Master thesis: Investigations of tool wear mechanisms in the turning of conventional, clean, and ultraclean steels

Sandvik Coromant in Västberga (Stockholm), Sweden offers a master thesis project within the area of tool wear in turning operations.

Tool wear studies and the understanding of the workpiece materials are an essential part of the development of cutting tools. In this thesis work, the student will work in a cutting-edge R&D facility at Sandvik Coromant and will have a close connection with the steel supplier Ovako AB. This project focuses on the deeper understanding of the coated cemented carbide tool wear mechanism when machining conventional, clean, and ultra-clean steels.

Background and scope of the project

Clean steels can be any engineering steel grade and apply to any powertrain system, whether a gearbox to an off-shore windmill, an ICE heavy or light vehicle transmission, or an e-drive system. The power density is even more critical for hybrid vehicle solutions since dual propulsion systems add weight to the vehicle. The components from the powertrain system are largely manufactured using machining processes as turning, milling, grinding, and broaching. Thus, understanding the clean and ultra-clean machining phenomena is essential to developing an optimized tooling solution for the segment.

A common denominator for clean steels is lower Sulphur content, resulting in smaller material defects allowing reducing the size of the components to keep the same functionality. However, it has negative implications in the machinability of steels, e.g., chip breakage, inducing extra challenges in the manufacturing processes of such components. The steel microstructure/properties change also causes a different intensity of the main tool wear mechanisms. In this context, this thesis work focuses on a deeper understanding of the correlation between the steel properties and microstructure with the tool wear mechanisms. The project intends to create fundamentals for the future development of outstanding cutting tool materials.

Work description

This master thesis aims to investigate the fundamental change in the tool wear mechanisms when comparing traditional steels with clean and ultra-clean steels. The thesis will comprise a performance test of the cutting tools and investigations of the tool wear mechanisms using precision metrology and advanced microscopy techniques.

The work will be performed in close collaboration with the R&D team at Sandvik Coromant AB, and will also have an exchange with R&D from Ovako AB (steel manufacture). The thesis offers possibilities to develop practical and analytical skills within machining processes, steel alloys, coated cemented carbides, material characterization, and material science engineering in general. The thesis work comprises activities:

  • Literature study
  • Planning and executing machining experiments
  • Investigate the tool wear mechanisms using precision metrology and advanced microscopy techniques
  • Oral and written presentation in English

Student background

Master students in engineering, with a great interest in materials science and manufacturing, are suitable for this position.

At Sandvik Coromant, we believe that diversity of experience, perspective and background leads to a better environment for our employees, our business and our customers. Now, we’re looking forward to meeting you!


The thesis project lasts 20 weeks full-time, starting February 1, 2022.

This work will be performed at the R&D Grades – Cutting Technology Department in Västberga, Stockholm. Please note we have no possibility to help with accommodation.

Contact person

For more information about this thesis project, please contact:

Denis Boing, phone: +46 70 610 15 68

Susanne Norgren, phone: +46 70 526 63 23

Henrik Strandlund, phone: +46 70 666 30 27


Please send your application, including an application letter and the statement of fulfilled courses, to the contacts above

The selection is done continuously. Please send us your application as soon as possible, but no later than January 14, 2022.

Read more about Sandvik Coromant at the website