Fundamental investigation of dry electrical discharge machining (DEDM) by optical emission spectroscopy and its numerical interpretation

  • Felipe T. B. MacedoEmail author
  • Moritz Wiessner
  • Christoph Hollenstein
  • Paulo M. B. Esteves
  • Konrad Wegener


Dry electrical discharge machining (DEDM) has been developed as an alternative manufacturing process to the traditional EDM in liquid dielectric media. The absence of the liquid dielectric allows DEDM to be performed by simpler and environmentally friendlier machines. The erosion in DEDM mainly occurs due to the bombardment of the workpiece electrode surface by charged particles produced by micro electric discharges. Thus, the understanding of the fundamental properties of the micro plasma is necessary to explain the erosion mechanisms in this process. Optical emission spectroscopy of DEDM single discharges and its numerical interpretation by emission spectra simulation are developed in the present work. The hypothesis of plasmas in local thermal equilibrium (LTE) is developed, whereas the formation of an electron beam in non-LTE plasmas is also considered and briefly introduced. The simulations show that large amount of different ionic species is produced from the anode workpiece material, and the estimated electron temperature profile is peaking at the plasma centre. Moreover, hot anode spots formed on the workpiece surface due to the plasma-material interactions seem to be considerably smaller than the total plasma diameter and the respective eroded crater. These characteristics indicate that DEDM produces discharges similar to anode dominated vacuum arcs, which present properties very different from EDM discharges in liquid dielectric.


Dry electrical discharge machining (DEDM) Emission spectra simulation Optical emission spectroscopy Plasma in micro gaps 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felipe T. B. Macedo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Moritz Wiessner
    • 1
  • Christoph Hollenstein
  • Paulo M. B. Esteves
    • 1
  • Konrad Wegener
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of machine tools and manufacturing (IWF)ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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