This division of Bryton Engineering specializes in the unique needs of ECM Machining. Electrochemical Machining or ECM is the removal of metal from a part with the use of electricity through an electrolyte. (Usually saltwater) Through the use of a cathode and anode, generally, the sharpest, smallest edge is removed first and then the next and so on. This can be thought of much the same way as electroplating, but material flow is in the opposite direction. (cathode to anode) In some cases a particular shape can be "burned" into a part. This is accomplished by removal of material by the electrode. The corresponding part ends up with the reverse pattern as the electrode. Imagine pushing your finger into clay. Your finger represents the electrode. As your finger moves deeper, material is displaced, leaving an imprint similar to the reverse of your finger. With ECM, the excess material is removed by the electrolyte.
One engineer refers to ECM's as "dumb coyotes." Dumb coyotes are those that when caught in a trap, chew off their other three legs!! Really this refers to the fact that ECM machining cannot make the determination how or where the material removal should occur. Any metal in contact with the electrolyte that is not grounded can experience material removal. Consequently, a careless operator, failure to properly maintain equipment or poorly engineered fixturing can lead to unwanted "work" on the part creating out of spec parts long before even the best quality practices can identify the problem.
ECM machining was originally used to produce gun barrels in World War II. Today it used for the most critical applications of industry especially automotive fuel injectors, aerospace electrical components, hydraulic parts, defense, and high tech electronics. Because of the need to complete an electrical circuit for ECM's to work, they are always used on metal components.
Bryton does not offer ECM services. We DO offer the highly specialized components required to keep ECM machines working. These parts are often referred to as masks, guides, fixtures, tools/tooling, electrodes, anodes, holders, and cathodes.
You can rely on our experience to help solve your ECM problems. Whether you need to modify or improve a current machine or retrofit to an entirely new fixture, Bryton offers the solutions. E-mail us today. ECM@brytonengineering.com