Electroforming of Copper/ZrB2 Composites Coatings and Its Performance as Electro-Discharge Machining Electrodes
Copper electroforming, together with rapid prototyping (RP) technology, provides a method for manufacturing EDM electrodes rapidly. However, the use of conventional electroformed copper electrodes is restricted because of the high electrode wear rate in EDM processes. This paper presents a study on the electroforming technique of copper/zirconium diboride (ZrB2) composite coating and its performance as an EDM electrode. Cu-ZrB2 composite coating is electroformed from a copper nitrate bath containing micro-sized ZrB2 particles in such a way that by varying the process parameters, ZrB2 particles approximate to 20 Vol.% are incorporated in the coatings. Analyses by optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy reveal that ZrB2 particles are uniformly dispersed in the copper matrix and the grains of the coating are refined due to the incorporation of ZrB2 particles. The electroformed coatings deposited on copper substrates with approximately 1mm thickness are used as electrodes. EDM experiment shows that performance such as the spark-resistance of the new electrodes is improved compared with that of conventional electroformed copper electrodes because the incorporation of refractory particles in the copper matrix as well as the refinement of the grains of the coating, and the. Cu-ZrB2 composites show good performance in finish machining condition.
Yury M. Baron, Jun'ichi Tamaki and Tsunemoto Kuriyagawa
Z. J. Jin et al., "Electroforming of Copper/ZrB2 Composites Coatings and Its Performance as Electro-Discharge Machining Electrodes", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 291-292, pp. 537-542, 2005