To further study the discharge characteristics and machining mechanism of micro-electrical discharge machining (micro-EDM), the variation trends of the discharge energy and discharge crater size with actual discharge duration are discussed based on single-pulse experiments. The polarity effect of micro-EDM was analyzed according to the motion characteristics of electrons and ions in the discharge plasma channel. The results show that the discharge current and voltage of micro-EDM were independent of the discharge width and open-circuit voltage. The energy utilization rate of the short-pulse discharge was relatively high, and the energy utilization rate decreased gradually as the discharge duration increased. Even if the mass of the positive ion was much larger than that of the electron, the kinetic energy of the positive ion was still less than that of the electron when bombarding the surface of the electrode. The acceleration and speed of electrons were very high, and the number of times that electrons bombarded the surface of positive electrode was more than 600 times that of positive ions bombarding the surface of the negative electrode during the same time.
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