Chip metal cutting operations, typical of the metalworking industry, generate a large amount of thermal energy, evidenced by the heating of tools (drills, mills, etc.) which influence strongly its operation/life and often compromises the quality of the products. Project Turncoat aims to tackle this problem, providing a way to effectively evaluate the temperature in critical areas of the tools (the surface of cutting areas) in order to be able to use that information to interactively control the cutting parameters of machine tool and consequently the whole machining operation.
The envisaged approach to provide an answer to the problem consists in the manufacture of a sensing system, comprising a thin film (coating) with ceramic characteristics, similar to the ones already existing on tools for protection against wear, which is composed of multiple layers with a total thickness of less than 3 microns, having the ability to measure temperature at the edge of the tool, in ranges between 300°C and 800°C. The electrical signal is processed and sent to a control unit by means of a wireless system designed specifically for the Turncoat, allowing the interaction with machine tool in real time, and tool edge temperature continuous monitoring. With this system the whole process becomes more stable, ensuring higher quality of parts produced and superior efficiency of cutting tools use, extending also his lifetime.