Indexed on: 22 Nov '18Published on: 21 Nov '18Published in: Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering
Machining of advanced glass ceramics is of great importance and is a challenging task for the modern industries. In this study, a new hybrid technique of grinding-aided electrochemical discharge drilling (G-ECDD) is attempted which combines the grinding action of a rotating abrasive tool and thermal melting action of electrochemical discharges to perform drilling of borosilicate glass. G-ECDD is performed using a normal electrochemical discharge machine set-up with a provision for using a rotating diamond-coated drill tool. The tool used is a hollow diamond core drill rather than the traditional solid abrasive tool. A spring-fed tool system was designed and developed to provide the tool-feed movement which will also help to maintain a balance between grinding action of diamond grits and thermal melting action of discharges. Preliminary experiments are conducted to identify the optimum spring force of the spring-fed system and tool rotational speed which can facilitate a balanced ECDM and grinding action for material removal. The effect of machining parameters like voltage, duty ratio, pulse cycle time and electrolyte concentration on material removal rate (MRR) and hole radial overcut (ROC) is investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). Duty ratio and voltage are found to be the most significant factors contributing MRR. Voltage and pulse cycle time are identified as the main factors controlling radial overcut of the drilled holes. Second-order regression models for MRR and ROC are developed using the data collected from the experiments using RSM. Grey relational analysis was used to optimize this multi-objective problem. A voltage of 90 V, duty ratio of 0.7, cycle time of 0.002 s and an electrolyte concentration of 3.5 M are found to be the best combination for optimizing the responses. Deterioration of bonding material and dislodging of diamond grits are found to be the major modes of tool wear during G-ECDD. The use of high-frequency pulsed DC increased the tool wear rate due to the less time available for heat dissipation between discharge cycles. Moreover, the wear at the end face of the tool will be accelerated due to the concentration of current density at edges during high-frequency operation. From the microscopic images of the machined surface, the material removal mechanisms involved in G-ECDD are found to be a combination of thermal melting by discharges, grinding action of diamond grits and high-temperature chemical etching effect of the electrolyte.