"EDM" is an acronym short for electrical discharge machining. This approach involves wire cutting. Compared to other CNC machines and those used for centerless grinding, EDM machines are quite distinct in that they cut with the discharge of electricity. This unique approach eliminates relying on tools that make physical contact with the material.
We'll outline how wire EDM cutting works, it's advantages and those who should avoid this process.
The EDM Process
There are different variations of electrical discharge machining, yet they all function relatively similar to one another. EDM machines like those used in Anchor Harvey’s manufacturing process, create electrical sparks between the electrode and the material in question. The heat resulting from the spark reaches scorching temperatures, melting material of just about any type.
However, the machine's precision control guarantees the spark targets the material surface rather than moving deep down to other layers. The creation of the spark occurs within the deionized water dielectric. Water functions as an agent for conductivity while also helping to cool the eroded particles, ultimately flushing them away.
A Closer Look at WEDM
WEDM is a form of EDM that involves the use of a wire. Wire electrical discharge machining implements a metallic wire with a small electrode that cuts or shapes the material in question. The electrode's diameter is sized between .10 mm and .30 mm.
The wire does not physically contact the piece in question, ensuring the wire cutting machine functions with optimal precision and control to prevent distorting the material's shape.
The Uses of EDM Wire Cutting
EDM wire cutting creates a wide array of shapes, including nozzles, extrusion dies, stamping dies, horns, etc. This form of wire cutting is used for varying purposes, including the generation of small workpieces that would otherwise be damaged by other machines and processes. EDM wire cutting can also create thick pieces that necessitate highly accurate details and a high-quality surface.
This process can even create all sorts of delicate, dense, weak, or unusual materials. Plenty of centerless grinding specialists also provide wire EDM to boot. Such machine shops shape all kinds of components, including those used in the aerospace and medical industries.
Advantages of Wire EDM Cutting
Wire EDM cutting is precise as it gets. This process allows for the production of incredibly small parts with diameters smaller than .020". The wire EDM process creates repeatable lengths without running the risk of end deformation, delamination, or distortion.
This approach is also favored, as it is more cost-effective than laser cutting. In the context of small diameter solids, this form of cutting provides comparably high central tendency measures for elevated PPK/CPK values.
Furthermore, wire EDM cut procedures do not require the use of saw teeth or wheels, meaning they do not leave burrs. Add in the fact that wire EDM cutting is quite versatile in cutting conductive materials of varying hardness levels, and it is easy to see why this approach is gaining favor. Wire EDM cutting can even cut tungsten and molybdenum with ease.
Are There any Disadvantages to EDM?
The most glaring problem with wire EDM is that it is comparably slow. It is possible to hasten the slow speed of cutting with machines with a CNC capability or automatic wire threading. Furthermore, this method is restricted to materials that conduct electricity. If the material in question is covered with a dielectric is a composite, EDM cannot be used.
The only other negative to EDM is that the charged wire can warm the area around the workpiece upwards of several thousand degrees, creating thermal stress and possibly even generating waste.
Learn More About the Best Cutting Options for Your Business
Reach out to us today to learn more about our wire straightening and wire cutting services. Our services are considered the best in the industry. Our offerings include cutting round wire and flat wire along with strip material from the coil’s form.
You can reach our customer service team by dialing (800) 783-9473. If you prefer to contact us online, fill out our contact form and we’ll happily assist you!