During the last decades, the importance of machining in manufacturing industry has required rigorous scientific studies concerning the chip formation process in order to determine optimal speeds, feeds or other technological parameters. For all types of machining including turning, milling, grinding, honing or lapping, the phenomenon of chip formation is similar in terms of the local interaction between the tool and the work piece. Because of the intensive use of CNC machine tools producing parts at ever-faster rates, it has become important to provide analysis of high speed cutting where complex loading conditions occur during the fabrication process: high gradients of the thermo-mechanical variables, strong nonlinearities of the thermo-mechanical coupling, large plastic strains, extremely high strain rates compared to that of other forming processes, important influence of the contact friction and of the microstructure evolution. Today many scientific researches are focalized on finite element analyses of the chip formation and of its morphology evolution during a high speed metals cutting process. To improve the quality of the numerical predictions, a better description of the local shear band formation is needed, using adequate rheological models. On this point of view this paper deals with the influence of the rheological behavior formulation on the morphology and geometry of the chip formation during a finite element simulation of a high speed metal cutting process. Numerical simulations of a high speed orthogonal cutting of special steels are employed to analysis the sensitivity of the numerical results describing the local cutting area with respect to different rheological laws: Norton-Hoff or Cowper-Symonds model, Johnson-Cook one or Zerilli-Armstrong formulation. To obtain a better description of the local material loadings and to take into account the important gradient of the strain rate, plastic strain and temperature values, a more adequate constitutive model is proposed by the author.

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