Improved Cutting?

I received a lengthy technical education at Purdue University, and as an astute organization they keep track of me in case I might make them some future bequest. So I get regular bulletins from them covering research activities. One of the reports recently caught my attention.

This report concerned ordinary machining, and I am pleased that people at a university would still consider such a mundane thing. The full text of the research paper is here: Organic monolayers disrupt plastic flow in metals

But the summary in the bulletin is what I found interesting:
“The researchers previously showed that the application of a permanent marker or Sharpie, glue or adhesive film made it easier to cut metals such as aluminum, stainless steels, nickel, copper and tantalum for industrial applications. Marking the metal surface to be machined with ink or an adhesive dramatically reduced the force of cutting, leaving a clean cut in seconds. Now, they have discovered how these films produce the effect.”

Can this be a technique for us home shop machinists? I did a quick and dirty test, marking a piece of 6061 with a Sharpie.

Then I took a pass at .020 radial depth. The bit is HSS.

Was cutting easier/cleaner where the Sharpie covered? I could not tell a difference. But this was just one quick experiment.

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