To date, machines carrying out electroerosion-based machining processes have only had use of automated parameters for metallic materials such as steel. In his thesis, Navarre Public University researcher and lecturer, Iñaki Puertas, presents technologies for those applications using ceramic material, a highly interesting development from a technological viewpoint as it enables the use of ceramics in the fabrication of parts requiring great hardness and durability such as medical prothesis or those designed for use in the aerospace sector.
The technical ceramic materials have a wide range of applications, in situations in which the following are required: resistance to wear or corrosion, high mechanical resistance together with resistance to high temperatures. Despite its exceptional mechanical, chemical and thermal properties, however, technical ceramic materials have not been wholly accepted in industrial applications, mainly due to the difficulties encountered during their manufacture, apart from the high costs associated with the process.
The technological tables, drawn up for the three conducting ceramic materials analysed in the research (hot-pressed boron carbide, silicon-infiltrated silicon carbide and tungsten carbide in cobalt metallic matrix) will enable the choice of suitable operating conditions in the electroerosion process in order to obtain a determined value of surface roughness of the parts. And this in function of two distinct machining strategies: one which maximises the rate of elimination of material and the other which minimises the wear of the electrode. The main types of conducting ceramic materials for industrial application are thus coated.
Iñaki Casado Redin | Basque research
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If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.
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