Shaping and Formation of Thin Walled Structures
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Pulsed Electrochemical Machining (PECM) has unique advantages over other conventional fabrication techniques in that it is a non-contact and non-thermal process. This allows thin-walled features to either be created or post-machined. Features of this type are most often seen in heat exchanger applications (notably microchannel heat exchangers), but Voxel is always interested in exploring new territory.
Voxel Innovations demonstrated this unique capability by using a honeycomb material (above) as the substrate with 0.1mm / 0.004" walls. A through-cut as well as a blind cut were conducted utilizing Pulsed Electrochemical Machining. The honeycomb structure was precisely removed in the vicinity of the tool without any deformation of the surrounding structure. As a result, the structural integrity as well as the form of the underlying structure remain intact after producing the desired shape.
The PECM process is also capable of producing very thin walls with high aspect ratios. Voxel showed the formation of <0.075mm or <0.003" thick walls with a 20:1 aspect ratio. Features of this scale are often typically difficult to achieve with conventional methods due to stresses in the cutting process or high thermal loads. However, both of these issues are nonexistent in PECM.
If you have a difficult application involving thin-walled features, feel free to send over a model or drawing using our contact page. We are happy to provide feedback!