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IJIRST International Journal for Innovative Research in Science & Technology| Volume 3 | Issue 11 | April 2017

ISSN (online): 2349-6010

Review of Research Work in Nano powder Mixed

Electric Discharge Machining
Sachin Mohal Sandeep Singh Sangwan
Associate Professor Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering
Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran

Nanopowder mixed Electrical discharge machining (NPMEDM) is a non-conventional machining process used to manufacture
intricate profiles, complex cavities in dies and molds, machining of advanced materials that are extremely difficult to machine by
conventional machining processes. In recent years, researches have emphasized on machining of workpiece material after the
addition of nano particles into the dielectric fluid of EDM. This technology is termed as NPMEDM. This article presents a
review of ongoing research and development in NPMEDM. The critical analysis of the use of powders for micro and nano
machining is also presented. The last part of the article discusses the future research directions.
Keywords: Electric discharge machining, Nano powder mixed EDM, Material removal rate, Tool wear rate, Surface


Electric Discharge Machining (EDM) is the one of the most effective non-conventional machining method for machining of
difficult to cut materials irrespective of their strength and hardness. The applications of EDM are tremendously increasing in
aerospace, automotive components. It is a non-contact material removal process, therefore vibration and distortion problems do
not occur. To enhance the process capabilities of EDM, one of the recent advancement is the addition of nanopowders in to the
dielectric fluid of EDM. This technology is called as NPMEDM). In NPMEDM, the addition of nano powders i to dielectric
results in an increase in MRR, corrosion and wear resistance of machined surface and further reduce SR, surface cracks,
thickness of formed surface layers and porosity.
Till date, no review paper is available on nanopowder mixed EDM. Therefore, authors have tried their best to critically
analyze the NPMEDM process and presented the research works conducted in recent years in a collective and comprehensive
manner. The first part of the paper discusses the principle of NPMEDM. Thereafter, extensive and exhaustive literature review is
carried out with micro, nano powder as additive in to the dielectric of EDM. Finally the future directions and conclusions based
on the review have been discussed.


A schematic representation of NPMEDM experimental setup is shown in Fig.1. NPMEDM is entirely different from
conventional EDM. In this process, nano powder particles were mixed in to the dielectric fluid of EDM in a separate tank.
Stirring system is generally employed in this tank to achieve homogeneous dispersion and circulation of powder in to dielectric
fluid. The tool and workpiece are supplied with a suitable voltage ranging from 80320V leading to the generation of an electric
field of 105107 V/m. Spark gap is filled with additive particles supplied through flushing, thereby causing an increase in the gap
distance between workpiece and tool from 2550 m to 50150 m. A large amount of energy is accumulated in the powder
particles due to the influence of electric field resulting in charging up of particles. These accelerated particles move in zig-zag
way and act as conductors promoting breakdown in the gap and widens the spark gap between the electrodes. The particles
accumulate under the sparking area and move either in reciprocating motion, adhered to either electrode, gather in clusters or
form a chain like structure connecting the electrodes. An irregularity in shape and size of powder particles result in interlocking
and may lead to chain formation. The bridging effect reduces the insulating strength of the dielectric fluid leading to easy short
circuiting and hence an early explosion in the gap. A series discharge occurs under the electrode area due to early explosion.
The workpiece erodes at a higher rate due to quick sparking under the electrode area. The striking effect of the particles and
discharge transitivity increases MRR. At the same moment, the added powder enlarged and widened the plasma channel. Even
distribution of sparking among the powder particles leads to reduction in electric density of the spark. Therefore, flat craters are
formed on the workpiece surface. Hence the surface finish is improved.

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Review of Research Work in Nano powder Mixed Electric Discharge Machining
(IJIRST/ Volume 3 / Issue 11/ 009)

1. Magnets, 2. Circulation pump, 3. Work tank, 4. Nozzle, 5. Machining tank, 6. Workpiece, 7. Electrode, 8. Stirrer, 9. Oscilloscope
Fig. 1: Schematic diagram of PMEDM experimental setup [1].


The performance of NPMEDM depends upon electrical parameters, non-electrical parameters, nanopowder concentration and its
type, material and size of electrode, workpiece material and their properties. All the possible process parameters for PMEDM are
shown in fig. 2 on a Ishikawa cause and effect diagram.
parameters Nanopowder
Pulse on time
Nanopowder Type
Peak Current
Supply Voltage Concentration
Pulse off time NPMEDM
Nozzle flushing
Material Type
Lift time
Working time Size

Fig. 2: Process Parameters of NPMEDM


Very few researches have been reported in the literature on nano powder as additive into the EDM dielectric. The influence of
micro-powder (MoS2) suspension in ultrasonic vibration assisted dielectric fluid has been investigated by Prihandana and

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Review of Research Work in Nano powder Mixed Electric Discharge Machining
(IJIRST/ Volume 3 / Issue 11/ 009)

coworkers [2]. They demonstrated that the ultrasonic vibration to powder-mixed dielectric tank avoided powder settling and
provide more uniform suspension media which in turn accelerated the discharging efficiency. Furthermore, the use of
nanographite powders in the dielectric fluid prevents the striking of electric discharges from the electrode to the workpiece and
hence generate small discharges to the workpiece [3].
Tan et al. [4] investigated the effect of nano powder additives on SR. They reported that Al2O3 and silicon carbide nano
powders decreased the SR during the micro-EDM of stainless steel. The effect of graphite nano powder on micro-EDM of SKH-
51 tool steel was explored by Jahan et al. [5].
In another work, Jahan et al. studied the influence of graphite, aluminium and Al 2O3 nano powders on surface topography, Ra,
Rmax, MRR and EWR [6]. After the discovery of CNTs in 1991, academicians, scientists and researchers focused their attention
towards this novel material. Few researchers have taken their interest towards the CNTs mixed dielectric fluid. Hocheng and
Huang observed 70% improvement in SR and 66% improvement in machining efficiency with addition of CNT in to the
dielectric of EDM [7].
The effect of adding MWCNT in to dielectric when EDMing titanium alloy was examined by Izman et al [8]. Prabhu and
Vinayagam achieved nano level finish by adding MWCNT in EDM dielectric [9]. Mohal et al. optimized the process parameters
of NPMEDM by adding multiwalled carbon nanotube into the dielectric fluid of EDM for the machining of Al-10%SiCp metal
matrix composite [10-11]. The machining of AISI H13 tool steel material with MWCNT mixed EDM was performed by Sari et
al [12]. They observed that the thickness of recast layer is reduced with the addition of CNTs in to dielectric of EDM
Review of literature reveals that only few researchers have used nano powder as additive into the dielectric of EDM. Number
of issues need to be addressed in future for successful implementation of this process.


1) PMEDM has promising application for achieving near mirror like surface finish. PMEDM can also be used for improving
the corrosion resistance and surface microhardness.
2) Complex 3D shapes, intricate profiles, thin and fragile components utilized in numerous industrial applications can be
successfully machined regardless of their strength and hardness.
3) The machining of micro components, micro-sized features, micro-engines, micro pumps, micro gears, micro holes, micro
blades, micro turbine rotors, microball joints can be done by using NPMEDM.
4) NPMEDM can also be used for increasing the biocompatibility of materials, development and subsequent modification,
machining of biomedical implants.
5) Machining of advanced and difficult to cut materials such as MMCs and Insulating ceramics like Si 3N4, ZrO2 and TiO2have
been successfully machined by dispersing various powders in to the EDM dielectric
6) NPMEDM can also be used as a surface treatment/modification process.


Since the inception of EDM many advancements in the machining process has been made. It has been concluded that NPMEDM
has the capability to achieve mirror like surface finish. After a thorough scrutiny of the published work, the following main
conclusions can be drawn:
1) Research is mainly focused on NPMEDM of conventional materials such as die steels, alloys etc. Only few researchers have
worked on nanpowder mixed EDM of MMCs, alloys etc.
2) Few researchers have focused their attention towards non-electrical parameters such as workpiece rotation and electrode
rotation. Hence, more studies on the effect of process parameters are needed.
3) Surface modification with micro and nano powders has not been tried yet.
4) No published research work on Finite element modeling and simulation of process parameters in NPMEDM.

[1] Sachin Mohal, Harmesh Kumar and S.K. Kansal, Nanofinishing of materials by powder mixed electric discharge machining (PMEDM): A review,
Science of Advanced Materials, 7 (10), 2234-2255, 2015.
[2] G. S Prihandana, M. Mahardika, M. Hamdi, Y. S. Wong and K. Mitsui Effect of micro-powder suspension and ultrasonic vibration of dielectric fluid in
micro-EDM processesTaguchi approach, International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture 49, 1035-1041, 2009.
[3] G. S Prihandana, M. Mahardika, M. Hamdi and Y. S. Wong, Study of workpiece vibration in powder-suspended dielectric fluid in micro-EDM processes,
International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing, 14 (10), 1817-1822, 2013.
[4] P. C Tan, S. H. Yeo and Y. V Tan, Effects of nano-sized powder additives in micro-Electrical Discharge Machining, International Journal of Precision
Engineering and Manufacturing, 9, 22-26, 2008.
[5] M. P Jahan, M. M Anwar, Y. S. Wong and M. Rahman, Nanofinishing of hard materials using micro-electrodischarge machining. Proceedings of the
Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part B-Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 223 (9), 1127-1142, 2009.
[6] M.P Jahan, M. Rahman and Y. S. Wong, Study on the nano-powder-mixed sinking and milling micro-EDM of WC-Co. International Journal of Advanced
Manufacturing Technology, 53 (1-4), 167-180, 2011.
[7] C. Mai, H. Hocheng, S. Huang, Advantages of carbon nanotubes in electrical discharge, International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology., 59
111-117, 2012.

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Review of Research Work in Nano powder Mixed Electric Discharge Machining
(IJIRST/ Volume 3 / Issue 11/ 009)

[8] S. Izman, D. G. Hodsiyen, T. Hamed, R. Rosilza and M. Rezazadeh, Effects of Adding Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube into Dielectric when EDMing
Titanium Alloy, Advanced Materials Research, 463 - 464, 1445-1449, 2012.
[9] S. Prabhu, B. K. Vinayagam, Analysis of surface characteristics of AISI D2 tool steel material using Electric Discharge Machining process with Single wall
carbon nano tubes, International Journal of Engineering and Technology, 2 (1), 35-41, 2010.
[10] Sachin Mohal and Harmesh Kumar, Parametric optimization of multiwalled carbon nanotube assisted electric discharge machining of Al-10%SiCp metal
matrix composite by response surface methodology, Materials and Manufacturing Processes, 32(3), pp263273, 2017
[11] Sachin Mohal and H.K. Kansal, Experimental investigation and optimization of process parameters of multiwalled carbon nanotubes mixed EDM using
response surface methodology, Journal of Nanoengineering and Nanomanufacturing, 5 (2), pp132140, 2015
[12] M. M Sari, M. Y. Noordin and E. Brusa, Evaluating the electrical discharge machining (EDM) parameters with using carbon nanotubes. International
Conference on Structural Nano Composites (NANOSTRUC 2012), IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering 40, 012019 U.K, 2012

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