WIT Press

Calculation Of Temperature Fields With DC And Pulsed ECM


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WIT Press


N. Smets, G. Nelissen, J. Deconinck & S. Van Damme


During the process of Electrochemical Machining (ECM) metals are electrochemically dissolved at very high current densities up to 1 A/mm2. Simulation of the temperature distribution during the process provides interesting insights and guidelines for practical use. To be able to calculate the temperature distribution a coupled model with a time accurate solver (second order accuracy) is implemented. In practice, a pulsed current is applied for reasons of accuracy and surface quality. Hence the calculation of the temperature field during pulsed ECM as a function of time is performed, but this can be a very expensive procedure. The pulses have to be described on a timescale that can be orders of magnitude smaller than the timescale on which the thermal effects evolve. If one wants to calculate the temperature evolution one must calculate the effect of all of these pulses. A new approach is introduced. By replacing the pulsed current with a constant current, which has the same thermal effect, it is shown that one can calculate the temperature field in a much more efficient way. The calculation is done with large timesteps, which is a great improvement. Results of expensive simulations with pulsed current and cheap simulations with thermally equivalent constant current are performed and shown to be very comparable. Keywords: pulsed ECM, PECM, temperature, heat, electrochemical simulation. 1 Introduction Electrochemical machining (ECM) is an important manufacturing technology in machining difficult-to-cut materials and shaping complicated contours and profiles. ECM is the controlled electrochemical dissolution of a metal. In an ECM cell one can distinguish two electrode types: the workpiece (anode), and the tool (cathode). Between the electrodes there is a small gap through which an


pulsed ECM, PECM, temperature, heat, electrochemical simulation.