Burr-Free Cutting

Burr- and stress-free parts produced by electrochemical grinding without the heat or other metallurgical damage typically found in the mechanical grinding process. Ideal for thin-walled and delicate parts. Usually more cost effective than electric discharge machining.

Electrochemical Grinding, or ECG, is a variation of Electrochemical Machining (ECM) that combines electrolytic activity with the physical removal of material by means of charged grinding wheels.

ECG can produce burr-free and stress-free parts without heat or other metallurgical damage caused by mechanical grinding, eliminating the need for secondary machining operations. Like ECM, ECG generates little or no heat that can distort delicate components.

ECG can process any conductive material that is electrochemically reactive. The most common reason customers choose ECG is for the burr-free quality of the cut. If a part is difficult or costly to deburr, then ECG is the best option. Materials that are difficult to machine by conventional methods, that work harden easily or are subject to heat damage are also good candidates for the stress-free and no heat characteristics of ECG. The stress-free cutting capability of the process also makes it ideal for thin wall and delicate parts.

The real value of ECG is in metalworking applications that are too difficult or time consuming for traditional mechanical methods (milling, turning, grinding, deburring etc.). It is also effective when compared to non-traditional machining processes such as wire and sinker EDM. ECG is almost always more cost effective than EDM.

Conventional surface grinding typically uses shallow reciprocating cuts that sweep across the work surface to create a flat plane or groove. Another conventional surface grinding process, creep feed grinding, typically uses slower feeds than conventional surface grinding and removes material in deep cuts. Because of the abrasive nature of these processes, the equipment used must be rigid – especially with creep feed grinding.

Quality ECG machines must also be rigid for close tolerance results but since very little of the material removed is done abrasively, the machines do not have to be as massive as their conventional counterparts. To a user familiar with creep feed grinding, ECG will appear to be very similar, having relatively slow feeds (as compared to conventional surface grinding) and deep cuts as opposed to shallow reciprocating cuts.

ECG is a combination of electrochemical (anodic) dissolution of a material, according to Faraday’s Law, and light abrasive action. The metal is decomposed to some degree by the DC current flow between the conductive grinding wheel (cathode) and the work piece (anode) in the presence of an electrolyte solution.