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Micromachines 2017, 8(5), 143; doi:10.3390/mi8050143

Fabrication of Mesoscale Channel by Scanning Micro Electrochemical Flow Cell (SMEFC)

Department of Mechanical Engineering, KU Leuven & Member Flanders Make, Leuven 3001, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Guido Tosello and Nam-Trung Nguyen
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Manufacturing)


A unique micro electrochemical machining (ECM) method based on a scanning micro electrochemical flow cell (SMEFC), in which the electrolyte is confined beneath the tool electrode instead of spreading on the workpiece surface, has been developed and its feasibility for fabricating mesoscale channels has been investigated. The effects of the surface conditions, the applied current, the feed rate, the concentration of the electrolyte and several geometrical parameters on the machining performance have been investigated through a series of experiments. The cross-sectional profile of the channels, the roughness of the channel bottom, the width and depth of the channel, the microstructures on the machined surface and the morphologies of the moving droplet have been analyzed and compared under different machining conditions. Furthermore, experiments with different overlaps of the electrolyte droplet traces have also been conducted, in which the SMEFC acts as a “milling tool”. The influences of the electrode offset distance (EOD), the current and the feed rate on the machining performance have also been examined through the comparison of the corresponding cross-sectional profiles and microstructures. The results indicate that, in addition to machining individual channels, the SMEFC system is also capable of generating shallow cavities with a suitable superimposed motion of the tool electrode. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrochemical machining (ECM); scanning micro electrochemical flow cell (SMEFC); micro-ECM; channel machining electrochemical machining (ECM); scanning micro electrochemical flow cell (SMEFC); micro-ECM; channel machining

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Guo, C.; Qian, J.; Reynaerts, D. Fabrication of Mesoscale Channel by Scanning Micro Electrochemical Flow Cell (SMEFC). Micromachines 2017, 8, 143.

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