Liquid alloy electrode for no-wear micro electrical discharge machining

  • Ruining HuangEmail author
  • Xiaogang Xiong
  • Ying Yi
  • Erlei Zhu


A micro electrical discharge machining (μEDM) method that utilizes liquid phase alloy as the processing electrode is proposed and developed to solve various issues arising from electrode wear. The liquid alloy is held in a microcapillary needle such that a liquid microelectrode forms at the bottom of the needle. A discharge pulse generator is connected to the liquid and a workpiece for generating pulses thermally erodes the workpiece material. During the machining process, the liquid electrode is continuously supplied to the needle to eliminate effects of liquid consumption on the erosion process. Experimental results show that discharge pulses can be stably generated and sustained with the liquid electrode and that these pulses generated on the silicon sample are effective in implementing microcavities on its surface. Coating an electrically passivated material on the needle will protect the needle tip from the thermal action of the pulse discharge. The process is also evaluated under various experimental conditions for revealing the dependence of the material removal rate (MRR) and liquid alloy consumption rate (LACR) on the parameters.


μEDM Liquid alloy Galinstan Wear 



The author would like to thank Prof. K. Takahata from the University of British Columbia for providing technical support for this research.

Funding information

This work was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51975155, No.51475107) and Shenzhen Basic Research Program (No. JCYJ20170811160440239).


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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical Engineering and AutomationHarbin Institute of TechnologyShenzhenChina
  2. 2.College of Science and EngineeringHamad Bin Khalifa UniversityDohaQatar

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