How can a wire cut machine help?

Posted on Aug 25, 2020

How can a wire cut machine help

For the better part of 50 years, a wire cut machine, otherwise known as electrical discharge machining (EDM), has changed the way manufacturers bring innovation and production into their daily work.

The accuracy and affordability generated by this type of wire EDM in material ( EDM Wire Material ) removal ensures more precise production and tooling than ever before.


What is wire EDM processing?

Wire EDM (EDM) is an electrothermal manufacturing process in which a thin single metal wire along with deionized water (used to conduct electricity) enables the wire to be cut through the metal with heat from electric sparks while preventing rust.


How does Wire EDM work?

Wire EDM is the creation of an electrical discharge between a wire or electrode and the workpiece. As the spark crosses the gap, the material is then removed from the workpiece and electrode. Due to the inherent properties of this process, wire EDM can easily machine complex parts and precision components from hard conductive materials.

A non-conductive liquid or dielectric is also used in the process to keep the sparking process from shorting out. The waste is removed by the dielectric and the process continues.    

Whether you need to tap small holes in close proximity or on general machines, they are the best at removing material.

Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) is a metalworking process in which a tool projects thousands of sparks onto a metal object. In an unconventional process, the wire EDM operates on parts that are resistant to conventional machining processes, but only if these parts are electrically conductive; they are usually non-ferrous and contain steel, titanium, super alloys, brass and many other metals. Instead of cutting the material, the EDM melts or vaporizes it, leaving little debris and providing a very accurate line. Industry acceptance has led to a wide variety of EDM applications as it is very versatile, can cut hard metals, and uses a relatively small working space.


Differences Between Wire Cut and Conventional EDM

There are two main types of EDM: conventional and wire. Conventional EDM, as described above, uses an electric current dissipation tool. This tool, the cathode, runs along the piece of metal, the anode, and the electric current reacts to melt or vaporize the metal. Due to the action of the dielectric fluid, these small impurities are washed away from the element. Wire-cut EDM (or WCEDM) carries away the electrified current through a tensioned thin wire that acts as a cathode and is guided along the desired cut path or gap. The dielectric fluid immerses the wire and workpiece, filtering and directing the sparks. The thin wire enables precise cuts, with notches up to three inches wide and a positioning accuracy of +/- 0.0002 ”. This enhanced precision enables complex, three-dimensional cuts to be made and produces highly accurate punches, dies and stripper plates.

Wire EDM equipment is operated by numerically controlled (CNC) instruments that can control the wire on a three-dimensional axis to provide more flexibility. While conventional EDM cannot always produce tight corners or very complex patterns, the increased precision of wire EDM allows for intricate patterns and cuts. In addition, the wire EDM machine can cut metals as thin as 0.004 ”. At a certain thickness, the wire EDM will simply cause the metal to evaporate, thus eliminating any potential contamination. The WCEDM wire emits sparks from all sides, meaning the cut must be thicker than the wire itself. In other words, since the wire is surrounded by a current ring, the smallest and most accurate possible cutting path is the extra diameter of the ring and wire; technicians can easily accommodate this extra dimension. Manufacturers continue to produce thinner and thinner wires to enable smaller casts and even better precision.


More information about wire cut EDM machines

1. A Brief History Of Wire Cut EDM

2. The History of CNC EDM: How CNC EDM Evolution Changed Our Industry

3. Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of a EDM Wire Cut Machine

4. Wire Cut EDM Machines - more than just tooling and mold-making equipment


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