Hard turning processes promise affordable fabrication of machined components with high dimensional accuracy requirements. In an effort to achieve the desired economics a vast array of process variables must be considered including tool material, geometry, edge preparation, wear, speed and feed selection, while maintaining part quality. One method to reduce the number of necessary experiments is through accurate and reliable modeling. A three-dimensional finite element model is presented which includes fully adaptive unstructured mesh generation, tight thermo-mechanically coupling, deformable tool-chip-workpiece contact, interfacial heat transfer across the tool-chip boundary, momentum effects at high speeds and constitutive models appropriate for high strain rate, finite deformation analyses. The model is applied to nose turning of hardened steel workpieces, HRc 60. Metal cutting tests are performed, cutting forces collected, and validation comparison is made.

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