Non-conductive structural ceramics are receiving ever-increasing attention due to their outstanding physical and mechanical properties and their critical applications in aerospace and biomedical industries. However, conventional mechanical machining seems infeasible for the machining of these superior ceramics due to their extreme brittleness and higher hardness. Electro discharge machining (EDM), well known for its machining of electrically conductive materials irrespective of materials hardness, has emerged as a potential machining technique due to its noncontact nature when complemented with an assistive electrode technique. This paper investigates the material removal mechanism and effects of machining parameters on machining speed and dimensional and profile accuracies of features machined on zirconia toughened alumina (ZTA) ceramics using assistive electrode EDM. Our experimental results demonstrate that both increasing peak current and pulse on time improves the MRR, however, it also aids in generating thicker layer on machined surface. In addition, pulse interval time is crucial for the machining of nonconductive ceramics, as larger value might cause the complete removal of intrinsic carbon layer which may lead to non/sparking condition. Higher peak current increases circularity whereas short pulse on and pulse off time aid in increasing circularity due to rough machining. In addition, taperness is found to be regulated by the peak current and pulse on time. Overall, thermal cracking and spalling appear to be a dominating material removal mechanism other than melting and evaporation for the EDM of ZTA.
- Material removal mechanism
- Materials removal rate
- Thermal spalling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering