uEDM LaboratoryWith support from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and AIF, the SEAformatics Group has established a Micro-Mechatronics laboratory within the Center for Instrumentation, Control and Automation (INCA) at Memorial University to undertake research and development
in the area of smart sensors, particularly for the process industry of Canada.
More specifically, the research will focus on intelligent sensors leading to safer processes, systems that enhance process effectiveness and product quality in industries such as oil & gas, aquaculture as well as health care.
A cleanroom facility houses a SARIX SX-100-HPM micro-EDM machine. Micro-EDM unlike the traditional approach, which involves laser beam lithography and etching process, or laser machining, makes patterns by micro-electro-discharge machining, a process where material is removed by a high energy discharge between the electrode and material while immersed in a dielectric fluid.
uEDM is very flexible, thus making it ideal for prototypes or small batches, and can easily machine complex three-dimensional shapes with a high aspect ratio that prove difficult for etching. Sensors such as seismic mass suspensions or inclinometers made of silicon, or steel stents in the biomedical field, have been successfully fabricated with micron accuracies by using μEDM technology.