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Hole quality and interelectrode gap dynamics during pulse current electrochemical deep hole drilling

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This paper presents the experimental investigation of pulse-current shaped-tube electrochemical deep hole drilling (PC-STED) of nickel-based superalloy. Influence of five process variables (voltage, tool feed rate, pulse on-time, duty cycle, and bare tip length of tool) on the responses, namely, depth-averaged radial overcut (DAROC), mass metal removal rate (MRRg) and linear metal removal rate (MRRl) have been discussed. Mathematical models have been developed to express the effects of the process parameters on DAROC, MRRg and MRRl. The proposed model permits quantitative evaluation of the hole quality and process performance simultaneously. The results have been confirmed for the profile of the drilled hole and MRRl obtained experimentally. In all the experiments, through holes of 26 mm depth and diameters ranging from 2.205 mm to 3.279 mm were drilled. The results have been explained by the interelectrode gap dynamics prevailing during pulse electrochemical deep hole drilling. Optimum parameters determined from these experiments can be used to efficiently drill high-quality deep holes of high aspect ratio in nickel-based superalloys.

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bi, bii and bij :

Regression coefficients

E :

Gram equivalent weight, g

f i :

Fraction of total current flowing in side gap

F :

Faraday’s constant (As)

f :

Tool feed rate (mm/min)

f ke :

Correction factor for electrolyte conductivity

g :

Radial overcut (mm)

I :

Total current (A)

I f :

Frontal gap current (A)

I s :

Side gap current

I set :

Set current (A)

I (pk) :

Total peak pulse current (A)

I s (pk) :

Peak pulse current in side gap (A)

κ e :

Specific conductivity of fresh electrolyte (mho/mm)

\(\kappa ^{\prime }_{e}\) :

Equivalent conductivity of electrolyte (mho/mm)

L :

Bare tip length of tool (mm)

L td :

Total drilled depth (mm)

n :

Number of locations

Q s (pk) :

Peak charge flow in side gap

r :

Radius of hole at any given time (mm)

r 1 :

Outer radius of bare tool (mm)

r 2 :

Radius of drilled hole in workpiece (mm)

T t :

Total time required for drilling a hole of depth equal to L td (s)

t m :

Machining time required to drill a hole of depth equal to L (s)

t off :

Pulse off-time (μs)

t on :

Pulse on-time (μs)

t pp :

Pulse period (μs)

V :

Voltage (V)


Observed value of hole size at nth location

x 1 , x 2 , x 3, x 4, x 5 :

Five process variables

y :

Response under study

ρa :

Density of anode or workpiece (g/mm3)

αν :

Void fraction

Acronyms :



Analysis of variance


Bare tip length


Cutting rate to feed ratio


Depth-averaged radial overcut


Direct current


Direct-current shaped-tube electrochemical drilling


Electrochemical drilling


Electrochemical machining


Electro-discharge machining


Hole Quality Factor


Inter-electrode gap


Metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors


Material removal rate

MRRg :

Mass material removal rate

MRRl :

Linear material removal rate


Pulse-current shaped-tube electrochemical drilling


Pulse electrochemical machining


Quality Performance Factor


Standard deviation


Shaped-tube electrochemical machining


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Correspondence to V. K. Jain.

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Bilgi, D.S., Jain, V.K., Shekhar, R. et al. Hole quality and interelectrode gap dynamics during pulse current electrochemical deep hole drilling. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 34, 79–95 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-006-0572-9

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  • Duty Cycle
  • Material Removal Rate
  • Electrochemical Machine
  • Metal Removal Rate
  • Tool Feed