Development of Electrorheological fluid assisted machining for 3-dimensional small parts

Tsunemoto Kuriyagawa, Katsuo Syoji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This paper deals with the development of a new machining method for 3-demensional small parts such as microaspherical lens, die and mirror. Now, it is trying to machine the small parts utilizing a micro-grinding and polishing processes. A diamond quill for the conventional machining process has a small diameter (0.1-1.0mm), however manufacturing of the quill is very difficult and a tool life becomes short. A new method, which is one of field-assisted fine finishing methods, is developed to solve these problems. It is named an electrorheological fluid assisted machining (ERM). In this process, polishing slurry is mixture of fine abrasive (diamond, GC or WA) and electrorheological (ER) fluid. A strong electric field (0-4kV/mm) is applied between a very sharp tool like a needle (negative electrode) and a fixed electrode on the workpiece surface (positive electrode), and viscosity of the polishing slurry is increased. The abrasive particles gather around the tip of the tool, and are softly held. The tool tip will be performed as a very small wheel in grinding or polishing the small parts. In this experiment, it is clear that ER effect of the mixture of ER fluid and abrasive particles is maintained, and that the reduction in the ER effect is under 20%. Next, the necessary instrumentation and control system of the ERM have been designed and built. The machine has an NC controlled 3-axis slide table and an ultra-precision air spindle. Using this system, basic machining tests were carried out. The polishing rate was 21μm/15min. The developed ERM method demonstrated excellent polishing performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-149
Number of pages5
JournalSeimitsu Kogaku Kaishi/Journal of the Japan Society for Precision Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • ER effect
  • Electrorheological fluid
  • Electrorheological fluid assisted machining (ERM)
  • Field-assisted fine finishing (FFF)
  • Micro-grinding
  • Polishing
  • Small diameter wheel
  • Ultra-fine abrasive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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