An Investigation of Rapid Tooling for Electrochemical Machining of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy

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Title: An Investigation of Rapid Tooling for Electrochemical Machining of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy
Author: Srisawadi, Sasitorn
Advisors: Ola L. A. Harrysson, Committee Member
Stephen D. Roberts, Committee Member
Denis R. Cormier, Committee Chair
Abstract: This thesis investigates the feasibility of rapid tooling for Electrochemical Machining (ECM). For a variety of reasons, ECM is an attractive process for finish machining of near net shape components built via direct metal freeform fabrication techniques such as Electron Beam Melting (EBM). These processes are typically used with high dollar value alloys such as titanium (Ti-6Al-4V). An experimental pulsed ECM system was constructed, and physical experiments were conducted. Laser profilometry was used to measure surface roughness and material removal. Results indicated that electrode voltage and gap size have the largest influence on surface roughness and material removal. These experiments demonstrated the feasibility of electrochemically machining titanium using copper plated stereolithography electrodes. Based upon visual inspection and optical micrographs, sludge build-up was observed in corners of the machined pockets. Inefficient electrolyte flushing was believed to be the cause of this problem, and a new through-electrode flushing technique is proposed. Computational fluid dynamic simulations indicate that through-electrode flushing can produce a much more effective flow path across the work piece surface, thus increasing flushing effectiveness.
Date: 2006-05-04
Degree: MS
Discipline: Industrial Engineering

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