An experimental study on micro-EDM in low-resistivity deionized water using short voltage pulses
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- Nguyen, M.D., Rahman, M. & Wong, Y.S. Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2012) 58: 533. doi:10.1007/s00170-011-3397-0
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Deionized water has been used as dielectric fluid for micro-electrical discharge machining (micro-EDM) because it gives higher material removal rate and lower tool wear than hydrocarbon oil. Moreover, it is a relatively low-cost and eco-friendly substance. Therefore, deionized water tends to be more favorable for micro-EDM. However, it causes weak electrochemical reaction during micro-EDM due to its slight conductivity. This leads to the unanticipated additional material removal from the workpiece which affects the machining shape and quality. The study in this paper aims to suppress the electrochemical reaction in die-sinking micro-EDM using deionized water by employing short voltage pulse. Experiments were carried out to fabricate micro-holes using the developed nanosecond pulse circuit. Different pulse parameters were applied to identify the main factor affecting the electrochemical reaction rate. Machining gap was found to be thinner and workpiece surface adjacent to the rim of micro-holes were found to be free of defects caused by material dissolution when pulse duration reached a critical value. Moreover, the influence of pulse parameters on material removal rate and machined shape was also investigated. Besides, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis showed that the machined surface using deionized water was less affected from material migration during micro-EDM process in comparison to hydrocarbon oil.