EDM Wire Cutting: What Is It All About?

13 March 2020

EDM stands for electrical discharge machining, and one of its processes utilises wire cutting to perform its functions. In comparison to other forms of CNC machines, the EDM machines are unique since they accomplish their goals by discharging electricity to remove pieces rather than tools coming into contact with the material to do this task. To ensure that you fully understand the specifics of electrical discharge machining, we provide the following information.

How the Process of Electrical Discharge Machining Is Performed

Even though there are different types of electrical discharge machining, they all work in the same basic fashion. The EDM machine creates an electrical spark in between an electrode and the material for the work piece. The heat this spark generates can reach from 8,000-degrees C to 12,000-degrees C, which can melt practically any type of material. Through precision control, the spark targets only the material surface without affecting the deeper layers of it. Generation of the spark occurs in the dielectric of the deionised water that is also an important part of this process. Not only does the water act as a conductive agent, but it also cools the eroded material particles and flushes them away.

What Is EDM Wire Cutting?

This form of EDM is also known as WEDM, which is short for wire electrical discharge machining. It utilises a metallic wire with a thin electrode to shape or cut the work piece. The size of the electrode ranges from .10 mm to .30 mm in diametre on average. Different diametres also are available when necessary. At no time, does the wire come into direct contact with the work piece. As a result, the EDM wire cutting machine operates smoothly and precisely without distorting the shape of the material or hindering the wire’s path. Also, deionised water surrounds the wire at all times. During the process, the voltage has to rise to the right level for the spark to be able to leap the space in between it and the material to be able to melt the correct amount of the material. After this, the water cools the scrap material and removes it from the area as we explained earlier.

EDM Wire Cutting Effectively Produces a Wide Assortment of Shapes

Below, you can view some of the shapes this process effectively makes:

• Stamping dies
• Extrusion dies
• Nozzles
• Horns
• Other shapes

Various Uses of EDM Wire Cutting

The following are prime examples of the uses of the EDM wire cutting:

• Thick work pieces that require accurate details and quality surfaces
• Narrow or complicated shapes
• Small or delicate work pieces that other types of machining or processes may damage
• Various exotic, weak, hard or delicate materials may require this process

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