TURBOCAM International
ECM - Electrochemical Machining

ECM is an unconventional machining solution for components with material requirements or features that are difficult, or even impossible, to machine by traditional methods.

Electrochemical Machining (ECM) is a rapid, cost-effective machining process that eliminates heat and mechanical stress. ECM is an erosion process, unlike EDM vaporization, that utilizes the principle of electrolysis. The ECM tool (cathode) is positioned close to the work piece (anode) and a low-voltage, high-amperage direct current is passed between the two via an electrolyte. Material is removed by anodic dissolution and then carried away by the electrolyte. The electrolyte also maintains an ambient temperature (25°C.)

 

Aerospace Alloys: ECM can be used to process ALL metals and alloys. The speed of the process is not dependant on the hardness or toughness of the material which means that exotic alloys can be dissolved just as quickly as a soft material.

High Accuracy & Repeatability: Since there is no mechanical or thermal load on the tool, there is no possibility for tool wear. As such, the quality and dimensional accuracy of the 1st article will be identical to the accuracy of the next 50,000 copies or more. This leads to a significant improvement in process capability.

Surface Quality: ECM produces a burr-free, inspection-ready surface of 5–15µ inch Ra in a single pass. Therefore, additional inspections and secondary processes such as deburring, hand-finishing, and grinding are unnecessary.

Surface & Mechanical Integrity: The products are machined without any contact or heat and are not subjected to any mechanical or thermal stress (i.e. there are no heat affected zones.) The use of ECM eliminates surface defects such as micro-cracking, re-cast layers, and residual stresses which are common using other machining processes or techniques. As such, fragile products that are thin, easily deformed, or can not bear high loads are ideal candidates for ECM.

Shaped Tube Electrolytic Machining (STEM Drilling): High aspect (400:1) shaped holes are achievable with this process.

Dimensional Accuracy
2-Dimensional tolerances can be held to ±0.0002” (±0.005mm)
3-Dimensional tolerances can be held to ±0.002” (±0.05mm)
Surface finishes of 5–15µ inch Ra can be achieved in a single pass

200x Optical Magnification
Laser Machining ECM Machining