Electrochemical Grinding as Applied to Jet Engine Overhaul 680662
Machining problems encountered in the metal cutting of new refractory alloys used in jet engines brought to attention the need for exotic machining processes to handle the new materials. Electrochemical grinding (ECG) was investigated and evaluated by United Air Lines as a possible means of solving this problem.
A description of the ECG process is presented together with illustrations showing particular applications. Advantages of the process are low machining temperature, higher
metal removal rates, low wheel wear, and no burrs. Factors involved in the ECG process affecting work output are diameter of wheel surface, surface speed of the wheel, wheel-gap feed rate, and chemical composition of the electrolyte.
ECG is not used as effectively as it could be primarily due to lack of knowledge about the process as well as lack of trained personnel familiar with the process. Another consideration is the need for R&D to determine metal-electrolyte composition relationships.