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Electrochemical Micro Machining: A Case Study For Synergistic International Industry Academia Collaboration

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary and Project-based Experiences in Manufacturing

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.524.1 - 14.524.9



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Paper Authors

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Wayne Hung Texas A&M University

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Sriharsha Sundarram Texas A&M University

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Fatih Ozkeskin University of Michigan

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Mike Powers Agilent Technologies

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Juan Manriquez Cideteq

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Venkata Vasiraju Texas A&M University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Electrochemical Micro Machining: A Case Study for Synergistic International Industry-Academia Collaboration


Micro fabrication is generally confined to silicon-based processes for microelectronic applications. The advent of micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) using silicon and silicon based processes has opened up a new basis for micro fabrication technology, but the applications have been limited due to the brittle nature of silicon. Novel technologies have been sought for non-silicon micro components and systems.

The electrochemical micro machining (µECM) is standing out among other solutions. An international group comprised of industry and academic institutes in Mexico and USA was formed to provide synergistic effort in developing this new technology. The funding came from the involved companies, National Science Foundation, National Consortium of Science and Technology (CONACyT, Mexico), and Texas A&M University. Both graduate and undergraduate students are involved in this research and educational project. Some research objectives have been achieved by dividing an objective into manageable laboratory projects that can be completed by undergraduate students in a few weeks.

The anodic dissolution µECM process effectively forms and shapes micro components from any conductive material. Unlike classical ECM technology, the novel µECM utilizes very high frequency pulses and proprietary electrode shapes/motions to remove materials at the micro or nano scales, and can mass-produce micro components with exceptional quality and surface integrity. A theoretical model is developed which agrees with experimental data for 316L stainless steel and copper beryllium alloy. The environmentally friendly technology shows promise as a high-resolution production manufacturing process with excellent throughput and repeatability.


The fabrication methodology of micro systems and integrated circuitry components is known and it has become practically abundant. The silicon micromachining technology has found many applications extending from micro electromechanical systems, sensors, and actuators to biomedical devices. However, being brittle and biological incompatible, the usage of silicon is limited in demanding applications that required high stress or large strain at high temperature. Alternative techniques must be developed to effectively fabricate micro components from engineering alloys such as stainless steel, titanium or super alloys.

Among the promising technologies is the electrochemical micro machining (µECM). This technology has seen increasing interest from industry during last decade due to its multifarious advantages, which have been practiced in numerous applications. The µECM is an anodic dissolution process where the anodic workpiece is selectively removed in atomic scale yielding a burr-free and smooth finish. Possible high material removal rate, non-contact machining with no tool wear, independent of material hardness, and avoidance of subsurface damage are of primary

Hung, W., & Sundarram, S., & Ozkeskin, F., & Powers, M., & Manriquez, J., & Vasiraju, V. (2009, June), Electrochemical Micro Machining: A Case Study For Synergistic International Industry Academia Collaboration Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5863

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