Batch mode micro-electro-discharge machining

TitleBatch mode micro-electro-discharge machining
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsTakahata, K., and Y. B. Gianchandani
JournalMicroelectromechanical Systems, Journal of
Pagination102 -110
Date Publishedapr.
Keywords80 V, batch mode, batch processing (industrial), Cu, Cu electrode array, electrical discharge machining, high aspect ratio structure, LIGA, LIGA fabrication, metal microstructure, micro-electro-discharge machining, micromachining, parallel discharge, parasitic capacitance, pulse control RC circuit, pulse discharge circuit, pulse generation, stainless steel, surface smoothness, throughput, WC-Co, WC-Co gear

This paper describes a micro-electro-discharge machining (micro-EDM) technique that uses electrode arrays to achieve high parallelism and throughput in the machining. It explores constraints in the fabrication and usage of high aspect ratio LIGA-fabricated electrode arrays, as well as the limits imposed by the pulse discharge circuits on machining rates. An array of 400 Cu electrodes with 20 mu;m diameter was used to machine perforations in 50- mu;m-thick stainless steel. To increase the spatial and temporal multiplicity of discharge pulses, arrays of electrodes with lithographically fabricated interconnect and block-wise independent pulse control resistance-capacitance (RC) circuits are used, resulting in gt;100 times; improvement in throughput compared to single electrodes. However, it was found to compromise surface smoothness. A modified pulse generation scheme that exploits the parasitic capacitance of the interconnect offers similarly high machining rates and is more amenable to integration. Stainless steel workpieces of 100 mu;m thickness were machined by 100 mu;m times;100 mu;m square cross-section electrodes using in 85 s using an 80-V power supply. Surface smoothness was unaffected by electrode multiplicity. Using electrode arrays with four circuits, batch production of 36 WC-Co gears with 300 mu;m outside diameter and 70 mu;m thickness in 15 min is demonstrated


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