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A Single Discharge Study of Micro-EDM



Shawn P. Moylan


Micro-Electro-Discharge Machining (micro-EDM) is gaining in popularity within the micro- and meso-scale machining community. The process is very well suited to machining small, intricate features in any type of conductive material because material removal is by melting and vaporization rather than by shearing, as in traditional machining. In this study, the maount of material removed by a single micro-EDM discharge was measured in various pure metals over a variety of energies characteristic of typical micro-EDM processes. A unique experimental setup allowed for creation of single micro-EDM discharges and the resulting craters were examined using a scanning white-light interfereometer. The results show a linear relationship between the volume of material removed and the applied energy of the discharge, and a power law relationship with an exponent of 0.33 between the diameters of the craters and the applied energy. Thermal models used to predict material removal by EDM were found to be inaccurate at the low energies of micro-EDM, therefore a new, spherical heat source model is proposed. No lower bound on material removal was observed, and it is proposed that the micro-EDM process is bound by existing technology rather than any physical limitations.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the ASPE 21st Annual meeting
Conference Dates
October 15-20, 2006
Conference Location
Monterrey, CA
Conference Title
ASPE 21st Annual Meeting


cutting forces, machining process optimization, precision engineering


Moylan, S. (2006), A Single Discharge Study of Micro-EDM, Proceedings of the ASPE 21st Annual meeting, Monterrey, CA (Accessed March 2, 2024)
Created January 1, 2006, Updated February 19, 2017