The increased role of advanced materials in engineering design optimization has enhanced the development of new material types. Metal matrix composites now allow the designer to select needed material properties. A key in the use of these materials is the cost effective manufacturing and dimensional control of the designed parts. Composites are a new class of engineering materials which have a high potential for many industrial applications. The traditional methods of machining these materials are very slow and expensive, and can also cause strength degradation due to the formation of subsurface cracks or other defects. The WEDM process is one of the best alternatives, for machining an ever-increasing number of high-strength, non-corrosive and wear resistant materials such as Aluminum Silicon Carbide (AlSiC).
In this work, an attempt has been made to develop mathematical models for optimizing wire electrical discharge machining characteristics such as the material removal rate, cutting speed and the surface roughness. The process parameters taken into consideration are the average machining voltage, the pulse frequency, the workpiece height, the kerf size and the percent volume fraction of SiC present in the aluminum matrix.