Dr Iqbal Ahmed Khan, Megha Rani, Assistant Professor In School Of Mechanical Engineering, Lingaya’s Vidyapeeth, Faridabad, and Rupak Kumar Deb, B R Bundel from Lingaya’s Vidyapeeth examines ECM’s impact when machining stainless steel.
Electro-chemical Machining (ECM) is for tricky materials such as alloy steel, Ti alloys, super alloys including stainless steel. Studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of ECM process parameters such as electrolyte concentration, current and voltage, surface finish, material removal rate (MRR), tool and workpiece gap current and voltage for its optimisation with different materials.
ECM is non-contact and gives exact replica of the tool, a cavity in the job material. A high current is passed through the anode and the cathode through an electrolyte and a cavity (as the shape of the tool) is obtained in the workpiece. EDM is better for smaller batch sizes whereas ECM is suitable for large scale production.
Researchers Neto J., et. al.’s found feed rate affects the material removal rate. In ECM, NaNO3 showed good results on surface roughness (Ra) and overcut. Material removal rate increased with heightened tool feed rate due to decrease in machining time. Sodium chloride (NaCl) had better machining results on MRR than Sodium Nitrate as NaCl solution is a non-passivated electrolyte and has constant current efficiency.
Milan Kumar Dasa, et.al.’s ANOVA results revealed the electrolyte concentration has maximum influence on metal removal rate and Ra characteristics. P. Rodriguez et. al. current intensity increase affects the material removal rate and as it increases, surface finish decreases in the ECM process.
There should be a balance in between material removal rate and the surface finish. Kai Egashira et.al. suggested a semi-cylindrical tool electrode, long pulse width, high pulse frequency, high low-level voltage, and high electrolyte concentration were preferable for high-speed drilling without widening the lateral gap between tool electrode and hole.
Ming-Chang Jeng et al. found material removal rate and current efficiency increases with carbon content. Moreover, quenched microstructure and tempered microstructure have a greater removal rate and current efficiency than those of annealed microstructures, work-piece machined at a pressure of 3-4 kg/cm2 has highest removal rate and current efficiency. Roughness of machined surface of the annealed microstructure is greater than quenched and tempered steels.
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