Flake Formation in Phase Layers of a Cutting Ceramic
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Flake formation (cracking) is observed in inserts of untreated cutting ceramic and also during diffusional strengthening of the inserts’ surface layer by nitrogen on heating in a muffle furnace to 450–500°C, with the creation of γ-phase (a protective layer), the removal of carbon from the atomic cells, and the formation of titanium nitride. Heat-treatment conditions for inserts of cutting ceramic are established such that the flake content at their surface is reduced. Treatment to prevent flake formation is proposed: heating in a sealed muffle furnace with a nitrogen atmosphere to 250–280°C at a pressure of 0.25 MPa. In this process, the titanium carbide at the surface of the inserts is converted to titanium nitride as a result of carbon diffusion, with the formation of a protective γ-phase layer. By removing carbon from the surface layer of the inserts and ensuring the diffusion of nitrogen into the cutting ceramic, with the formation of titanium nitride in the γphase, the durability and performance of the inserts are improved, along with their mechanical properties.
Keywordsflakes diffusion flake formation cutting ceramics titanium carbide titanium nitride
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