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Effect of Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) on Miniaturized Charpy Test Results



Enrico Lucon


Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) is a manufacturing process whereby a desired shape is obtained through electrical discharges between an electrode and a workpiece, separated by a dielectric fluid. EDM produces a recast layer on the surface of the workpiece, which in carbon steels is typically harder and more brittle than the base metal, often characterized by microcracks. This type of damage, particularly in the notch region of a steel specimen, can adversely affect test results. The objective of the investigation presented in this Internal Report is to assess the possible influence of EDM on miniaturized Charpy test results. We have tested KLST-type (KLST = Kleinstprobe) Charpy specimens of two reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steels, machined using different combinations of two machining processes (EDM and milling). Comparison of the impact results obtained, combined with additional metallographic observations and microhardness measurements on the recast layers and the base metals, do not indicate a detrimental effect of EDM on the impact toughness of the materials investigated. The maximum thickness of the recast layer is about 16 μm, and the magnitude of the EDM-induced hardening varies between 34 % and 84 % with respect to the hardness of the base material, depending on the carbon content of the steel. No microcracks have been observed.
Journal of Testing and Evaluation


Electrical Discharge Machining, milling, miniaturized Charpy test, KLST specimen, recast layer, hardening, microcracks


Lucon, E. (2012), Effect of Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) on Miniaturized Charpy Test Results, Journal of Testing and Evaluation, [online], (Accessed May 29, 2024)


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Created December 11, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017