Workpiece surface modification using electrical discharge machinig

Jorge Simao, Hong Lee, David Aspinwall, Richard Dewes, Elaine Aspinwall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

163 Citations (Scopus)


Electrical discharge machining (EDM) is a widely used process in the mould / die and aerospace industries. Following a brief summary of the process, the paper reviews published work on the deliberate surface alloying of various workpiece materials using EDM. Details are given of operations involving powder metallurgy (PM) tool electrodes and the use of powders suspended in the dielectric fluid, typically aluminium, nickel, titanium, etc. Following this, experimental results are presented on the surface alloying of AISI H13 hot work tool steel during a die sink operation using partially sintered WC / Co electrodes operating in a hydrocarbon oil dielectric. An L8 fractional factorial Taguchi experiment was used to identify the effect of key operating factors on output measures (electrode wear, workpiece surface hardness, etc.). With respect to microhardness, the percentage contribution ratios (PCR) for peak current, electrode polarity and pulse on time were similar to24, 20 and 19%, respectively. Typically, changes in surface metallurgy were measured up to a depth of similar to30 mum (with a higher than normal voltage of similar to270 V) and an increase in the surface hardness of the recast layer from similar to620 HK0.025 up to similar to1350 HK0.025. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • EDM
  • EDT
  • surface alloying
  • powder metallurgy
  • texturing


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