Virtual Seminar Series | Measurement of Tool-Chip Interface Temperature with Instrumented Cutting Inserts


Seminar by Frank E. Pfefferkorn, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

University of Wisconsin-Madison



After a brief introduction to the range of manufacturing process research that is done in the Multiscale Metals Manufacturing Processes Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the seminar will focus on the research path towards in-situ tool-chip interface temperature measurement with commercially viable cutting inserts. The journey started with a desire to understand how cryogenic cooling of a cutting insert can improve machining outcomes and predicting the effect of various cooling strategies on the tool-chip interface temperature: a strong indicator of tool wear rate. The only way to verify if the thermal model could accurately capture changes to the tool-chip interface temperature was to accurately measure it in-situ: no small task. Accurately measuring cutting temperatures has always been an experimental challenge. This project added the goal of trying to find a temperature measurement solution that had the possibility of commercial success: i.e., would not only be relegated to research labs. Therefore, the research pivoted to the fabrication of a coating system that included thin-film thermocouples on commercially available tungsten carbide cutting inserts. The remainder of the seminar will describe how the instrumented cutting inserts are fabricated, characterizing their performance, and initial cutting applications that include turning and milling experiments with continuous and interrupted cuts in steel alloys.

Dr. Frank Pfefferkorn is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). His Doctoral Degree is in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana (2002). His core expertise is in temperature measurement, fabrication of thin-film temperature sensors on cutting tools, heat transfer modeling, solid-state joining processes (e.g., friction stir welding, friction surfacing), and experimental observation of manufacturing processes. He has conducted advanced manufacturing process research for 25 years. He has active research in the following areas: friction surfacing of stainless steels, friction stir welding of aluminum alloys, fabrication of thin-film thermocouples in the hard coating of tungsten carbide cutting inserts for smart manufacturing, laser polishing of metal additive manufactured parts, and metal additive-subtractive manufacturing. Dr. Pfefferkorn has authored over 125 publications in these areas, including journal articles, conference proceedings, and invited book chapters. His research is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Office of Naval Research, and industry. Dr. Pfefferkorn is an Associate Member of the International Academy of Production Engineering (CIRP) where he is serving as the Vice-Chair of Scientific Technical Committee “E” (Electro-Physical & Chemical Processes).

While Dr. Pfefferkorn works full-time at UW-Madison, he also has an appointment as an Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Professor at the Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien).  This visiting professorship has him spending time each year in Vienna (Austria) building a strong research collaboration in advanced manufacturing research between TU Wien and UW-Madison.


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Category: Seminars