This paper describes a design approach to a control system of power supply for high-voltage electrochemical processes such as plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) or high-voltage anodising (HVA), which require alternating polarisation pulses up to 750 V and a typical current density of 50–500 mA/cm2
. Complex characteristics of the electrochemical system response on applied polarisations (positive or negative) cause necessity of precise control of polarising pulse shapes for better process operation and its understanding. A device performs cycle-by-cycle pulse-width modulation (PWM) control, including feedback based on digital analysis of the instantaneous current and/or voltage output, and the desired pulse waveform stored in memory for each output polarity. The output stage has four states corresponding to positive or negative pulses, as well as open- or short-circuit conditions, with respect to an electrochemical cell. A fully programmable controller allows one to generate arbitrary waveforms, as well as their sequences, by means of “regime designer” software. Moreover, a smart feedback system can provide adaptation of the next pulse parameter from analysis of the process prehistory. For instance, this approach allows one to separate main electrochemical process (coating formation) and diagnosis of the phenomenon through introduction of high-voltage triangular voltage sweep pulse within a pause of the main process, which is normally carried out under a current control.
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