Surface effects on alloys drilled by electrochemical are machining

A. de Silva, J. A. Mcgeough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Electrochemical arc machining (ECAM) utilizes pulsed power in an electrolyte, in order to remove metal by combined electro-discharge erosion (EDE) and electrochemical dissolution (ECD). In drilling by this technique, EDE occurs at the frontal gap between the cathode-tool and anode-workpiece; in the side gap, ECD is predominant. Machining rates are much greater than those of electrochemical (ECM) and electro-discharge machining (EDM). This paper is concerned with an investigation of the effects of EDE and ECD on the surface integrity of a range of alloys of industrial interest, drilled by ECAM. Chrome, cobalt and low-alloy steels and nickel-based (nimonic) alloys all exhibited a smooth surface finish typical of that found with ECM, for most of the length of the drilled hole, except at the exit. There, metallurgical damage due to EDE was apparent. The surface characteristics with titanium were typical of those found in EDM, with virtually no evidence of ECM action. This effect was attributed to the presence of a tenacious oxide film formed on titanium in water-based electrolytes which effectively blocks ECM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-246
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Surface effects on alloys drilled by electrochemical are machining'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this