Fabrication of deep and small holes by synchronized laser and shaped tube electrochemical machining (Laser-STEM) hybrid process
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The synchronized laser and shaped tube electrochemical machining (Laser-STEM), a hybrid machining process that combined the advantages of electrochemical machining (ECM) and laser beam machining (LBM), has been proposed and studied. The mechanisms of Laser-STEM were studied theoretically and experimentally. Mathematical model has been developed to study the effects of laser-induced thermal effects on the electrochemical dissolution rate. The influences of electrolyte concentration and laser power on the laser attenuation coefficient have been studied. Results showed that the side gap could be decreased by 62.7% and the feeding rate could be raised by 108% when utilizing Laser-STEM with a proper laser power for drilling small holes, compared with that without laser assistance. Moreover, the performance of Laser-STEM has been investigated, in terms of laser power and pulsed voltage. Experimental results showed that the machining efficiency increased with higher laser power, pulse voltage, and feeding rate, and the precision could be improved with the higher laser power and feeding rate and a smaller pulsed voltage. Finally, small holes with a diameter of 1.25 mm and free of recast layer have been fabricated on the aluminum alloy workpiece of 5 mm in thickness.
KeywordsSmall hole Hybrid machining Electrochemical machining Laser machining Tube electrode
The authors thank Prof. Y.B. Zeng of Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics for suggestive discussions.
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51905525), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017 M621983), and Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation (LQ19E050003).
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