Future research directions in the machining of Inconel 718

Andrea De Bartolomeis, Stephen Newman, I S Jawahir, Dirk Biermann, Alborz Shokrani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inconel 718 is the most popular nickel-based superalloy, extensively used in aerospace, automotive and energy industries owing to its extraordinary thermomechanical properties. It is also notoriously a difficult-to-cut material, due to its short tool life and low productivity in machining operations. Despite significant progress in cutting tool technologies, the machining of Inconel 718 is still considered a grand challenge.
This paper provides a comprehensive review of recent advances in machining Inconel 718. The progress in cutting tools’ materials, coatings, geometries and surface texturing for machining Inconel 718 is reviewed. The investigation is focused on the most adopted tool materials for machining of Inconel 718, namely Cubic Boron Nitrides (CBNs), ceramics and coated carbides. The thermal conductivity of cutting tool materials has been identified as a major parameter of interest. Process control, based on sensor data for monitoring the machining of Inconel 718 alloy and detecting surface anomalies and tool wear are reviewed and discussed. This has been identified as the major step towards realising real-time control for machining safety critical Inconel 718 components. Recent advances in various processes, e.g. turning, milling and drilling for machining Inconel 718 are investigated and discussed. Recent studies related to machining additively manufactured Inconel 718 are also discussed and compared with the wrought alloy. Finally, the state of current research is established, and future research directions proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number117260
JournalJournal of Materials Processing Technology
Early online date15 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021


  • machining
  • Inconel 718
  • Sensor
  • Cutting tool
  • Surface integrity
  • wear
  • Coatings


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