Design and validation of a headstock prototype for dry EDM drilling
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Electrical discharge machining (EDM) process is very appreciated in the manufacturing of conductive parts with complex geometry. Nonetheless, the use of liquids as a dielectric medium between electrode and workpiece involves important constraints to the EDM machine design concept. Many research works have been carried out using different gases as dielectric medium, the so-called dry EDM. However, further technical developments are required for industrial applicability. The present work proposes an exchangeable headstock prototype for dry EDM machining designed with the intention of evaluating the process potential in industrial applications. Considering the process parameters of spindle speed, gas dielectric flow rate, and electrode diameter, the new exchangeable headstock is capable to cover the most state-of-the-art research works. Moreover, with the designed prototype, dry EDM drilling tests were carried out for its validation, and the effect of spindle speed (500–5000 rpm), gas dielectric flow rate (240–440 l/min), and electrode cross section and material were evaluated in terms of machining speed (MS), tool wear rate (TWR), geometric accuracy, and surface integrity. These validation tests were realized using compressed air as dielectric medium and AISI 1045 steel workpiece. The results demonstrated the proper functioning of the new headstock. Besides, the validation tests showed the MS was increased with the increment of the air flow rate, the TWR mostly depends on the electrode material and no relationship between the process parameters and geometric accuracy and surface integrity.
KeywordsDry electrical discharge machining Headstock prototype Machining speed Tool wear rate Surface integrity
In addition, the authors gratefully acknowledge the technical help provided by ONA Electroerosión S.A and Ms. Elena Cerezal, Mr. Gaxan Cortazar, Mr. Josu Leunda, Mr. Ivan Saez, and Dr. Eva Rodriguez from IK4-Tekniker, Spain.
The authors thank the Ministry for Economic Development and Competitiveness and the Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism of the Basque Government, as well as the European Regional Development Fund for the financial support of this work, which is part of the ELECO project, developed under the HAZITEK program.
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