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An understanding of the influence of microstructure on machinability can provide an insight into more efficient machining and the correct solution to problems. Providing numerous microstructures to depict examples, this article describes the relationship between the microstructure and machinability of cast irons, steels, and aluminum alloys. It presents data on hardness values and the effect of the matrix microstructure of cast iron on tool life. It also explains how a higher inclusion count improves the machinability of steels and why aluminum alloys can be machined at very high speeds.

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