Electrochemical Discharge Machining (ECDM)

The importance of glass is all growing because of its ubiquitous set of applications in different industries. Micromachining of glass is essential for several microfluidic components, micro-pumps, micro-accelerometers, micro-reactors, micro-fuel cells and several biomedical devices.

Micro electrochemical discharge machining (micro ECDM) is an emerging nontraditional fabrication method capable of micromachining ceramic materials like glass. In electrochemical discharge machining, when a DC voltage is applied between two electrodes immersed in an electrolyte, electrical discharges happen at a particular voltage (critical voltage) on the smaller electrode (cathode). These discharges along with electrochemical action are responsible for the material removal from the work piece during ECDM. . Poor machinability of glass is a major constraint, especially in high aspect ratio applications of glass in microsystem technology.

Machining accuracy at high depths is severely affected due to overcut and tool wear. UCMAN conducted research in ECDM in which high aspect ratio microtools fabricated in-house have been used for deep microhole drilling on glass using low electrolyte concentration. It produced state of the art hole with highest aspect ratio of 11 with lower overcut and tool wear.