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Technological Advantages of Dimensional Electrochemical Machining with SFE Machines in Comparison with Other Methods
SFE-4000М, SFE-5000М, SFE-8000М electrochemical machines operate applying the technology of dimensional electrochemical pulse processing, related to electrophysical and electrochemical methods of metal processing.
This electrochemical machining technology (ECM) has technological advantages in comparison with the following traditional methods of manufacturing die tooling, finished dies, matrices, punches:
- the most wide-spread as of today thermal physic method of shaping is electroerosion (or electrospark) processing with erosion machines, electrospark machines and electroerosion copying and broaching machines;
laser processing, laser cutting method;
- using milling and engraving machines;
- using multiaxis high-speed machining centers;
- mechanical processing.
Technological Advantages of Electrochemical Machining
- Complete absence of any physical, structural, mechanical wear of tool electrode is ensured.
- Electrochemical machining with SFE electrochemical machines provides high endurance (100...500 times) of tool electrode.
This feature allows reducing the cost price of the technological process significantly, in addition to it, performance, precision and quality of the surface of electrochemically processed item are increased.
- The speed of processing with SFE machine depends on the tool electrode, as well as on the material of the workpiece processed, the pattern complexity and depth. An average operating speed is 0.25 mm/minute.
- The performance of electrochemical machining process for all produced SFE machines is 1200 mm3/minute.
- 100% precision of copying (0.5 micrometer – 3 micrometers) and repeatable accuracy (from 0.5 micrometer to 10 micrometers) of all characteristics of tool electrode when manufacturing a die or a great lot of them.
- Processing accuracy, processed surface quality and repeatable accuracy of dimensions completely depend on the processed material and on the tool electrode and mirror its characteristics in the processed part.
- The roughness and the quality of die surface manufactured by the machine depends on the processing conditions and modes, workpiece material, as well as on the roughness of the article used as tool electrode.
- Technologically the equipment allows manufacturing articles with any roughness type, including specular surface (Ra=0.002 micrometers).
- There is a possibility to increase the quality of a manufactured die surface and to reduce the roughness characteristics simultaneously by changing processing performance characteristics (regulating technological current) during technological operation of manufacturing a die with SFE electrochemical machine.
- Such technological advantage is not at present available with any other mechanical and electrophysical processing method.
- Absence of slivers and defective layer at the processed die surface after electrochemical machining.
- Saving operation time for manufacturing dies, tooling, reducing the use of power intensive equipment, applied in the technological cycle of die tooling production. As a result – energy saving at the plant.
Performance time spent for the production of a finished item (matrix, die) depends on the feeding rate, voltage and depth of processing.
- The processing is performed at a low (4 - 12V) voltage with the use of 12% water solution of sodium nitrate (NaNO3), which is environmentally and electrically safe.
- Workpiece is processed when steel underwent thermal treatment and is tempered up to the required hardness. Workpiece is dissolved at a low temperature, preventing from thermal stress and microcracks, which increases dies, tooling and press molds life span.
- The equipment does not require special construction of distribution pipelines and is connected to the general exhaust system and sewage.
- SFE machines comply with the noise nuisance requirements and EU electromagnetic compatibility requirements.
- Electrochemical machines are rather compact (they occupy not more than 4 sq.m). They are easy to assemble and transport.
- Application of SFE electrochemical machines in the technical process of manufacturing tooling, press molds parts, matrices, dies, implementation of electrochemical dimensional machining method into the tool production significantly reduces performance time for manufacturing of finished products, the cost of production process, saves energy and manual labor.
- Practically all conducting materials may undergo electrochemical shaping if the technological process is duly designed and the electrolyte solution selected.
Tool Electrode for SFE Electrochemical Machine
A tool electrode for SFE electrochemical machine may be replaced by:
- An article sample, soldered with soft solders to the electrode.
- An electrode, specially designed and made from a conducting material with a traditional method (galvanoplastics, milling and engraving machine, laser cutting, engraving and other manufacturing methods);
Later the tool electrode for the manufacturing of which the work cycle time was spent will be used only once for production of a large (practically unlimited by number) lot of working tools (die tooling, matrices, marks, press molding inserts) or finished articles;
With the finished tool electrode it is also possible to restore a worn working die to the necessary size for the minimum time.
Tool electrode is made from metals easily processed with mechanical method (as usual copper, brass, bronze, untempered types of steel). Though tool electrode does not depend on such characteristics as hardness and strength, they may be significantly lower than the ones of a processed workpiece material.