Metals Processing

In the column to the right you will find useful information about the processing of metals.

Below you will find recent posts on the 4M Association which are considered to be of interest to the Metals Interest Group.

Electro Discharge Machining

Technology suitable for both serial and small quantity production

EDM is basically a thermal process in which the material is removed by the action of electric sparks between two electrodes made of conductive materials: part-electrode and tool-electrode. The separation space between both electrodes (gap) where the spark takes place is a fundamental process characteristic. Therefore the gap establishes the necessary conditions to establish the electrical field prior to the spark.

ECF

Technology suitable for small quantity production

ECF is a new technique to machine hard materials and other electrochemically active materials. The tool movements are similar to conventional milling machines. Nevertheless ECF is an electrochemical process, hence both workpiece and tool are submerged in an electrolyte and held at a constant potential to prevent corrosion. Short voltage pulses in the range of 10ns to 100ns are applied between tool and workpiece.

Ultrasonic Machining

Technology suitable for small quantity production

Micro ultrasonic machining (MUSM) is a method derived from conventional ultrasonic machining, in which a tool and free abrasives are used. The tool that is vibrated at ultrasonic frequency drives the abrasive to create a brittle breakage on the workpiece surface. The shape and the dimensions of the workpiece depend on those of the tool. Since the material removal is based on brittle breakage, this method is suitable for machining brittle materials such as a glass, ceramics, silicon and graphite [9].

Diamond Grinding

Micro diamond grinding has some constraints in wheel size and shape that limits achievable quality and geometry of micro parts and structured surfaces. Moreover, difficulty in grinding tool-making and preparation including truing and dressing also hampers the widespread application of diamond grinding into micro fabrication significantly. In [1], recently some innovative grinding tool concepts were proposed by Hoffmeister et al.

Microgrinding

Technology suitable for both serial and small quantity production

Microgrinding is a material removal technique by means of mechanical force used for machining pins and grooves with small dimensions and for obtaining flat surfaces with very fine finishing. The main reason for this is that the chip size in microgrinding is very small because cutting is realized by means of micrograins.

Due to the very small obtainable depth of cut, microgrinding is particularly advantageous for brittle materials which can be mirror finished.

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