Effect of surface roughness of tool electrode materials in ECDM performance

Cheng Kuang Yang, Chih Ping Cheng, Chao Chuang Mai, A. Cheng Wang, Jung Chou Hung, Biing Hwa Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Electrochemical discharge machining (ECDM) is an emerging non-traditional machining process that involves high-temperature melting assisted by accelerated chemical etching. In this study, the tool electrode (200 μm in diameter) is fabricated by wire electrical discharge grinding (WEDG). After the tool electrode is machined, the surface roughness of tool electrode materials (stainless steel, tungsten carbide, and tungsten) is different because of the physical properties. However, the surface roughness affects the wettability on tool electrode, and also changed the coalesce status of gas film in ECDM. Hence, this study explores the wettability and machining characteristics of different tool electrode materials and their impact on gas film formation. Their machining performance and extent of wear under gravity-feed micro-hole drilling are also examined. Experimental results show that the optimal voltage of different tool electrode can shed light on the machining performance. Moreover, wettability of tool electrode is determined by surface roughness of tool material, which in turn affects the coalesce status of gas film, machining stability and micro-hole diameter achieved. In addition, differences in tool material also results in variations in machining speed. Significant tool wear is observed after repeated gravity-feed machining of 50 micro-holes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1088-1096
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • ECDM
  • Electrochemical discharge machining
  • Surface roughness
  • Tool electrode materials
  • Wettability


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