Technical Briefs

Experimental Investigation of a New Grid Cathode Design Method in Electrochemical Machining

[+] Author and Article Information
Lu Yonghua

College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering,
Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
Nanjing 210016, China;
Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering,
University of Notre Dame,
Notre Dame, IN 46556
e-mail: nuaalyh@gmail.com

Liu Kai

College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering,
Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
Nanjing 210016, China

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering. Manuscript received March 12, 2012; final manuscript received August 27, 2012; published online March 25, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Bin Wei.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 135(2), 024503 (Mar 25, 2013) (5 pages) Paper No: MANU-12-1080; doi: 10.1115/1.4023715 History: Received March 12, 2012; Revised August 27, 2012

This paper focuses on the grid cathode design in electrochemical machining (ECM) in order to develop a new cathode design method for realizing a breakthrough: one cathode can produce different workpieces with different profiles. Three types of square cells, 2.5 mm × 2.5 mm, 3 mm × 3 mm, and 4 mm × 4 mm in size and three types of circular cells, with diameters of 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 mm are utilized to construct the plane, slant, and blade grid cathode. The material of the cathode and anode is CrNi18Ti9 and the ingredients of the electrolyte are 15% NaCl and 15% NaNO3. A large number of experiments are conducted by using different grid cathodes to analyze the effects of the shape and size of the grid cell on the machining process. In addition, we compare the workpiece quality and machining error between using the grid cathode and the unitary cathode and discuss the reasons for the errors in order to obtain a better surface quality of the workpiece. Our research supports the conclusions that the grid cathode can be used to manufacture workpieces with complex shapes, the workpiece quality is better if the square cell is smaller and, for the same equivalent area, the circular grid cathode produces a better quality workpiece than the square grid cathode.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
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Fig. 1

The profile of the produced blade

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Fig. 2

The scheme of the ECM system with the grid cathode

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Fig. 3

The grid cathode with the plane profile

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Fig. 4

Machine tool and clamps with the grid cathode

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Fig. 5

Comparison of the workpiece quality with different shapes

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Fig. 6

Error comparison of workpieces machined with different cell cathodes

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Fig. 7

The slant workpieces machined by different cathodes with different cell sizes

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Fig. 8

Errors of the slant workpiece using the grid cathode composed of 2.5 × 2.5 mm(○), 3 × 3 mm(□), and 4 × 4 mm(*) cells

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Fig. 9

The slant and blade cathodes composed of 2.0 mm diameter circular cells

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Fig. 10

Plane/slant/blade work pieces machined by the grid cathode composed of 2.0 mm diameter circular cells

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Fig. 11

Error distribution of the plane/slant/blade workpieces using the grid cathode composed of 2.5 mm diameter cells

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Fig. 12

Comparison of the workpiece machined by the grid cathode and the unitary cathode

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Fig. 13

Altitude difference among square cells in the slant and blade cathodes

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Fig. 14

Gaps existing among the cells in the circular grid cathodes



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