Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Have these experts drilled the world’s smallest hole?

29.11.2005


Experts at Cardiff University have developed machinery so sophisticated that they can drill a hole narrower than a human hair.



Such precision has potentially major benefits in medical and electronic engineering.

The experts at the University’s multi-award-winning Manufacturing Engineering Centre, are drilling holes as small as 22 microns (0.022 mm) in stainless steel and other materials.


The human hair varies between 80 microns (0.08 mm) down to 50 microns (0.05 mm) in thickness.

"The holes we are now drilling in Cardiff with the electro-discharge machining (EDM) process could be the smallest in the world," said the Centre’s marketing director Frank Marsh.

"The standard rods available commercially are capable of making holes of 150 microns. Although lasers are able to make small holes, these are of poorer quality when compared to the EDM process. Lasers make holes that taper, whereas EDM makes parallel or vertical holes."

The process is achieved by creating a minute electrode, with a diameter of only 6 microns (0.006 mm), which was itself produced by manufacturing a highly precise wire electrode discharge grinder.

"It is thought that the Japanese conceived such a grinder in 1985 and subsequently a paper stated that they have made an electrode of 5 microns (0.005 mm) in diameter, however no further evidence has emerged," said Mr Marsh

The ability to produce such quality tiny holes in any conductive material represents a significant advance in mechanical engineering and will benefit designers in the medical and laboratory sciences, as well as electronic design engineers in creating smaller electronic systems which will cover a wide range of industrial and consumer industries.

In the new year, the Centre’s scientists will acquire new nano-technological equipment which will enable them to make even smaller holes and add surface materials of tiny thicknesses to finish optical, medical and other components.

Frank Marsh | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cardiff.ac.uk

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Waste from paper and pulp industry supplies raw material for development of new redox flow batteries
12.10.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Low-cost battery from waste graphite
11.10.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

Im Focus: Small collisions make big impact on Mercury's thin atmosphere

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.

Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

Conference Week RRR2017 on Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands

28.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline

16.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>