Precise Electro Chemical Machining (PECM) of medical devices

Background and Basics of ECM

Machining by ion dissolution, an opportunity for polishing implants.
Electro Chemical Machining (ECM) is a well-know technique: the shape of an electrode is reproduced in the part by current action.

  • But it was old
  • Lack of precision; Insufficient surface finish

Fig 1

Concept and Solution: PECM

  • Evolution in PECM (Precise Electro Chemical Machining)
  • A vibrating electrode, with a regulated gap
  • Pulsed current between the electrode and workpiece
  • High reproduction accuracy, low Ra: 0.03 μm for CoCr
  • No thermal impact, no micro-cracking or white coatings, no burrs.
  • Machining speed from 0.05 to 1 mm/min
  • Roughing, finishing and polishing in 1 operation with 1 electrode

Fig 2

Fig 4

Status and Outlook

Medical field of application: TA6V, CoCr, stainless steel

  • CrCo: tibial base; cup; knee condyle; intervertebral discs
  • Stainless steel: cup; femoral head
  • TiAl6V4: cup; intervertebral discs
  • Surgical instruments; rasps; capsule compression tooling for capsule; forging tools for prostheses...
  • Cetim is a competence centre for technology transfer: evaluation of potentialities; feasibility study; possibilities of shared units

Fig 4


  • Technology awareness: Dipl.-Ing. Jean-Marc Bélot; Cetim; 60300 Senlis; Frankreich; phone: +33 (0) 34467 3305; E-Mail:
  • Competence centre: Dipl.-Ing. Stéphane Guérin; Cetim; 42000 Saint-Etienne; Frankreich; phone: +33 (0) 47779 4019; E-Mail:;
  • Interreg: Dr.-Ing. Patrick Orlans; Cetim; 59700 Marcq-en-Baroeul; Frankreich; phone: +33 (0) 32099 4610; E-Mail:; web:


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