Technical Brief

A New Process Combining Micro-Electro-Discharge-Machining Milling and Sinking for Fast Fabrication of Microchannels With Draft Angle

[+] Author and Article Information
Francesco Modica

Institute of Industrial Technology and Automation,
National Research Council,
P. Lembo 38/F,
Bari 70124, Italy
e-mail: francesco.modica@itia.cnr.it

Vito Basile

Institute of Industrial Technology and Automation,
National Research Council,
P. Lembo 38/F,
Bari 70124, Italy
e-mail: vito.basile@itia.cnr.it

Valeria Marrocco

Institute of Industrial Technology and Automation,
National Research Council,
P. Lembo 38/F,
Bari 70124, Italy
e-mail: valeria.marrocco@itia.cnr.it

Irene Fassi

Institute of Industrial Technology and Automation,
National Research Council,
Bassini 15,
Milan 20133, Italy
e-mail: irene.fassi@itia.cnr.it

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MICRO- AND NANO-MANUFACTURING. Manuscript received July 20, 2015; final manuscript received December 16, 2015; published online January 18, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Martin Jun.

J. Micro Nano-Manuf 4(2), 024501 (Jan 18, 2016) (8 pages) Paper No: JMNM-15-1050; doi: 10.1115/1.4032324 History: Received July 20, 2015; Revised December 16, 2015

A comparison of the machining performance of micro-electro-discharge machining (EDM) milling and sinking is proposed considering the fabrication of microchannels with controlled sloped walls realized in a hardened steel workpiece. Adopting the fine-finishing machining regime for both micro-EDM techniques, the experimental results show that micro-EDM sinking is about ten times faster than milling in the worst case, though a lack of accuracy in the final microfeatures in the former case is detected due to not compensated tool wear. On the contrary, micro-EDM milling provides a better control of the microchannel dimensions. Finally, a microfilter mold for medical applications is machined in order to show the potential of the combination of both technologies.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Voltage and current waveforms in micro-EDM milling

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Fig. 2

Voltage and current waveforms in micro-EDM sinking

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Fig. 4

Tool wear during Z-movement operation: (a) shortening and (b) tip rounding

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Fig. 5

Tool shaping for appropriate tool wear compensation during Z-movement operation

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Fig. 6

Sketches of the machined channels

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Fig. 7

Tool wear during horizontal movement operations: (a) worn tool image from microscope, (b) sketch of the worn tool surface, and (c) zoom of the tip wearing

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Fig. 8

Transversal section of the channels machined via micro-EDM: (a) sinking and (b) milling

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Fig. 9

Schemes of the channel sections machined via micro-EDM: (a) sinking and (b) milling

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Fig. 12

Reconstruction of the microfilter mold by confocal microscope

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Fig. 11

Milling operations for fabricating the microfilter mold

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Fig. 10

Total machining times and erosion times for micro-EDM milling and sinking



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