It has been suggested by R.Hill (1954b) that the machining process is not uniquely determined by the input conditions. A finite element simulation capable of representing the physics behind machining with high fidelity is used to explore the uniqueness of the machining process. It is found that a stable unique mode of deformation does exist for a given set of input conditions. Experimental and theoretical studies also indicate that the mode of deformation is indeed unique and that this uniqueness is possibly due to the applicability of the principle of minimization of plastic work to the machining process.

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