Proceedings of the euspen International Conference – Delft - June 2010 vol:2 pages:168-171
euspen edition:10 location:Delft date:31 May - 4 June 2010
In conventional grinding of hard materials such as ceramics, there is always a following polishing process necessary for achieving high surface quality. The polishing has a negative effect on the form accuracy and thus a new grinding step is required to correct the workpiece shape. This cycle reiterates until both the desired surface quality and form accuracy are met, which leads to long processing times and high manufacturing costs. This situation is particularly applicable when generating freeform surfaces, where the polishing process will deteriorate the form accuracy even more compared to the polishing of flat workpieces. As a consequence, freeform
surfaces on hard materials are still hardly affordable nowadays, which limits many possible applications. With the ElectroLytic In-process Dressing (ELID) technique, traditionally hard-to-machine engineering materials such as hard steels, cermets and ceramics can be ground with very good surface quality . This process significantly reduces the necessity of a polishing step after the grinding operation.
Research is underway at KULeuven to integrate the ELID-grinding principle into an ultra-precision machine . The first step is to investigate thoroughly the ELIDprocess
to obtain a comprehensive understanding of it.