In modern CNC machining, there is a special manufacturing process – wire EDM, which is different from turning and milling operation, its cutting tool does not need to touch the material when shaping the metal. How does wire EDM work? In this article, we’ll explore the wire electrical discharge machining process from multiple aspects.
EDM (Electrical discharge machining), also known as spark machining or spark eroding, is a manufacturing process of creating a desired part from the metal sheet by using electrical discharges (sparks). There are three types of EDM: Sinker EDM, Wire EDM, and Fast hole drilling EDM. Wire EDM, also known as wire electrical discharge machining (WEDM) or wire-cut EDM, involves using a thin single-strand metal conductive wire, like brass, along with de-ionized water allows the wire to cut through metal with the heat from electrical sparks.
In wire EDM machining, the material is removed from the workpiece by a series of rapidly recurring current discharges between the wire or the electrode and the workpiece, they are separated by a dielectric liquid. Wire EDM can easily cut hard conductive material and produce complex parts with high precision. The dielectric is used to prevent short circuits in the sparking process and remove the waste material.
Wire cut EDM machining is the perfect option for the production of small, delicate items. It can also be used for many other applications including automotive, aerospace, electronics, and more industries.
– Mold and die manufacturing
– Complex metal components and tools
– Rapid prototype and full production run
– Applications require low levels of residual stress
– Small, highly detailed parts
– Small hole drilling
– Metal disintegration machining
– Closed-loop manufacturing
Wire EDM is a computer numerical controlled machining process often used as the preferred choice for lots production needs as its high versatility and unique advantages. As the non-contact process, there is no direct strong cutting force applied on the piece, so the surface quality of the parts will not be affected during the cutting, which reduces the need for post-processing procedures.
– Can work with hard materials and manufacture small and intricate parts.
– Easier to obtain a smooth surface finish without contact between tool and part
– Utilizes a relatively compact workspace
– Accurate, predictable and repeatable
– Can meet the tight tolerance requirements in low volume production
– Cost-effective and highly efficient
Wire cut EDM and sinker EDM both employ the principle of electrical discharge machining, what are the differences between them?
1. Wire EDM machining can cut through the material completely, while sinker EDM services are not able to cut completely. This means that the sinker EDM can fabricate pieces with blind features.
2. In wire EDM, a long thin wire made of conductive metal is used as the cathode, while in sinker EDM, there is often a die in any shapes made of conductive metal used as the cathode
3. Wire electrical discharge machining is suitable for two-dimensional cutting but not good producing 3D contours, the die of sinking EDM may come in complex 3D profile, which allows it to create intricate shapes.
4. Sinker EDM can start cutting at any location on the workpiece, while wire EDM needs to machine the parts from edges.
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