With the outbreak of product miniaturization, there is an increasing demand for the fabrication of micro-tools in recent years. However, fabrication of accurate micro-tools with high aspect ratio is a great challenge for traditional processes due to their mechanical-thermal effects. Electrochemical micro-machining (EMM) has many advantages over other machining processes, which makes it a potential method to manufacture micro-tools. This paper proposes a novel EMM fabrication method of micro-tools with high aspect ratio, in which an agarose hydrogel of high intensity is employed as quasi-solid electrolyte. During the machining process, a tungsten rod is inserted into the quasi-solid electrolyte which is partially immersed into working electrolyte (2 mol/L NaOH solution) to maintain mass balance. The shapes of micro-tools fabricated in liquid electrolyte and quasi-solid electrolyte under same machining conditions are analyzed. Compared to liquid electrolyte, quasi-solid electrolyte has the advantages of improved precision and ability to manufacture high aspect ratio micro-tools. Besides, effects of main parameters, including vertical distance, duty factor, and pulse peak voltage, on the machining accuracy and efficiency are investigated experimentally. Finally, optimum parameters of 12 mm vertical distance, 50% duty factor, and 5 V pulse peak voltage are selected based on experiments. Using these parameters, a cylindrical micro-tool with an average diameter of 12 μm and aspect ratio of 408.33 is successfully fabricated.
The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 13, 2017
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