A method and apparatus for controlling electrospark deposition (ESD) comprises using electrical variable waveforms from the ESD process as a feedback parameter. The method comprises measuring a plurality of peak amplitudes from a series of electrical energy pulses delivered to an electrode tip. The maximum peak value from among the plurality of peak amplitudes correlates to the contact force between the electrode tip and a workpiece. The method further comprises comparing the maximum peak value to a set point to determine an offset and optimizing the contact force according to the value of the offset. The apparatus comprises an electrode tip connected to an electrical energy wave generator and an electrical signal sensor, which connects to a high-speed data acquisition card. An actuator provides relative motion between the electrode tip and a workpiece by receiving a feedback drive signal from a processor that is operably connected to the actuator and the high-speed data acquisition card.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC0676RLO1830 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.