ECM - Electro-Chemical Machining

ECM - Electro-Chemical Machining is the generic term for a variety of electro-chemical processes. ECM is used to machine workpieces by electrolytically dissolving the metal. The process is used in aerospace engineering and the automotive, medical equipment, microsystem and power supply industries. Almost all kinds of metal can be electro-chemically machined, even high-alloyed nickel- or titanium-based ones, as well as hardened materials. As it is a contactless procedure with no heat input, the process is not subject to any of the disadvantages experienced with traditional machining methods, e.g. tool wear, mechanical stresses, micro-fissures caused by heat transfer, surface oxidation or the need for subsequent deburring operations. All electro-chemical machining processes are characterized by stress-free stock removal, gentle transitions and smooth surfaces without burr formation.

ecm-process
PECM - Precision Electro-Chemical Machining
PECM - Precision Electro-Chemical Machining
PECM - Precision Electro-Chemical Machining
PECM – high-precision electro-chemical metal removalThe use of electro-chemical metal removal processes guarantees surfaces of the highest quality - even on filigreed components. To achieve even greater precision on ever smaller components the EMAG specialists have continued to develop the ECM process to arrive at PECM.
ECM - Inner forming
ECM - Inner forming
ECM - Inner forming
Electro-chemical inner forming: perfect chamfers and no burrsMany components do not only have to be highly precise on the outside. In fact, the primary focus is on generating optimal surfaces on the internal geometries. For example, the slightest scoring on injection system components will lead to an undesirable notch effect, stress concentration and consequently operational failure. Electro-chemical machining (ECM) ensures perfect results in the inner forming and chamfering of very diverse components.
ECM - Drilling
ECM - Drilling
ECM - Drilling
Chip-producing drilling is a fast and effective process for many applications. But what to do when the pressure on the tool that is supposed to mill into super hard materials is too great, or complex components with hollow sections make milling difficult? - Electro-chemical drilling (ECM-drilling) opens up great possibilities and offers effective processes for such scenarios.
PECM - Machining Blisks with PECM Technology
PECM - Machining Blisks with PECM Technology
PECM - Machining Blisks with PECM Technology
Demands made on components for turbine manufacturing are increasing. Efficiency levels of turbines have to remain optimal at all times. This is achieved with increased speeds and improved pressure ratios. This, however, leads to greater stress on the compressor impellor. For this reason too the rotor is often manufactured as an integrated component (blade integrated disk = blisk), using high-tensile materials.
ECM - Deburring
ECM - Deburring
ECM - Deburring
Contactless deburring with ECM - electro-chemical machiningIt is fair to describe the precision deburring or burnishing of metal components using the electro-chemical machining (ECM) process as economically highly viable. As cycle times and output rates can be scaled using different degrees of parallelisation - i.e. staggering the number of workpieces machined in one clamping fixture - cycle times can be reduced to under 10 seconds. Wear-resistant, precise, contactless and economical are all predicates that apply to the ECM deburring process.

The process

 

The electro-chemical machining process is based on the principle of electrolysis. An electrode connected to a D.C. source acts as cathode (the tool). The workpiece represents the other electrode and is poled as anode. In a watery electrolyte solution the cathode and workpiece exchange a charge that machines the workpiece – without touching – at the selected point, generating contours, annular grooves, flutes or cavities – all with the highest precision. The material being removed separates from the electrolyte solution as metal hydroxide. Machining is accomplished irrespective of the metal’s microstructure and regardless of whether the material is soft or hard. The components are exposed to neither thermal nor mechanical stresses.

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