Minimization and Mitigation of Wire EDM Cutting Errors in the Application of the Contour Method of Residual Stress Measurement

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The contour method of residual stress measurement relies on the careful application of wire electro-discharge machining (WEDM) for the cutting stage. Changes in material removal rates during the cut lead to errors in the final calculated values of residual stress. In this study, WEDM cutting parameters have been explored to identify the optimum conditions for contour method residual stress measurements. The influence of machine parameters on the surface roughness and cutting artifacts in the contour cut is discussed. It has been identified that the critical parameter in improving the surface finish is the spark pulse duration. A typical cutting artifact and its impact on measured stress values have been identified and demonstrated for a contour cut in a welded marine steel. A procedure is presented to correct contour displacement data from the influence of WEDM cutting artifacts, and is demonstrated on the correction of a measured weld residual stress. The corrected contour method improved the residual stress magnitude up to 150 MPa. The corrected contour method results were validated by X-ray diffraction, incremental center hole drilling, and neutron diffraction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-313
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A
Issue number1
Early online date9 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

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  • Neutron diffraction
  • Residual stresses
  • Surface roughness
  • X ray diffraction
  • Calculated values
  • Cutting parameters
  • Machine parameters
  • Material removal rate
  • Optimum conditions
  • Surface finishes
  • Weld residual stress
  • Wire electro discharge machining


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