Welcome to the 17 th International Symposium on Electrochemical Machining Technology INSECT, which will take place on 25 th and 26 th of November 2021 at KU Leuven, Belgium.

In view of the dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections across Europe and especially in Belgium and following the recent re-enforcement of strict Covid-19 measures by our government and the University of Leuven, we regret to announce that INSECT 2021 will be a completely ONLINE/VIRTUAL conference.   

Whilst this is not the route we would have preferred to take, the safety of the INSECT community is of course our prime concern. Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused by this decision.

With the advent of novel difficult-to-cut materials and increasing requirements on preserving product microstructure and properties as well as the demand for high surface quality; Electrochemical Machining (ECM) is becoming an important process and has attracted equal attention from both academia and industry.

Besides the conventional ECM applications such as manufacturing of aircraft and automotive components, consumer products such as shaver heads, polishing, and finishing of surgical tools; ECM is gaining significant attention in micromachining and surface texturing. Recently demonstrated novel applications include machining of turbulent film cooling holes for turbines, surface texturing for antibacterial surfaces, machining of complex internal features, and preparing surfaces for metallographic analysis. Novel ECM tool designs and materials also enabled the fabrication of complex features which were difficult to make in a conventional way. Besides conventional metals, advanced and difficult-to-cut materials come more in focus, such as cemented tungsten carbides, silicon carbides, niobium carbides, titanium, Inconel, bulk metallic glasses, shape memory alloys, and metal composites. Electrochemical machining of additively manufactured metals is also a growing field of research. The development of advanced energy sources for a localized and controllable ECM process is progressing. At the same time, novel EC-based hybrid machining concepts are developed such as laser-ECM, plasma-electrolytic polishing, grinding assisted ECM, ECDM, etc., all further enhancing the process capabilities. Highly advanced multiphysics and multiscale simulations allow us to carry out fundamental analysis to gain more scientific insight into the ECM process. High-speed imaging-based process observations also provide useful insights into the process. Fundamental investigations are close to determine the process signature of the ECM process. The introduction of Industry 4.0 was the main driver for developing ECM process digital twins, in-process monitoring using on-machine sensors, capturing process data from model-based virtual sensors, and AI-based techniques for predicting the process response.

For future challenges, close cooperation between academic researchers and industrial partners is needed for further development of ECM technology and rapid transfer of knowledge from academia to industry and vice-versa. The INSECT 2021 conference brings together experts from academia and industry and offers a platform to exchange and contribute knowledge and ideas in the field of electrochemical machining and related technologies.

The key topics of INSECT 2021 are:

  • Fundamentals
  • Materials
  • Processing/process monitoring
  • Simulation and Modeling
  • Process digital twins and applications of AI
  • Applications
  • Methods
  • Hybrid EC processes


November 25-26, 2021


Prof. Dr. ir. Dominiek Reynaerts

Phone: +32 (0) 16322640

Dr. ir. Krishna Kumar Saxena

Phone: +32 (0) 16321543