• Daniel Herrington

Enabling Internal Rib Features in Molybdenum


Voxel serves a multitude of industries with Pulsed Electrochemical Machining (PECM). The process is well-suited for unique materials such as this molybdenum shaft where an internal rib structure was required.


Typically a feature of this sort would be attempted with either a wire electrical discharge machining (EDM) or sinker EDM process. Although both of these processes could successfully create the part, they both have disadvantages when compared to the PECM process. The tool or electrode used in a sinker EDM process is slowly eroded away during use. This can ultimately effect the part dimensions as well as the cost of repeat production. Similarly, wire EDM consumes the wire as the part is formed. Additionally, the complete profile must be traced with the wire to form the feature; this results in longer machining times.


The PECM process used to manufacture this part is most comparable to sinker EDM in that the complete 2D shape is formed at one time. Unlike EDM, the PECM process exhibits near infinite tool life and significantly faster speeds.


The internal structure was machined in a single sinking operation and is only constrained in depth by the machine and tooling. In contrast to an EDM process, the electrochemical machining process does not exhibit any tool wear. Additionally, a wire EDM would be too slow for this complex feature. However, in ECM the same tool can be used indefinitely to manufacture these internal keyway structures with high repeatability.


  • Material: Molybdenum

  • Tolerances: +/- 0.004 (100um)

  • Voxel’s Value: Faster part production of a challenging geometry


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