 2
  • S. Engin
    • 3
  • G. Fox-Rabinovich
    • 1
  • S. C. Veldhuis
    • 1
  1. 1.McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI), Department of Mechanical EngineeringMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Kennametal Inc.LatrobeUSA
  3. 3.Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.LongueuilCanada

Personalised recommendations