The Two Main Types of EDM
Oct. 25, 2021
In the machining business, conventional cutting tools such as grinders and end mills can often be used to manufacture parts and other items with a specific shape. But what happens when the usual cutting tools are not up to the task?
In this case, there is electrical discharge machining, known in the industry as EDM. there are two main forms of EDM, covering a variety of rigorous machining applications in different industries.
In this guide, we will discuss what EDM is, what the two main types of EDM machines are and what advantages each has.
What is EDM?
EDM is a non-traditional machining method that uses thermal energy to create items to remove material - similar to laser cutting for example.EDM uses graphite or soft metal tools as electrodes and runs a voltage through them to create a high frequency spark discharge. During the process, the electrode and the material being machined are usually submerged in a bath of dielectric fluid, which cools the electrode and the workpiece, acts as a conductor of electricity and rinses away debris.
EDM is valuable because it can be used to machine any electrically conductive metal, regardless of the physical properties of the metal.
There are several advantages to using the thermal energy of EDM for machining. It is an advantage for notoriously hard materials such as titanium, tungsten, hardened steel or carbide, where conventional tools are often unable to meet the requirements. edm can also be used to produce items with delicate, intricate shapes.
Heavy Duty Split Unit Wire-Cutting EDM Machines
The two main types of EDM
The following are the two main types of EDM machine.
1. Conventional EDM machines
Conventional EDM is also known by several other names such as EDM machines, sinker moulds, cavity EDM, volumetric EDM and stamping EDM. this type of EDM is popular because it is suitable for creating complex shapes.
Traditional EDM uses machining to create electrodes with a unique shape. The electrodes are then inserted deep into the material to be shaped. The electrodes create a negative impression of their shape, thus forming the mould.
2. Wire cutting machines
EDM, also known as spark EDM, wire burning and EDM, uses a thin heated wire as an electrode. A hardened diamond guide holds the wire in place. The electrode wire passes through the metal to form a specific shape - although the wire itself does not actually touch the metal, its discharge does. During the EDM process, the wire is constantly rewound from the automatic feeder, so the wire is always available to cut smooth, uninterrupted shapes.
Sometimes a shape needs to be cut from the middle rather than from the outside. In such cases, the machinist combines wire-cut EDM with so-called drilled EDM. As the name of the technique implies, drilled EDM involves drilling a small hole in the middle of the workpiece. The wire can then be passed through the hole to continue its precise shaping. In this case the electrodes are tubular and the dielectric fluid flows through them into the hole.
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