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Electrochemical Grinding – Diagram, Working, Advantages and Applications

Electrochemical Grinding (ECG)
Introduction to Electro Chemical Grinding
• ECG also called electrolytic grinding is similar to ECM, except that the cathode is an electrically conductive abrasive grinding wheel instead of a tool shaped like the contour to be machined
• Used primarily to machine difficult to cut alloys such as stainless steel, Hastelloy, Inconel, Monel, Waspally and tungsten carbide, heat-treated workpieces, fragile or therm-sensitive parts, or parts for which stress-free and burr-free results are required
• Process introduced in the early 1950s evolving from developments in the USSR on EDM
• ECG removes metal by a combination of electrochemical (responsible for 90% of material removal) and grinding actions
• The grinding action removes the buildup of oxide film on the surface of the workpiece
• Less power is needed for ECG than for ECM since the machining area is smaller and the abrasive in the wheel is removing the oxide film – current ranges from 5 to 1000A are most common, with a voltage of 3 to 15V over an electrolyte gap of approximately 0.25mm or less and wheel speeds of 1100 to 1800m/min
• Many similarities between ECG and conventional grinding make this one of the easiest ECM based processes to both understand and implement – grinding wheel closely resemble their conventional counterparts with the exception that ECG wheels use an electrically conductive abrasive bonding agent; electrolyte is introduced to the work area in the same manner that coolant is introduced in conventional grinding.

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