N Is for Nonferrous

Metalworking Glossary for the Letter N

See the index to the Glossaries here:


  • Negative Rake Angle. A tool has a negative rake angle when the face of the cutting tool slopes away from the cutting edge at outer side. A negative rake angle makes the tool blunter, which increases the strength of the cutting edge and the cutting force. More power is required to cut with a negative rake angle, but it can improve the surface finish of the workpiece.
  • Neutral Rake Angle. Another name for a zero-rake angle, A tool has a zero (or neutral) rake when the face of the cutting tool is perpendicular to the cutting edge at inner side.
  • Nitriding. A type of case hardening that involves exposing the surface of certain alloys to ammonia to infuse nitrogen into the alloy.
  • Nonferrous. Nonferrous material are metals—like aluminum or copper—or alloys that contain no significant amount of iron.
  • Normalizing. A common process of heat treatment where a ferrous alloy is heated above its critical range, held at that temperature for a specific amount of time, and allowed to air cool.
  • Nose Radius. Cutting tools have a principle cutting edge as well as an auxiliary or side cutting edge so that swarf is cut along two planes from the workpiece. The corner where the two edges come together is called the nose, and it is rounded instead of pointed to avoid breakage due to the forces of the machining operation. The rounded area is called the nose radius, and its size plays a significant role in affecting the size of chips and the amount of vibration, depending on the depth of cut and the feed rate of the operation.