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Posted on Nov 4, 20204
Electrical discharge machining (EDM) is an industrial manufacturing process in which electrical sparks create a specific metallic shape. Due to the incredible power of the spark, EDM is sometimes referred to as spark machining.
Only where there is a spark, cuts are made in the metal, giving it the desired shape and tearing it off the sheet. It works to cut the desired shape out of metal when a voltage and a discharge or spark current are generated between two electrodes.
While highly complex geometries and effective metal removal is challenging and impossible to accurately accomplish by conventional means, EDM is a practical solution. EDM is repeatable, useful, accurate, and frankly unbeatable. However, when it comes to large-scale quality assurance, reduced time without constraints, and fast execution of tasks with a high degree of tolerance, you need an edge over traditional EDM solutions. This is where Wire EDM Machine comes in.
If you are machining small parts with tight tolerances where precision is key, such as in the aerospace and medical segments, you and your people need a reliable and cost-effective solution which is easy to use and can be trusted.
There are two main types of Wire EDM Machine - Wire Type and Load Cell Type - and a few other less common methods. This article will focus on Wire EDM Machine. Wire EDM machines utilize a wire as the tool electrode and machining tool. The wire is wound between two spools, and as it moves, the active part of the wire constantly switches - preventing erosion of the material from the wire itself.
During the EDM process, the metal part is placed in a dielectric fluid and the wire is introduced through the immersed metal part. Electric current is sent through the part to create sparks which will ultimately help form the desired shape of the part.
A decrease in the separation distance between the electrodes increases the strength of the electric field and thus increases the strength of the dielectric fluid. Under these conditions, the current flows more easily between the two electrodes, leading to a separation of the element from the sheet at each spark.
After the currents have passed and the desired shape is achieved, manufacturers sometimes perform a process called "rinsing", using a dielectric fluid to help remove any residual material or waste from the finished product.
Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) is a non-traditional machining process that uses electricity to precisely and accurately cut any conductive material using a thin, electrically charged copper or brass wire as the electrode. electric charge, and the workpiece carries the other side of the load.
As the wire approaches the part, the attraction of the electric charges creates a controlled spark, melting and vaporizing the microscopic particles of the material. The spark also removes a tiny piece of wire, so after the wire passes through the workpiece once, the machine discards the used wire and automatically advances the new one.
Wire DEM Machine working process is undeniably fast - hundreds of thousands of sparks per second - but the wire never touches the workpiece. Spark erosion occurs along the entire length of the wire adjacent to the workpiece, resulting in a part with a perfect surface finish and no burr, no matter how large or small the cut is.
Wire EDM Machines use a dielectric deionized water solution to continuously cool and rinse the machining area during EDM process. In many cases, the entire part is immersed in the dielectric fluid, while the high-pressure top and bottom rinsing nozzles remove microscopic debris from the surrounding area of the wire during the cutting process.
The fluid also acts as a non-conductive barrier preventing the formation of electrically conductive channels in the treatment area. When the wire approaches the part, the electric field strength overcomes the barrier and the dielectric breaks down, allowing the current to flow between the wire and the workpiece resulting in an electrical spark.
In most Wire EDM Machines, the wire path is controlled by CNC diamond guides, which can move independently of each other in multiple axes for tapered cuts and complex shapes such as small radius inside corners and narrow gaps.
In addition, wire sizes range from 0.012" to 0.004" in diameter, which ensures high precision. The wire discharge wire is able to maintain tolerances as tight as +/- 0.0001”.
Wire EDM Machine provides a solution to the problems encountered when trying to machine materials that are normally difficult to work with, such as hardened steel, aerospace-grade titanium, alloy steel, tungsten carbide, Inconel, and even some conductive ceramics.
Wire EDM Machines are sometimes called "cheese slicer." Several unique advantages make them a popular choice for manufacturers across a wide variety of industries.
:: Read more : Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of a EDM Wire Cut Machine
Wire EDM Machines are able to remove excess material without exerting a high cutting force. The process is often automated, meaning it is less likely to damage the workpiece itself.
And since Wire EDM Machines can machine hard materials, there is no need for additional post-treatment heat treatment. As a result, little or no thermal stress is present on the shaped part and the surface of the part is less likely to deform.
The ability to work with hard materials means Wire EDM Machine can bring these materials to tight tolerances when needed. Since Wire EDM Machine can handle a high level of complexity, this process can be used to create very small, intricate parts. Since there is no direct contact between the tool and the part being currently shaped, it is easier to achieve a smooth surface finish that is precise and free of burrs.
Most importantly, in some cases, parts produced with Wire EDM Machine are ready for use as soon as the EDM process is complete. Wire EDM Machines can machine hard materials and alloys of increasing thickness without compromising the surface finish of the end product.
As a non-contact machining process, Wire EDM Machines can achieve high-quality finishes, thus reducing the need for post-treatment and surface treatments that are often required in other manufacturing processes. Since EDM is a CNC machining process and uses automated software to program functions, the process ensures accurate, predictable and repeatable results during each production run.
Wire EDM Machine can handle small production runs requiring tight tolerances, too. As it is often the case in the aerospace and medical industries. Wire EDM Machine is more cost-effective and time-saving than other available process choices.
MTS gathered worldwide Wire EDM manufacturers into this online platform. Browse and search for your next supplier with us.
Should you run into any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact us.