Publication Date

Spring 2016

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Muhammad Jahan (director), Dr. Daniel Jackson, Dr. Mark Doggett

Degree Program

Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


Ti-6Al-4V has a wide range of applications such as in the automotive and aerospace industries. Nevertheless, titanium alloys are very difficult to machine by conventional methods. Micro-EDM is a non-conventional machining method that uses the thermal effect of precisely controlled sparks. Manufacturers are looking for the methods and optimal settings to increase the productivity of micro-EDM in terms of lessening machining time and tool wear. Moreover, surface integrity of the machined area is crucial for some products such as biomedical implants.

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of the micro-EDM process parameters on response variables, in order to understand the behavior of each parameter as well as to determine their optimal values. Although, there is a substantial amount of literature studying different aspects of micro-EDM, most of them were designed based on the one-factor-at-a-time experiments instead of studying all factors, simultaneously. This research was conducted through a series of experiments using a full factorial design. An analysis of variance was employed to analyze the findings and to determine the effect and significance of each process parameters on the response variables.

The process parameters included voltage, capacitance, electrode rotational speed, and electrode coating. Voltage and capacitance were studied separately as well as in combination in terms of the discharge energy. Response variables consisted of machining time, tool wear, crater size, microhardness, and element characterization. The surface morphology and element characterization were studied through the application of SEM and EDS analysis.

The findings indicated that voltage had a decreasing effect on machining time, while it increased the crater size. Capacitance decreased machining time and tool wear. It had an increasing effect on the surface hardness. The effects of the TN-coating and electrode rotational speed were not statistically significant. Voltage and capacitance were the only parameters affecting element characterization. The affected elements included Ti, Al, C, and W. The optimal process parameters for two sets of response variables were determined using Minitab 17.


Industrial Technology | Manufacturing | Materials Science and Engineering