The geometry of the tube end can make or break your tube’s performance in sensitive industries like chromatography, semiconductor manufacturing and aerospace. The tube end determines how the tube interacts with a variety of complex assemblies, which means there can be little room for error in how they’re cut. Traditional saw-cut methods are too abrasive and don’t provide the consistency or quality these complex applications need.

Where traditional methods fail, our Electrolytic Cutoff Machine (ECM) provides a fast, high-quality alternative to abrasive cuts without the need for additional end work.

What Is electrolytic cutting?

ECM cutting—also known as Electrochemical Grinding (ECG)—utilizes a mixture of chemical and abrasive material removal processes to achieve a square, burr-free and precise cut free of residual stresses. The process uses a DC current and electrolyte solution to soften the material by partially dissolving it—which means less cutting force is required.

How does it work?

To chemically remove material from a part, an ECM creates an oxidation-reduction reaction between the cutting wheel and part. A direct current runs through the machine. Spraying an electrolyte solution on the part as it’s being cut initiates a chemical reaction with the copper-coated cutting wheel. The electrolyte acts like a wire—completing the electric circuit and allowing the current to flow through the anodic part to the cathodic cut wheel. As the part’s surface reacts with the oxygen in the electrolytes, electrolysis occurs—dissolving some of the material into the solution and creating a soft oxide layer that is easily removed by the abrasive wheel.

How do you achieve the perfect cut?

Setting up an ECM is both an art and a science. Voltage, cut rate and electrolyte flow, composition and concentration all need to be adjusted according to each unique application. Our personnel are highly trained, enabling us to create the perfect end cut while accounting for various tube sizes and alloys. Our ECM provides solutions for a variety of critical applications where a typical saw just doesn’t cut it.

To learn more, download our application note.