Evaluation of Bronze Electrode in Electrical Discharge Coating Process for Copper Coating

Micromachines (Basel). 2023 Jan 4;14(1):136. doi: 10.3390/mi14010136.


One of the widely used non-traditional machines for machining of hard materials into complex shapes and different sizes is the electrical discharge machine (EDM). Recently, the EDM has been used for deposition by controlling the input parameters (current and duty cycle). This work was carried out to evaluate the readily available bronze (88% Cu + 12% Sn) electrode for deposition of copper material on titanium alloy. Experiments were conducted according to Taguchi experimental design considering the input parameters of current, Ton, Toff and preheating temperature of substrates. Titanium alloy was further hardened by preheating at temperatures of 100 °C, 300 °C and 500 °C and quenching in brine, castor oil and vegetable oil in order to avoid workpiece erosion. After this treatment, hardness, grain area, grain diameter and number of grains were characterized to compare with pretreated substrates. Then, the treated substrates were taken for copper deposition with the EDM. Output parameters such as material deposition rate (MDR), electrode wear rate (EWR), coating thickness (CT), elemental composition and surface crack density (SCD) were found. Material characterization was carried out using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and optical microscopy. Output parameters were optimized with technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) to find optimum parameters. A sixth experiment with parameter values of Ton of 440 µs, Toff of 200 µs, preheating temperature of 300 °C and quenching medium of castor oil was optimum with MDR of 0.00506 g/m, EWR of 0.00462 g/m, CT of 40.2 µm and SCD 19.4 × 107 µm2.

Keywords: TOPSIS; electrical discharge coating; material deposition rate; microhardness.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.