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Microstructuring of carbide metals applying Jet Electrochemical Machining

Mikrostrukturierung von Hartmetall durch Jet ECM
: Hackert-Oschätzchen, Matthias; Martin, André; Meichsner, Gunnar; Zinecker, Mike; Schubert, Andreas


Precision engineering 37 (2013), No.3, pp.621-634
ISSN: 0141-6359
ISSN: 0401-6459
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWU ()
Jet Electrochemical Machining (Jet-ECM); continuous electrolytic free jet; localized anodic dissolution; micromanufacturing; tungsten carbide; carbide metals

Electrochemical machining (ECM) is a potential procedure for high precision micromanufacturing. Especially the machining of work pieces without any thermal or mechanical impact is a significant feature. Additionally, the electrochemical dissolution behavior of the work piece material is only defined by its electrochemical attributes. Hence, mechanical characteristics such as the material's hardness and the ductility have no influence. This makes ECM an alternative process for mechanically hard to machine materials.
In this study, a special procedure for machining microgeometries in carbide metal alloys is investigated, whereat a continuous electrolytic free jet (Jet Electrochemical Machining - Jet-ECM) is applied. The special characteristic of this technology is the restriction of the electric current to a confined area by the jet, which leads to a high localization of the removals. Even complex structures can be machined by the help of continuous direct current. Hence, higher dissolution rates compared to pulsed electrochemical processes can be achieved.
In the experiments the machining of step holes and grooves in tungsten carbide alloys is performed. Therefore, point erosions without nozzle movement and linear erosions by single- and multi-axis motions of the tool are conducted. In addition, three-dimensional shaping of the investigated materials is presented by overlapping linear erosions.