An EDM vice is widely used in a wire cutting machine in the manufacturing industry. Its main purpose is to hold and set precise cutting angle, ensuring straightness, flatness and parallel positioning. An EDM vice is usually manufactured using superb stainless steel with high-end technology which is in line with international standards.
There are essentially two types of EDM models: the conventional (or sinker) EDM and the wire cut EDM. Since the EDM vice utilizes the non-conventional wire cut EDM and the fact that wire cut EDM is more modern and versatile, we will mainly address the mechanism, benefits and the applications of the wire cut EDM process.
EDM stands for electrical charging machining. A manufacturing equipment that utilizes wire EDM is run by the so-called computer numerically controlled (CNC) instruments. The tool electrode is simply a wire in wire cut EDM. To avoid the wire from breaking due to erosion, the wire is created between two spools so that the active part of the wire is always moving.
During the wire EDM process, a metal piece is put into dielectric fluid, and a wire is fed through the immersed metal piece. An electrical current is directed through the metal work piece to create discharge, or sparks, that will form the intended shape from the original metal piece. When the distance between the electrodes becomes narrower, the intensity of the electric field enhances, thereby increasing the strength of the dielectric fluid. Under these circumstances, the current can pass between the two electrodes more easily, allowing the desired metal shape to be gradually detached from the original metal piece with every spark. After the intended metal shape has been separated out of the metal piece, the process of flushing may be performed which utilize the dielectric fluid to get rid of the excessive material on the metal shape.
Wire EDM is no doubt more versatile than its counterpart as it is widely preferred option in various industries such as automotive parts, aerospace and electronics industries. More specifically, it is preferred for mold and die manufacturing process, especially for blanket punches and extrusion dies. This is attributed to the fact that the technology allows the cutting of extremely small metal pieces, which is perfect for producing small yet highly compact and sophisticated products which would otherwise be too delicate to create by other machining methods.
In terms of the expenses, it is actually quite cost-effective for low quantity productions in which making samples and prototypes are the primary operation. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the active part of the wire is constantly moving during a wire cut EDM process and is not meant to be reused. Therefore, the wire can be extremely long which incurs extra cost to the overall expense.
A primary upside of using the wire cut EDM is that the likelihood of damage to the metal due to fixed electrode is relatively (to other machining operation) low thanks to the continual supply of wire. Moreover, since a wire cut EDM machine can work with hard material, a sub-machine for thermal treatments would not be necessary, thus the surface of the metal shape would be less likely to become distorted due to the absence of heat stress on the metal shape. As a result, smaller and more sophisticated metal shape can be easily machined.
Furthermore, since a wire EDM machine is also able to consume lots of wire, extra expense could be incurred. However, most machines that use wire EDM has the automated mechanism to cope with wire breaking so that operation can continue without interruption. Last but not least, requirements for fixture are relatively little as opposed to the conventional machining operation.
Below show some common features that you will find in a EDM vice component:
● Suitable for holding, precision setting and angle measurement
● Ideal for forming smaller and more delicate work piece
● Ensure flatness and parallelism during the operation
● Able to accommodate to machine tables easily
● Durable and compact design
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