Production and evaluation of rapid tooling for electric discharge machining using electroforming and spray metal deposition techniques

Blom, Ricky J (2005) Production and evaluation of rapid tooling for electric discharge machining using electroforming and spray metal deposition techniques. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


To survive in today's manufacturing environments companies must push the standards of accuracy and speed to the highest levels possible. Electro Discharge Machining (EDM) has been used for over 50 years and recent developments have

seen the use of EDM become much more viable. The goal of this research is to produce and evaluate electrodes produced by different manufacturing methods.

The use of electroforming and spray-metal deposition has only recently become viable methods of producing usable rapid tooling components. The speed and accuracy as well as the cost of manufacture play a vital role in the tool and mould manufacturing process. Electroforming and spray-metal deposition offer an alternate option to traditional machining of electrodes.

Electroforming is one method of producing electrodes for EDM. The fact that electroforming can be used to produce multiple electrodes simultaneously gives it the advantage of saving on costs when multiple electrodes are needed. Spray-metal deposition offers another alternative that is much cheaper and relatively faster to manufacture.

The used of these non-traditional manufacturing methods in this research are compared to the performance of traditional solid electrodes in terms of machining time, material removal rate, tool wear rates and surface roughness at several standard machining settings.

The results of this research are presented in this thesis along with conclusions and comments on the performance of the different methods of electrode manufacture. The major findings of the research include the solid electrodes performed better than the electroformed electrodes in Material Removal Rate (MRR), Tool Wear Rate (TWR), and Surface Roughness (Ra) at all machine settings. However it was found that the production cost of the solid electrodes was six times that of the electroformed electrodes.

The production of spray metal electrodes was unsuccessful. The electrode shell walls were not an even thickness and the backing material broke through the shell making them unusable.

It is concluded that with further refinements and research, electroforming and spray metal processes will become an extremely competitive method in electrode manufacture and other rapid tooling processes.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16014
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Yarlagadda, Prasad & Mahalinga-Iyer, Ramasamy
Keywords: Electro Discharge Machining (EDM), Electroforming, Material Removal Rate (MRR), Tool Wear Rate (TWR), Surface Roughness (Ra)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:55
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:40

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