Technical Briefs

Dielectric Coating of Cathodes for Microfabrication Using Electrochemical Method

[+] Author and Article Information
Anna Brusilovski

 BRUS Technologies, 6/12 Hagvura Street, 82095, Qiryat-Gat, Israelbru.anna@gmail.com

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 132(6), 064505 (Dec 20, 2010) (3 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003123 History: Received March 15, 2010; Revised November 06, 2010; Published December 20, 2010; Online December 20, 2010

Pulse microelectrochemical machining (ECM) by bipolar current is a method allowing the manufacturing of microholes and micropatterns. In many cases, microholes with parallel walls and accurate micropatterns can only be manufactured with the application of an electrically isolating coating to the side surfaces of the cathode. The goal of this research was to find a durable coating for this process. Epoxy resins, Teflon, and diamond-like carbon are considered as dielectric cathode coatings. Different aspects of the working environment of these coatings in the pulse bipolar ECM process, such as electric field, chemical composition, and physical influences of the electrolyte, are analyzed. The main reasons for the low process durability of coatings are poor adhesion and harsh chemical and physical environments. The most promising coating for the process is diamond-like carbon, which shows significantly better performance than the other coatings. Improved adhesion of a coating to the cathode can dramatically improve its durability in the pulse bipolar ECM environment and therefore permits an efficient manufacturing process.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Machining scheme. Cross section of an isolated cathode groove.

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Figure 2

Photo of a cathode groove with magnification of ×100 after 20 min into the process. 1, outer, not isolated side of the cathode; 2, bottom of the groove, entirely covered with epoxy resin isolating coating; 3–5, vertical walls of the groove, without isolation; 6, area of the vertical groove wall with peeled off isolation.

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Figure 3

Average values of time in the process until peeling off starts and adhesion data for epoxy resins, Teflon, and DLC coatings

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Figure 4

Distribution of electric field fringes between the coated cathode and the flat surface of the machined part at the beginning of the machining process

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Figure 5

Distribution of electric field fringes between the coated cathode and the machined part in the machining process

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Figure 6

Isolation peeling off the cathode



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