What Is Wire EDM? Things You Want To Know

What Is Wire EDM Things You Want To Know

First, what is wire EDM?

Electrical sparks are used in the manufacturing process known as electrical discharge machining (EDM) to shape metal. EDM is also sometimes called “spark machining” due to these sparks. In this process, the desired shape is created and detached from the metal sheet when current discharges, or sparks, take place between two electrodes. Where the sparking takes place, cuts are made into the metal.

Please continue reading for more information about what wire EDM is.

EDM History

Joseph Preistly’s observations from 1770 marked the beginning of the electrical discharge machining (EDM) procedure as we know it today. He observed that material had been removed from the electrodes in his experiments by electrical discharges. Electro-discharge erosion is another name for this.

The Lazarenkos, two Soviet scientists who worked on the development of modern wire EDM and small hole EDM, created a machining technique in the 1940s. In order to control the process, more potent pulse generators, automatic repeated discharge, and constant dielectric fluid flow were eventually used to create practical electrical discharge machines.

It is possible to create an electrical potential between the tool electrode (upper) and workpiece electrode (lower) by connecting them to a power source.

How Does EDM Work?

The fundamental method of electrical discharge machining is actually quite easy. In between two electrodes (solid electric conductors), an electrical discharge (spark) occurs. The tool electrode is typically referred to as the electrode, and the workpiece electrode as the workpiece. There is physical proof of the electricity’s flow in the spark. Almost any conductive material can be melted or vaporized by this electric spark’s intense heat, which reaches temperatures of 8000 to 12000 degrees Celsius. The very small gap between the two electrodes, which never make contact with one another, is where this quick, repetitive electrical current discharge occurs. The adaptive machine controls keep the spark gap (also known as the discharge gap or electrode gap) at a constant, stable distance as the electric discharge happens up to millions of times per second.

Drawing of an electric discharge machine. As the workpiece’s material is eroded by the electric discharge (red), the electrode (yellow) approaches the blue workpiece. In order to keep the process going, machine automation maintains the spark gap.

Only the surface of the material is impacted by the spark, which is tightly controlled and localized. The heat treatment beneath the surface is typically unaffected by the EDM process. A dielectric (non-conductive) fluid, usually deionized water, is used to immerse the tool and workpiece.

Dielectric fluid is where the spark always happens. Deionized water’s conductivity is carefully regulated, providing the ideal conditions for the EDM process. Deionized water is used to flush away the minute pieces of eroded metal while also cooling the cutting process.

Because it uses an electric discharge to take material off the workpiece, electrical discharge machining is regarded as a non-traditional machining technique. This contrasts with conventional machining techniques like drilling or grinding, which remove material through the use of mechanical force.

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Wire EDM Benefits And Applications 

The wire EDM machine, also referred to as a “cheese cutter,” has several distinctive advantages that make it a preferred option for manufacturers in a variety of different industries.

EDM Benefits

Without using much force during the cutting process, wire EDM machines can precisely remove extra material. Since the procedure is frequently automated, there is less chance that the workpiece will be harmed. Additionally, since wire EDM machines can work with hard materials, additional post-machining thermal treatments are not required. As a result, the shaped part experiences little to no heat stress, which reduces the possibility that the part’s surface will deform.

EDM Applications

The manufacturing of molds and dies, particularly for extrusion dies and blanking punches, is where wire EDM is most frequently used. EDM is most frequently used to produce metal tools and components, though it can be used for anything from prototypes to full production runs. Low residual stress applications are where the process works best.

EDM Industries

Production of parts and components for the electronics, aerospace, and automotive industries uses EDM the most frequently.

What Is Wire EDM Things You Want To Know
What Is Wire EDM? Things You Want To Know

Work With Wire EDM Unique Advantages 

EDM is the go-to machining method for producing a variety of different parts and components because it has so many distinctive advantages. First off, EDM can produce extremely complex shapes due to its high degree of precision. Furthermore, because it can work with hard materials, it can bring those materials to precise tolerances as required.

EDM can be used to produce incredibly tiny, intricate pieces because it can handle high levels of complexity. Additionally, since there is no direct contact between the tool and the part being shaped, it is simpler to achieve an accurate, burr-free smooth surface finish.

And perhaps most importantly, in some cases, parts made through EDM are ready for use right away after the EDM process is finished.


What wire EDM is was discussed in the article.

A thin single-strand metal wire and de-ionized water (used to conduct electricity) are used in the electro thermal production process known as wire EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining), which allows the wire to cut through metal while preventing rust.

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