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    CPWS® is EDM tooling manufacturer--What is wire spark erosion (wire EDM)?

    2018-3-8      View:

    What is wire spark erosion (wire EDM)?

    Wire EDM (EDM standing for electrical discharge machining) is an electro thermal cutting process. In this process the material-abrasive function of electrical discharges (also called sparks) between two electrodes (workpiece and wire) is used. The two electrodes, which are submerged in an isolating liquid (dielectric), are brought together until spark-over between the two electrodes occurs. The actual material removal is generated through a combination of electrical and plasma-physical processes. Through the conversion of electrical energy into heat during spark arc-over, a melting process within the electrodes is initiated, resulting in the removal of material. In contrast to other chip-removal machining techniques (e.g. turning, milling, grinding, etc.) no mechanical material abrasion occurs. The actual form of the workpiece is shaped by the targeted, numerically controlled (hence NC) movement of the tool (wire) within the raw workpiece.

    Which materials can be machined by wire spark erosion?

    In principal all materials with a minimum electrical conductivity of ca. 0.01 S/cm can be machined via wire EDM. This includes almost all metals and alloys, powder metallurgical steels, hard metals but also various conductive ceramics and poly-crystalline diamonds on an appropriately conductive base layer. The more homogenic the material, the better it is suited for wire spark erosion. Non conductive inclusions within the material lead to instability of the process, which can make machining impossible. The hardness of the machined material is of no relevance for the process.

    Applications of wire EDM

    • Manufacturing of highly precise parts with maximum geometrical complexity, linearity, surface quality and smallest nose radii for all technological sectors.
    • Mainly for die- and moldmaking, medical engineering and aeronautical technology

    With the increased use of high tensile as well as hard materials in all areas of the engineering industry, wire spark erosion has found its’ way into this field and is by now also integrated into mass production within the manufacturing process.

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