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Surface Roughness Evaluation for EDM of En31 with Cu-Cr-Ni Powder Metallurgy Tool

Authors: Sanjeev Kumar, Amoljit S. Gill


In this study, Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) is used to modify the surface of high carbon steel En31 with the help of tool electrode (Copper-Chromium-Nickel) manufactured by powder metallurgy (PM) process. The effect of EDM on surface roughness during surface alloying is studied. Taguchi’s Design of experiment (DOE) and L18 orthogonal array is used to find the best level of input parameters in order to achieve high surface finish. Six input parameters are considered and their percentage contribution towards surface roughness is investigated by analysis of variances (ANOVA). Experimental results show that an hard alloyed surface (1.21% carbon, 2.14% chromium and 1.38% nickel) with surface roughness of 3.19µm can be generated using EDM with PM tool. Additionally, techniques like Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) are used to analyze the machined surface and EDMed layer composition, respectively. The increase in machined surface micro-hardness (101%) may be related to the formation of carbides containing chromium.

Keywords: surface roughness, electrical discharge machining, Powder metallurgy compact tools, Taguchi DOE technique

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