Analysis and Optimization of WEDM Performance Characteristics of Inconel 706 for Aerospace Application
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Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (WEDM) has established itself for manufacturing of precise and complex shape components for aerospace application due to the high quality requirement of aerospace components such as normal residual stress, no cracks, no recast layer, no porosity; still there is a need to optimize the control parameter settings and evaluate the performance characteristics of the WEDM process. The experiments have been conducted on Inconel 706 which is a newly-developed superalloy specially for aircraft application. A hybrid approach has been used to optimize the material removal rate (MRR) as well as surface roughness (SR) and significant control parameters have been identified using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Microstructure analysis revealed the formation of microglobules, melted debris and microholes on the machined surface, but no microcrack was detected due to the high toughness of the alloy. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDAX) has been carried out to study the metallurgical changes in the WED machined surface. The topography analysis of the curved surface revealed the best surface quality of the machined component at low pulse on time and high pulse off time. A thick recast layer of 39.6 µm was observed at high pulse on time and low servo voltage. Microhardness of the machined surface was changed up to a depth of 70 µm due to cyclic thermal loading during the WEDM process.
KeywordsWEDM Inconel 706 Topography Microstructure Microhardness Recast layer
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This work is partially supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India under the project reference number SB/S3/MMER/0067/2013. The authors would like to thank the DST for its funding support.
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