Understanding wear and interaction between CVD α-Al2O3 coated tools, steel, and non-metallic inclusions in machining

Axel Bjerke, Filip Lenrick, Susanne Norgren, Henrik Larsson, Andreas Markström, Rachid M'Saoubi, Igor Petrusha, Volodymyr Bushlya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aluminum oxide-coating on cemented carbide tools used for metal cutting have been regarded as inert during cutting of steels. Because diffusional dissolution is not possible. Chemical degradation of aluminum oxide coatings is often overlooked, especially in the presence of ambient oxygen and non-metallic inclusions. High-pressure diffusion couples, advanced microscopy, and thermodynamics are used to investigate and predict the chemical degradation of aluminum oxide-coated tools. During interactions with steel and different combinations of inclusions with and without ambient oxygen. The results show that alumina is resistant to chemical degradation by steel in the absence of oxygen. However, this is not the case when oxygen and non-metallic inclusions are present. These experiments and microscopy together with the thermodynamic calculations allow for the creation of a method and guidelines for chemical wear modeling and steel inclusion engineering when machining with aluminum oxide-coated tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128997
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the national strategic innovation program known as the National Action for Metallic Materials program, organized by Vinnova and Jernkontoret (Sweden) under DEMO project (ID 2017-02915 ). The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Sustainable Production Initiative (SPI), a cooperation between Lund University and Chalmers University of Technology. We also thank Dr. Thomas Björk from Ovako AB for support with the workpiece material and fruitful discussions. We would like to thank Ryszard Wierzbicki and Mikael Hörndahl for their help in manufacturing and assembly of the diffusion couple, and Dr. Ofentse Makgae for assistance during TEM imaging, all of Lund University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Metallurgy and Metallic Materials


  • Chemical wear
  • Diffusion couple
  • Machining
  • Non-metallic inclusions
  • α-Al2O3


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