Experimental Characterization of Electrical Discharge Machining of Aluminum 6061 T6 Alloy using Different Dielectrics
Ismail, S. O.
Khalid, Q. S.
Electrical discharge machining is a non-traditional machining method broadly employed in industries for machining of parts that have typical profiles and require great accuracy. This paper investigates the effects of electrical parameters: pulse-on-time and current on three performance measures (material removal rate, microstructures and electrode wear rate), using distilled water and kerosene as dielectrics. A comparison between dielectrics for the machining of aluminum 6061 T6 alloy material in terms of performance measures was performed. Aluminum 6061 T6 alloy material was selected, because of its growing use in the automotive and aerospace industrial sectors. The experimental sequence was designed using Taguchi technique of L9 orthogonal array by changing three levels of pulse-on-time and current, and test runs were performed separately for each dielectric. The results obtained show that greater electrode wear rate (EWR) and higher material removal rate (MRR) were achieved with distilled water when compared with kerosene. These greater EWR and MRR responses can be attributed to the early breakage of the weak oxide and carbide layers formed on the tool and alloy material surfaces, respectively. The innovative contributions of this study include, but are not limited to, the possibility of machining of aluminum 6061 T6 alloy with graphite electrode to enhance machinability and fast cutting rate employing two different dielectrics.