Study on the nano-powder-mixed sinking and milling micro-EDM of WC-Co
Source: The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Volume 53, Numbers 1-4, March 2011 , pp. 167-180(14)
Abstract:Present study investigates the feasibility of improving surface characteristics in the micro-electric discharge machining (EDM) of cemented tungsten carbide (WC–Co), a widely used die and mould material, using graphite nano-powder-mixed dielectric. In this context, a comparative analysis has been carried out on the performance of powder-mixed sinking and milling micro-EDM with view of obtaining smooth and defect-free surfaces. The surface characteristics of the machined carbide were studied in terms of surface topography, crater characteristics, average surface roughness (R a) and peak-to-valley roughness (R max). The effect of graphite powder concentration on the spark gap, material removal rate (MRR) and electrode wear ratio (EWR) were also discussed for both die-sinking and milling micro-EDM of WC–Co. It has been observed that the presence of semi-conductive graphite nano-powders in the dielectric can significantly improve the surface finish, enhance the MRR and reduce the EWR. Both the surface topography and crater distribution were improved due to the increased spark gap and uniform discharging in powder-mixed micro-EDM. The added nano-powder can lower the breakdown strength and facilitate the ignition process thus improving the MRR. However, for a fixed powder material and particle size, all the performance parameters were found to vary significantly with powder concentration. Among the two processes, powder-mixed milling micro-EDM was found to provide smoother and defect-free surface compared to sinking micro-EDM. The lowest value of R a (38 nm) and R max (0.17 m) was achieved in powder-mixed milling micro-EDM at optimum concentration of 0.2 g/L and electrical setting of 60 V and stray capacitance.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore, 119260 2: Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore, 119260, Email: email@example.com
Publication date: 2011-03-01