Process Understanding of Plasma Electrolytic Polishing through Multiphysics Simulation and Inline Metrology

Micromachines (Basel). 2019 Mar 26;10(3):214. doi: 10.3390/mi10030214.


Currently, the demand for surface treatment methods like plasma electrolytic polishing (PeP)-a special case of electrochemical machining-is increasing. This paper provides a literature review on the fundamental mechanisms of the plasma electrolytic polishing process and discusses simulated and experimental results. The simulation shows and describes a modelling approach of the polishing effect during the PeP process. Based on the simulation results, it can be assumed that PeP can be simulated as an electrochemical machining process and that the simulation can be used for roughness and processing time predictions. The simulation results exhibit correlations with the experimentally-achieved approximation for roughness decrease. The experimental part demonstrates the results of the PeP processing for different times. The results for different types of roughness show that roughness decreases exponentially. Additionally, a current efficiency calculation was made. Based on the experimental results, it can be assumed that PeP is a special electrochemical machining process with low passivation.

Keywords: ECM; PeP; electro chemical machining; finishing; plasma-electrolytic polishing; surface modification.