Electroplastic Drilling of Low and High Strength Steels

[+] Author and Article Information
Brandt Ruszkiewicz

International Center for Automotive Research, Clemson University, Greenville, SC, USA

Elizabeth Gendreau

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA

Farbod Akhavan Niaki

International Center for Automotive Research, Clemson University, Greenville, SC, USA

Laine Mears

International Center for Automotive Research, Clemson University, Greenville, SC, USA

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039648 History: Received September 12, 2017; Revised March 08, 2018


When post-forming machining operations are required on high strength structural components tool life becomes a costly issue, often requiring external softening via techniques such as laser assistance for press-hardened steel components. Electrically Assisted Manufacturing uses electricity during material removal processes to reduce cutting loads through thermal softening. This paper evaluates the effect of electric current on a drilling process, termed electroplastic drilling, through the metrics of axial force, and workpiece temperature when machining mild low carbon steel (1008CR steel) and an advanced high strength press hardened steel. A design of experiment is conducted on 1008CR steel to determine primary process parameter effects; it is found that electricity can reduce cutting loads at the cost of an increased workpiece temperature. The knowledge generated from the design of experiment is applied to the advanced high strength steel to evaluate cutting force reduction, process time savings, and tool life improvement at elevated feedrates. It is found that force can be reduced by 50% in high feedrates without observing catastrophic tool failure for up to 10 cuts, while tool failure occurs in only a single cut for the no-current condition. Finally, the limitations of the developed model in electroplastic drilling are discussed along with future suggestions for industrialization of the method.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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