Simulation of the Electrochemical Machining Process

Temur, R.
Coole, T.
Bocking, C.
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Electrochemical machining (ECM) or erosion, is a process for shaping materials by means of the anodic dissolution of a work-piece using suitably shaped cathodes? However, the predictability of the process is poor due to current density variations over the electrode contour leading to poor dimensional tolerances. This paper describes how the process can be entirely simulated by computer. A model of the electric field during erosion is constructed based on the Laplace equations for the field. From the distribution of the electric field, it is possible to continuously calculate the current density at each point on the work-piece for the whole machining process. In this way, it is possible to predict the final work-piece contour by running the simulation program instead of the real process. Simulations for cylindrical, conical and spherical electrodes were carried out and compared to actual eroded parts.