A set of six equations, which are based on the ECM model developed by Thorpe and Zerkle, can be solved numerically to yield the one-dimensional distributions of pressure, temperature, gas density, gap thickness, void fraction, and electrolyte velocity in the rectilinear ECM frontal gap under equilibrium conditions. The validity of the model, which also applies to radial flow geometries, is confirmed by comparing experimental pressure and gap profiles with theoretical predictions. It is shown that for a given set of operating parameters there is a minimum supply pressure below which no machining is possible. When machining steel with an aqueous NaCl electrolyte the deposition of a black smut (Fe(OH)2) occurs beyond a certain smut-free entrance length, which was experimentally found to be proportional to the inlet gap thickness.

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