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Experimental derivation of processing strategies for electrochemical precision machining of aluminium matrix composites

Experimentelle Ableitung von Prozessstrategien für das Präzisionsabtragen von Aluminium-Matrix-Komposite
: Hackert-Oschätzchen, Matthias; Lehnert, Norbert; Meichsner, Gunnar; Scherf, Christina; Martin, Andre; Schubert, Andreas

Deconinck, Johan (Ed.):
12th International Symposium on Electrochemical Machining Technology, INSECT 2016. Proceedings : Freie Universität Brüssel, Brüssel, 17.-18. November 2016
Brüssel, 2016
ISBN: 978-9-4619746-1-7
International Symposium on Electrochemical Machining Technology (INSECT) <12, 2016, Brüssel>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IWU ()
ECM; PECM; electrochemical machining

In the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 692 HALS at Technische Universität Chemnitz several academic institutions work on high-strength Al-based lightweight materials for safety components. One field of investigation is focused on particle reinforced aluminium matrix composites (AMCs). AMCs are difficult to machine conventionally by cutting due to the fact that the ceramic particles raise the wear of the tool. For facing these challenges, a part of the SFB collaboration investigates the machining of AMCs with electrochemical machining (ECM). One of the applied technologies is pulsed electrochemical machining (PECM), which is investigated with the intention to generate complex 3-D precision geometries. The AMCs consist of an aluminium matrix and SiC particles. The aluminium is easily to machine with PECM, but the SiC particles cannot be dissolved during the electrochemical machining process applying neutral electrolytes. Therefore, the influence of the particles related to the dissolution characteristics and the surface layer were analysed in previous studies [1–3]. This study presents results of further experiments applying an established method for the determination of the material removal characteristics in pulsed electrochemical machining of AMCs [4]. Thereby the current density was varied based on a variation of the process input parameters feed rate and voltage. Based on the determination of the material removal characteristics suitable processing strategies for pulsed electrochemical machining of complex 3-D geometries were derived. The study shows, that by help of these processing strategies a complex 3-D geometry could be generated in AMC (EN AW 2017 with 10% SiC-particles ≤ 1 µm) applying pulsed electrochemical machining. The chosen geometry was designed to demonstrate the application possibilities of pulsed electrochemical machined AMCs in the field of safety components like retarders.