It is important to remember that EDM or electrical discharge machine is one of the most critical methods to device with high accuracy when metal removal is challenging.
Apart from EDM, we can call it arc machining, spark machining. However, its perspective is straightforward. It uses electrical current between a workpiece and electrode while the dielectric liquid is between them.
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The fluid is substantial because it acts as an insulator to provide enough voltage to become a conductor. The spark discharge will erode to form a particular piece you wanted in the first place.
In the further article, we wish to explain to your different electric discharge machines to help you determine the best course of action.
Let us start from the beginning.
Different Types of EDM Machines
1. Sinker EDM
Similarly, as with jet engines or electric telegraph, more than one person has simultaneously and independently created this machine. We must mention Natalya and Boris Lazarenko, who wanted to boost tungsten breaker points durability.
During the research, they have found ways to control erosion by using electrical contacts in combination with dielectric fluid. Therefore, they were the first ones who created a spark machining process that became an R-C (resistor-capacitor) for electric discharge machines.
Simultaneously, Victor Harding, Jack Beaver, and Harold Stark worked on removing broken taps and drills. Harding wanted to use sparks to erode them, which was a compelling idea that showed promise.
However, they achieved this requirement as soon as they added water as a coolant. Of course, they refined a process, which became the core of vacuum-tube EDM.
When it comes to nowadays, you should know that sinker EDM is essential for creating complex shapes in die and tool applications, including plastic injection molds and stamping dies.
The process starts by implementing a graphite electrode to create a positive compound on one side. The main idea is to place electrodes within a workpiece, which will generate sparks. However, it would be best to do it from a distance to achieve the best results possible.
2. Wire EDM
When it comes to wire EDM, you should know that history is less transparent than the sinker option. However, we know that it entered the market a few decades afterward, during the sixties and seventies.
They used it as an effective method to create die from thick steel materials. Similarly, as the name suggests, it features a thin fire that works as an electrode. As a result, a wire will move in a controlled pattern, likewise as the scroll saw that woodworkers use.
It will cause sparking between workpiece and wire. Since the discharge will erode, these tools are perfect for providing you fresh outpouring while cutting.
It is a great approach that will help you get everything you need. However, it comes with certain disadvantages because the wire must pass completely through a workpiece. As a result, you will have to create a 2D cut by using a 3D part.
Wire movement is similar to CNC technology, among other things.
3. Hole Drilling EDM
If you wish to get an outstanding finish using a less heat-affected zone, you should use this approach. Generally, it is an effective way to cut thick materials and alloys, making it perfect for hole-making.
It comes with a small pilot hole which you can drill inside a particular workpiece. Therefore, you can thread the wire based on your needs and requirements.
You can use it for blind hole applications, which requires this tool. Another name is hole popper because it features a rotary conductive tube that creates a steady flow of deionized water or dielectric fluid with an idea to provide a cut.
The main idea is to create precise and accurate holes on the thickest materials by using digital and technological advancements. For instance, you can create gaps in turbine blade sections, challenging to handle with other machines.
Benefits of EDMs
The main benefit of this process is that you can use cutting wire that won’t touch a particular workpiece. It means that you won’t stress the piece while dealing with it.
You can use it for medical devices to create grooves, slots, and eyelets, which will reduce stress. Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAvshdSXnKU to learn more on how these machines operate.
Another important consideration is that EDM will provide you a high-end finish. Generally, a cutting process will create a smooth surface. The facts are that you can use it to develop through-slots and eyelets, which you won’t be able to handle with other options.
As you can see from everything mentioned above, EDM is the perfect option for creating complex shapes by using electrically conducted materials, including exotic alloys, hard metals, tungsten carbide, and titanium.
This technology features minimal axis movement, which means that you will achieve delicate and exact shapes.