Some studies into wire electro-discharge machining of alumina particulate-reinforced aluminum matrix composites

  • Nilesh G. Patil
  • P. K. Brahmankar


Non-traditional process like wire electro-discharge machining is found to show a promise for machining metal matrix composites. However, the machining information for the difficult-to-machine particle-reinforced material is inadequate. This paper is focused on experimental investigation to examine the effect of electrical as well as non-electrical machining parameters on performance in wire electro-discharge machining of metal matrix composites (Al/Al2O3p). Taguchi orthogonal array was used to study the effect of combination of reinforcement, current, pulse on-time, off-time, servo reference voltage, maximum feed speed, wire speed, flushing pressure and wire tension on cutting speed, surface finish, and kerf width. Reinforcement percentage, current, and on-time was found to have significant effect on cutting rate, surface finish, and kerf width. The optimum machining parameter combinations were obtained for surface finish, cutting speed, and kerf width separately. Wire breakages were found to pose limitations on the cutting speed in machining of these materials. Wire shifting was found to deteriorate the machined surfaces.


Metal matrix composites WEDM Surface topography Taguchi method 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Hung NP, Loh NN, Venkatesh VC (1999) Machining of metal matrix composites. Machining of ceramics and composites. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 295–298Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zhu Y, Kishawy HA (2005) Influence of alumina particles on the mechanics of machining metal matrix composites. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 45:389–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ramulu M, Rao PN, Kao H (2002) Drilling of (Al2O3) p/6061 metal matrix composites. J Mater Process Technol 124:244–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hocheng H, Lei WT, Hsu HS (1997) Preliminary study of material removal in electrical-discharge machining of SiC/Al. J Mater Process Technol 63:813–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lane C (1992) Machinability of aluminum composites as a function of matrix alloy and heat treatment. Proc. Machining of Composite Materials Symposium ASM Materials Week Chicago, Illinois, pp 3–15Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Looney LA, Monaghan JM, O’Reilly P, Taplin DMR (1992) The turning of an Al/SiC metal matrix composite. J Mater Process Technol 33:453–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brun MK, Lee M (1985) Wear characteristics of various hard materials for machining SiC-reinforced aluminum alloy. Wear 104:21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tomac N, Tonnessen K (1992) Machinability of particulate aluminum matrix composites. Annals of the CIRP 41(1):55–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chadwick, GA, Heath, PJ (1990) Machining metal matrix composites. Metals and Materials 73–76Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Heath PJ (2001) Developments in applications of PCD tooling. J Mater Process Technol 116:31–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Davim JP (2002) Diamond tool performance in machining metal matrix composites. J Mater Process Tech 128:100–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ding X, Liew WYH, Liu XD (2005) Evaluation of machining performance of MMC with PCBN and PCD Tools. Wear 259:1225–1234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    El-Gallab M, Sklad M (1998) Machining of Al/SiC particulate metal matrix composites. Part I: tool performance. J Mater Process Technol 83:151–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lau WS, Yue TM, Lee TC, Lee WB (1995) Un-conventional machining of composite materials. J Mater Process Technol 48:199–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Muller F, Monaghan J (2000) Non-conventional machining of particle reinforced metal matrix composite. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 40:1351–1366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Muller F, Monaghan J (2001) Non-conventional machining of particle reinforced metal matrix composite. J Mater Process Technol 118:278–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Poon SK, Lee TC (1993) Electrical discharge machining of particulate metal matrix composites. Proc. ASM Materials Congress, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pp 43–50Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Brahmankar PK, Ramkrishnan N (2005) On the fatigue characteristics of electro-discharge machined alumina particulate reinforced aluminium matrix composites. Int J Manuf Technol Manag 7(2/3/4):342–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dauw DF, Brown CA (1990) Surface topography investigations by fractal analysis of spark-eroded electrically conductive ceramics. Annals of the CIRP 37(2):161–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Levy GN, Maggi F (1990) WED machinability comparison of different steel grades. Annals of the CIRP 39(1):183–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ramulu M, Taya M (1989) EDM machinability of SiCw/Al composites. J Mater Sci 24:1103–1108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hung NP, Yang LJ, Leong KW (1994) Electrical discharge machining of cast metal matrix composites. J Mater Process Technol 44:229–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Chiang Ko-Ta, Chang Fu-Ping (2006) Optimization of the WEDM process of particle-reinforced material with multiple performance characteristics using grey relational analysis. J Mater Process Technol 180:96–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Yue TM, Dai Y (1996) Wire electrical discharge machining of Al2O3 particle and short fiber reinforced aluminum based composites. Mater Sci Technol 12:831–835Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Patil NG, Brahmankar PK (2006) Some investigations into wire electro-discharge machining performance of Al/SiCp composites. Int J Machining and Machinability of Materials 1(4):412–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Guo ZN, Wang X, Huang ZG, Yue TM (2002) Experimental investigation in to shaping particle reinforced material by WEDM-HS. J Mater Process Technol 129:56–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Gatto A, Iuliano (1997) Cutting mechanisms and surface features of WED machined metal matrix composites. J Mater Process Technol 65:209–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rozenek M, Kozak J (2001) Electric discharge characteristics of metal matrix composites. J Mater process Technol 109:367–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Yan BH, Tsai HC (2005) Examination of wire electrical discharge machining of Al2O3p/6061Al composites. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 45(3):251–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Patil NG, Brahmankar PK (2009) Some investigations into combined effect of ceramic reinforcement and process parameters into electro-discharge machining of Al/SiCp composites. Journal of Machining and Forming Technology (in press)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ross PJ (1996) Taguchi techniques for quality engineering, 2nd edn. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Montgomery DC (2001) Design and analysis of experiments, 5th edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Schumacher BM (2004) After 60 years of EDM the discharge process remains still disputed. J Mater Process Technol 149:376–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Altpeter F, Perez R (2004) Relevant topics in wire electrical discharge machining control. J Mater Process Technol 149:147–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Klocke F, Nothe T, Klotz M (2005) Influence of non-metallic inclusions in super-finish wire cutting. 6th International Tooling Conference 1183–1198Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Giandomenico N (2008) Device and method for high frequency electrical discharge machining. European Patent, EPI 886755 Al.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringDr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological UniversityLonereIndia

Personalised recommendations