Electrical arc contour cutting based on a compound arc breaking mechanism

Guo Jian He, Lin Gu, Ying Mou Zhu, Ji Peng Chen, Wan Sheng Zhao, K. P. Rajurkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electrical arc contour cutting (EACC) is a novel high-efficiency material cutting process that applies arc plasma to perform efficient and economical contour cutting of difficult-to-cut materials. Compared to conventional electrical arc machining (EAM), this process can remove the allowance of open structures and plates in bulk mode, rather than entirely in the form of debris. Compared with existing contour cutting methods, EACC possesses the advantages of high cutting efficiency and a deep cutting depth. Particularly, a compound arc breaking mechanism (CABM), which integrates hydrodynamic force and mechanical motion, has been applied to control the discharge arc column in EACC, while also strengthening the debris expelling effect in the narrow discharge gap. The CABM implementation conditions were studied, based on arc column distortion images captured by a high-speed camera and simulation results of the flow field and debris distribution. A set of machining experiments was designed and conducted to optimize the performance of the proposed process. Finally, a SiCp/Al metal matrix composite (MMC) space station workpiece was machined to verify the feasibility and efficiency of this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-595
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Manufacturing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Compound arc breaking mechanism (CABM)
  • Electrical arc contour cutting (EACC)
  • Electrical arc machining (EAM)
  • High efficiency
  • SiC/Al metal matrix composite (MMC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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