Vibration-assisted electrochemical machining: a review

  • Hassan El-HofyEmail author


Electrochemical machining (ECM) uses a direct current (DC) at high density of 0.5–5 A/mm2 which is passed through the electrolytic solution that fills the gap between an anodic workpiece and a pre-shaped cathodic tool. At the anodic surface, metal is dissolved into metallic ions and thus as the tool moves towards the workpiece at a constant feed proportional to the dissolution rate of the anodic surface, then its shape is copied into the workpiece. During ECM, the electrolyte is forced to flow through a narrow interelectrode gap at high velocity of more than 5 m/s to intensify the mass/charge transfer through the sublayer near the anodic surface. The electrolyte removes the dissolution by-products, e.g., hydroxide of metal, heat, and gas bubbles generated in the interelectrode gap. These machining by-products affect the process accuracy, efficiency, stability, and productivity. Ensuring the continuous flushing of these products is, therefore, essential. One of these methods is through the use of pulsed voltage. Introducing vibrational motion, at low or ultrasonic frequency, to the tool/workpiece or the machining medium became a viable alternative for the evacuation of the machining products during the vibration-assisted ECM (VA-ECM). Other attempts to further enhance VA-ECM performance include the proper tool design, addition of abrasive particles to the electrolyte medium, and use of magnetic flux assistance. This paper reviews the principles of VA-ECM, main research directions, process parameters, and performance indicators. Numerous fields of VA-ECM which include micro-slotting, micro-drilling, macro-drilling, electrochemical wire cutting (ECWC), polishing and finishing, and micro-tool fabrication have been covered. Several mathematical and statistical modeling and optimization techniques have been also examined. The current paper also outlines possible trends for future research work.


Vibration-assisted ECM Material removal Stability Ultrasonic Frequency Amplitude Current density 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Rajurkar KP, Zhu D (1999) Improvement of electrochemical machining accuracy by using orbital electrode movement. CIRP Ann Manuf Technol 48(1):139–142. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rajkumar KP, Poovazhagan L, Saravanamuthukumar P, Javed Syed Ibrahim S, Santosh S (2015) Abrasive assisted electrochemical machining of Al-B4C nanocomposite. Appl Mech Mater 787:523–527. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Davydov AD, Volgin VM, Lyubimov VV (2004) Electrochemical machining of metals: fundamentals of electrochemical shaping. Russ J Electrochem 40(12):1230–1265. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rajurkar KP, Kozak J, Wei B, McGeough JA (1993) Study of pulse electrochemical machining characteristics. CIRP Ann Manuf Technol 42(1):231–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rajurkar KP, Wei Kozak J, McGeough JA (1995) Modeling and monitoring interelectrode gap in pulse electrochemical machining. CIRP Ann Manuf Technol 44(1):177–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Skoczypiec S (2016) Discussion of ultrashort voltage pulses electrochemical micromachining: a review. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 87(1-4):177–187. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kumar P, Jadhav P, Beldar M, Jadhav DB, Sawant A (2018) Review paper on ECM, PECM and ultrasonic assisted PECM. Mater Today Proc 5:6381–6390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kock M, Krichner V, Schuster R (2003) Electrochemical micromachining with ultrashort voltage pulses a versatile method with lithographical precision. Electrochim Acta 48:3213–3219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Maurer JJ, Mallett JJ, Hudson JL, Fick SE, Moffat TP, Shaw GA (2010) Electrochemical micromachining of Hastelloy B-2 with ultrashort voltage pulses. Electrochim Acta 55(3):952–958. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Liu Z, Zhang H, Chen H, Zeng Y (2013) Investigation of material removal rate in micro electrochemical machining with lower frequency vibration on workpiece. Int J Mach Mach Mater 14(1):91. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Feng W, Jianshe Z, Dingming L, Yantao F, Zongjun T (2018) Experimental research on electrochemical machining of an arc-shaped slot array. Int J Electrochem Sci 13:9466–9480. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Skoczypiec S (2011) Research on ultrasonically assisted electrochemical machining process. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 52:565–574. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Perusich SA, Alkire RC (1991) Ultrasonically inducted cavitation studies of electrochemical passivity and transports mechanisms. I Theoretical. J Electrochem Soc 138(3):700–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Perusich SA, Alkire RC (1991) Ultrasonically induced cavitation studies of electrochemical passivity and transport mechanisms II. Experimental. J Electrochem Soc 138(3):708–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ruszaj A, Zybura M, Żurek R, Skrabalak G (2003) Some aspects of the electrochemical machining process supported by electrode ultrasonic vibrations optimization. Proc Inst Mech Eng B J Eng Manuf 217(10):1365–1371. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ruszaj A, Skoczypiec S, Czekaj J, Miller T, Dziedzic J (2007) Surface micro and nanofinishing using pulse electrochemical machining process assisted by electrode ultrasonic vibrations. 15th International Symposium on Electromachining., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, 6pGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Skoczypiec S (2018) Electrochemical methods of micropart’s manufacturing. In: Gupta K (ed) Micro and precision manufacturing, engineering materials. Springer International Publishing AG. Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hewidy MS, Ebeid SJ, Rajurkar KP, El-Safti MF (2001) Electrochemical machining under orbital motion conditions. J Mater Process Technol 109(3):339–346. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sadollah Z, El-Hofy H (2002) Orbital electrochemical machining of electro-discharge machined surfaces, AMST ’02 Conference, Udine, Italy, June 2002: 457-464Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Paczkowski T, Zdrojewski J (2017) Monitoring and control of the electrochemical machining process under the conditions of a vibrating tool electrode. J Mater Process Technol 244:204–214. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Fang X, Qu N, Zhang Y, Xu Z, Zhu D (2014) Effects of pulsating electrolyte flow in electrochemical machining. J Mater Process Technol 214(1):36–43. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Zeng Y, Fang X, Zhang Y, Qu N (2014) Electrochemical drilling of deep small holes in titanium alloys with pulsating electrolyte flow. Adv Mech Eng 6:167070. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jiang X, Liu J, Qu N (2018) Electrochemical machining multiple slots of bipolar plates with tool vibration. Int J Electrochem Sci 13:5552–5564. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ghoshal B, Bhattacharyya B (2015) Investigation on profile of microchannel generated by electrochemical micromachining. J Mater Process Technol 222:410–421. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ghoshal B, Bhattacharyya B (2015) Vibration assisted electrochemical micromachining of high aspect ratio micro features. Precis Eng 42:231–241. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ghoshal B, Bhattacharyya B (2014) Shape control in micro borehole generation by EMM with the assistance of vibration of tool. Precis Eng 38(1):127–137. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yang I, Park MS, Chu CN (2009) Micro ECM with ultrasonic vibrations using a semi-cylindrical tool. Int J Precis Eng Manuf 10(2):5–10. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Feng Z, Granda E, Hung W (2016) Experimental investigation of vibration-assisted pulsed electrochemical machining. Procedia Manuf (5):798–814. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kurogi S, Natsu W, Yu Z (2012) Investigation of machining characteristics of ultrasonic vibration assisted ECM. Appl Mech Mater (217-219):2555–2559. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wang J, Chen W, Gao F, Han F (2014) Ultrasonically assisted electrochemical micro drilling with sidewall-insulated electrode. Proc IMechE B J Eng Manuf 230:1–9. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Wu Z, Wu X, Lei JXB, Jiang K, Zhong J, Diao D, Ruan S (2018) Vibration-assisted micro-ECM combined with polishing to machine 3D microcavities by using an electrolyte with suspended B4C particles. J Mater Process Technol (255):275–284. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Wang M, Zhang Y, He Z, Peng W (2016) Deep micro-hole fabrication in EMM on stainless steel using disk micro-tool assisted by ultrasonic vibration. J Mater Process Technol 229:475–483. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Patel JB, Feng Z, Villanueva PP, Hung WNP (2017) Quality enhancement with ultrasonic wave and pulsed current in electrochemical machining. Procedia Manuf 10:662–673. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Natsu W, Nakayama H, Yu Z (2012) Improvement of ECM characteristics by applying ultrasonic vibration. Int J Precis Eng Manuf 13(7):1131–1136. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ebeid SJ, Hewidy MS, El-Taweel TA, Youssef AH (2004) Towards higher accuracy for ECM hybridized with low-frequency vibrations using the response surface methodology. J Mater Process Technol 149:432–438. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Jadhav DB, Jadhav PV, Bilgi DS, Sawant AA (2018) Experimental investigation of MRR on inconel 600 using ultrasonic assisted pulse electrochemical machining. International Conference on Mechanical, Materials and Renewable Energy IOP Conf Series: Materials Science and Engineering 377 012095. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ayyappan S, Sivakumar K, Kalaimathi M (2015) Electrochemical machining of 20MnCr5 alloy steel with magnetic flux assisted vibrating tool. Proc Inst Mech Eng C J Mech Eng Sci 231(10):1956–1965. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Hewidy MS, Ebeid SJ, El-Taweel TA, Youssef AH (2007) Modeling the performance of ECM assisted by low frequency vibrations. J Mater Process Technol 189(1-3):466–472. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Liu ZX, Kang M, Fu XQ (2013) Simulation research of small holes by combined ultrasonic and electrochemical machining based on CFX. Key Eng Mater 584:60–66. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Zou X, Fang X, Chen M, Zhu D (2018) Investigation on mass transfer and dissolution localization of wire electrochemical machining using vibratory ribbed wire tools. Precis Eng 51:597–603. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Xu K, Zeng Y, Li P, Zhu D (2017) Vibration assisted wire electrochemical micro machining of array micro tools. Precis Eng 47:487–497. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Qu NS, Ji HJ, Zeng YB (2014) Wire electrochemical machining using reciprocated traveling wire. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 72:677–683. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Fang XL, Zou XH, Chen M, Zhu D (2017) Study on wire electrochemical machining assisted with large-amplitude vibrations of ribbed wire electrodes. CIRP Ann 66(1):205–208. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Jiang K, Wu X, Lei J, Wu Z, Wu W, Li W, Diao D (2018) Vibration-assisted wire electrochemical micromachining with a suspension of B4C particles in the electrolyte. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 97(9-12):3565–3574. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Wang S, Zhu D, Zeng Y, Liu Y (2010) Micro wire electrode electrochemical cutting with low frequency and small amplitude tool vibration. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 53(5–8):535–544. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Kim US, Park JW (2013) Vibration-assisted electrochemical polishing for extremely smooth surface generation. Adv Mater Res 813:475–478. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Pa PS (2008) Design of finish-tool in ultrasonic electrochemical finishing processes. Mater Manuf Process 23(5):457–462. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Ghoshal B, Bhattacharyya B (2013) Influence of vibration on micro-tool fabrication by electrochemical machining. Int J Mach Tools Manuf 64:49–59. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Skoczypiec S (2007) Numerical investigations on ultrasonically assisted electrochemical machining process (USECM) 15th International Symposium on Electromachining. (ISEM XV)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Goel H, Pandey PM (2017) Experimental investigations into the ultrasonic assisted jet electrochemical micro-drilling process. Mater Manuf Process 32(13):1547–1556. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Nicoară D, Hedeş A, Şora I (2006) Ultrasonic enhancement of an electrochemical machining process. Proceedings of the 5th WSEAS International Conference on Applications of Electrical Engineering, Prague, Czech Republic, March 12-14:213-218Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Xu L, Pan Y (2014) Electrochemical micromachining using vibrating tool electrode. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 75:645–650. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Wang M, Zhang Y, Xu X, Chen G, Clare AT, Ahmed N (2018) Effects of tool intermittent vibration on helical internal hole processing in electrochemical machining. Proc Inst Mech Eng C J Mech Eng Sci 233:1–10. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Jia L, Xiaochen J, Di Z (2016) Electrochemical machining of multiple slots with low-frequency tool vibrations. Procedia CIRP 42:799–803. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Mitchell-Smith J, Clare AT (2016) Electrochemical jet machining of titanium: overcoming passivation layers with ultrasonic assistance. Procedia CIRP 42:379–383. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department (IME), School of Innovative Design Engineering (IDE)Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST)AlexandriaEgypt

Personalised recommendations