Avoidance of Macro Surface Defects in Electrochemical Machining (ECM) of Steel Workpieces

  • A. R. Mileham
  • S. J. Harvey


ECM is a relatively new, non-conventional machining process in which the type of surface produced has been found difficult to control. Macro defects that require removal by hand are often produced, and such problems have led to the process losing industrial favour. Work for this paper has shown the reasons why macro defects are produced on ECM surfaces and how they can be avoided. The critical ECM parameters, in terms of surface integrity, for the machining of various steels in NaCl electrolyte were shown to be the electrolyte flow velocity (U), the current density (I d ) and the electrode gap (L). When the ratio UL/I d was plotted against current efficiency a typical catastrophic curve resulted that depicted a change in erosion valency from Fe2+ to Fe3+. By avoiding UL/I d ratios that resulted in an Fe2+ to Fe3+ transitional state, macro defects could be avoided. The paper gives empirical UL/I d range values that should be used for a variety of steels in order to ensure integral surfaces and the elimination of costly hand-finishing techniques.


Current Efficiency Work Material Integral Surface Electrochemical Machine Metal Removal Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. R. Mileham
    • 1
  • S. J. Harvey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Production EngineeringCoventry (Lanchester) PolytechnicCoventryUK

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