Modelling and experimental investigation of process parameters in WEDM of WC-5.3 % Co using response surface methodology
Tungsten carbide-cobalt (WC-Co) composite is a difficult-to-machine material owing to its excellent strength and hardness at elevated temperature. Wire electrical discharge machining (WEDM) is a best alternative for machining of WC-Co composite into intricate and complex shapes. Efficient machining of WC-Co composite on WEDM is a challenging task since it involves large numbers of parameters. Therefore, in present work, experimental investigation has been carried out to determine the influence of important WEDM parameters on machining performance of WC-Co composite. Response surface methodology, which is a collection of mathematical and experimental techniques, was utilised to obtain the experimental data. Using face-centered central composite design, experiments were conducted to investigate and correlate the four input parameters: pulse-on time, pulse-off time, servo voltage and wire feed for three output performance characteristics – cutting speed (CS), surface roughness (SR) and radial overcut (RoC). Using analysis of variance on experimental data, quadratic vs. two-factor interaction (2FI) models have been suggested for CS and RoC while two-factor interaction (2FI) has been proposed for SR. Using these mathematical models, optimal parameters can be determined easily for desired performance characteristics, and hence a trade-off can be made among different performance characteristics.