Manufacturers and quality professionals requiring high-precision components such as automotive fuel systems and powertrains are under constant pressure to deliver the utmost quality efficiently.

To meet this demand, Kennametal Precision Surface Solutions has released Extrude Hone EVO, the next generation of electrochemical machining (ECM) solutions featuring proprietary generator technology capable of delivering from 3kW to 100kW of power depending on machine configuration.

“Additionally, EVO delivers another exclusive added value: electrochemical machining without stray machining attack,” says Bruno Boutantin, Kennametal Precision Surface Solutions Global Marketing Manager. “Customers will enjoy the highest surface finish quality for improved component performance.”

ECM is used in contouring, radiusing, polishing, deburring, and flow tuning applications. Essentially, ECM is a subtractive method that works on the principle of anodic metal dissolution. Each part to be machined requires a cathode for selective material removal on the workpiece. The cutting speed is equal to the DC current applied to the part.

The lack of contact between the tool and the workpiece is important. An electrolyte solution (NaCl or NaNO3 in water or glycol base) handles charge transfer in the working gap. The resulting electron current releases metal ions from the workpiece. The amount of material removed is defined by Faraday’s Law (equivalent to current multiplied by cycle time). By using the electrolyte, the removed material is flushed out of the gap as a hydroxide. This must be captured by an adequate filter system to maintain constant electrolyte conditions. There will be a constant gap, resulting in proper tooling and cathode life. The shape of the tool cathode determines the shape of the material removal.

ECM’s main benefits of this process are:

  • Targeted material removal in precise locations.
  • No mechanical or thermal stress.
  • Process stability.
  • High productivity.

The Extrude Hone EVO is available in various standard layouts: single or dual cell, or even in multi-cell configurations thanks to the system’s modular design and construction. It is easy to configure and easy to integrate into modern production lines. For customers looking for specific machining operations, the machine integrates an interface for Dynamic ECM.

Reliability being at the heart of the production control requirements, EVO provides for online monitoring and control of all relevant parameters. The online feature is also beneficial in delivering remote process demonstrations.