Surface finish improving by novel ECP process on Titanium EBM AM components

  • Tawfik, A. (Speaker)
  • Blunt, L. (Contributor to Paper or Presentation)
  • Bills, P. (Contributor to Paper or Presentation)
  • Philip Sperling (Speaker)
  • Ian Laidler (Contributor to Paper or Presentation)
  • Aaron Holt (Contributor to Paper or Presentation)
  • Neil Dickinson (Contributor to Paper or Presentation)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Additive manufacturing (AM) is a process where the component is built layer-by-layer using powder or wire precursors. This novel technology offers advantages over conventional subtractive machining in terms of design optimization and weight reduction enabling the creation of complex internal and external features that are impossible to achieve with conventional subtractive machining.

It is known that parts produced by AM have a higher surface roughness compared to parts produced by subtractive manufacturing and this is more pronounced for EBAM parts. The AM surface finish is relatively rougher than those manufactured by subtractive machining. Additionally, the surface finish is also dependent on build orientation; thus, the surface finish is vastly different across the same part. Electrochemical polishing (ECP) is the process of removing material from a component surface to optimise the finish. In the ECP process the part is placed in pH neutral electrolytes and materials is removed by dissolution via a high electric current. Surface improvement of titanium AM parts has to date proven difficult. In this paper titanium parts produced by the NEUBEAM EBAM process are polished by an optimised ECM method. The artefact surface was characterised by using focus variation microscopy before and after polishing, and the parts were scanned X-ray computed tomography (XCT) to assess geometrical deviation. Finally, to verify the impact of ECP process on removing semi-fused powder, the artifacts were scanned by SEM before and after ECP. The surface measurement data processing was carried out per ISO 25178 standard using areal topography parameters, the XCT data processing and analysis was carried out with VGSTUDIO. The results shows that the surface roughness of EBM AM component can be improved from circa 30 µm to sub 10µm, with a 120µm dimensional loss. The focus of this study is identifying and optimising the impact of ECP on the relatively rough EBM AM surface.
Period23 Mar 2023
Event title4th International Conference on Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing
Event typeConference
Conference number4
LocationErlangen, Germany, BavariaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational