Investigations on the performance of concentric flow dry wire electric discharge machining (WEDM) for thin sheets of titanium alloy
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Dry wire electric discharge machining (WEDM) process has been proposed to cut intricate and complex profiles on difficult to cut thin materials with a view to improve material integrity and minimize environmental impact and operators health issues. However, longer cutting cycles and poor geometrical accuracy are the inherent drawbacks of the dry WEDM process.
In this paper, the authors have proposed a novel method using concentric flow of gaseous dielectric fluid for the dry WEDM process. The proposed method is intended to provide efficient flushing of debris from the sparking gap and minimizes the debris resolidification on the material surface. Which in turns, minimize the cutting cycles and improve geometrical accuracy of the work material. Titanium alloy, Ti-6Al-4 V (ASTM Grade 5) thin sheet was used for the experiments using side flow and concentric flow modes with a compressed air jet as dielectric media. Current, air pressure, pulse-on time and pulse-off time have been selected as process parameter, and the effects on cutting velocity (CV), kerf width (Kw) and material removal rate (MRR) were investigated. Results indicate that the proposed concentric flow system resulted in a higher CV and MRR and generated a lower Kw than side flow system of dielectric supply. Results of analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that current is the most significant parameter contributing to CV and MRR. However, air pressure and pulse-on time significant parameters for Kw for both the dielectric supply modes. Moreover, the response prediction models developed using regression analysis indicated good conformance with the actual results. Improved performance in the case of CDWEDM indicates that the concentric flow system of dielectric supply can be technically viable and economically feasible alternate to conventional side flow system in order to exploit the dry WEDM process effectively and efficiently.
KeywordsConcentric flow Side flow Wire EDM Dry WEDM Titanium alloy
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