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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.


© 2009 American Society for Engineering Education.

Publication Title

116th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, TX

Published Citation

W. Hung, S.S. Sundarram, F. Ozkeskin, M. Powers, J. Manriquez and V. Vasiraju, "Electrochemical Micro Machining: A Case Study for Synergistic International Industry - Academia Collaboration," 116th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, TX, June 2009.