EDM is a powerful machining technology that can process any conductive material, regardless of its mechanical properties. When traditional methods reach their limits, EDM comes in handy. This process enables manufacturers to manufacture parts with high precision.
In this article, we will briefly discuss the two types of EDM wire EDM and sinker EDM, as well as their applications, features, and advantages. At the end of this article, you will be able to choose the best option for the needed EDM manufacturing project.
What is EDM?
EDM is a non-traditional processing technology. It is used in precision manufacturing to develop custom parts with extreme precision and accuracy. EDM uses thermal energy to separate material from the workpiece. Manufacturers turn to EDM when CNC milling and turning machining cannot provide the required cut, such as deep cavities and sharp inner grooved corners.
EDM is popular for obtaining extremely complex shapes that are difficult to process with milling. It also has expertise in different applications of hard materials such as titanium. EDM is a subtractive manufacturing technique. There are two types of EDM, wire EDM and sinker EDM. Both types are discussed below.
The difference between wire-cut EDM equipment and sinker EDM equipment
Sinker EDM equipment
Electric sparking is a revolutionary material structure that opens countless doors for continued exploration of possibilities. This method allows manufacturers to create complex shapes. This method requires electrodes made of copper or graphite, which are pre-machined to have a mandatory shape. The electrodes are then sunk into the workpiece to produce a version opposite its original shape.
Main characteristics and applications of sinker EDM are as follows:
1 Sinker EDM Spark machines enable manufacturers to create complex shapes without creating stresses in conductive materials.
2 This is a low-risk machining solution.
3 Sinker EDM Spark machines are ideal for producing parts with unmatched precision and reliability.
4 It is widely used in a variety of applications such as cross-sections, grooved sections, thin walls, and blind holes/keyways.
Wire EDM equipment
The wire-cut EDM process is also known as wire erosion, wire burning. It uses thin live wire conductors to cut the parts. In this method, electric current discharges on a metal workpiece and instantly corrodes at high temperatures to make a cut, but these parts must be electrically conductive, such as steel, alloys, titanium, and brass.
Some of the main features and applications of wire-cut EDM are as follows:
1 Wire EDM can produce very fine and complex structures. In addition, with its high-precision machining and special relaxation generator, it allows shape accuracy of approximately ±1 μm.
2 This process is used for two-dimensional cutting in the manufacturing industry.
3 Wire EDM is mainly used for high-precision cutting and sample preparation.
4 It is cost-effective in small-batch production. However, using this method requires constant movement of wires and cannot be reused, which can be several kilometers long, which makes it more costly compared to other processes.
5 This process is most commonly used in the manufacturing process of making molds and dies, especially stamping dies and punching punches.
The different Working guidelines between wire-cut EDMand sinker EDM
Sinker EDM machine Working guidelines
The process requires an insulating fluid, electrodes, and a power supply. The electrodes and workpieces are connected to each other with the help of a power supply unit. An electric spark is generated between the electrode and the workpiece. The spark generates intense heat in the range of 8,000 to 12,000°C, melting any surface it touches. Unlike wire cutting, this process does not completely cut through the material, but instead allows the operator to control specific areas very carefully and highly focused to produce complex shapes. In addition, it does not cause stress in the material. This makes EDM one of the best processes for machining precision parts.
Wire EDM machine Working guidelines
It works similarly to a cheese cutter or band saw to cut wood, although it is wire instead of workpieces in the process. Metal wires, usually made of brass or copper, have high voltage passing through, enabling them to cut the thickness of the workpiece. The cutting can start from the edge of the material, or you can make a hole in the workpiece and let the wire pass through it, so that it is more convenient to cut from the inside.
To make the conductivity highly controlled, wire cutting uses deionized water. Deionized water cools the final part and washes away the removed particles. Wire cutting provides very precise cutting, enabling manufacturers to perform complex and accurate machining of the most complex and delicate shaped precision components.
Since the birth of EDM, various improvements have been observed. The use of CNC and other technologies makes it faster, more flexible, and more economical. Let’s see the advantages of using the two types of EDM Mentioned below.
Advantage of Sinker EDM machine
EDM provides durability, accuracy and high-quality finishes that can be used in production. Here are some advantages of EDM machines.
1 Hard materials can be easily cut using EDM technology
2 The final product does not require any finishing and polishing
3 This process cuts thin materials without causing any damage
4 EDM is commonly used for 3D contouring, drilling, finishing, and deburring.
Advantage of Wire EDM machine
Wire-cut EDM is adopted for its precision and cost-effectiveness. Here are some of the benefits of using wire cutting.
1 Wire-cutting EMD is the best choice for machining hard, brittle and fragile materials because it allows machining without impact and stress
2 By using copper wire, it can easily cut out precise and complex shapes for precision parts.
3 The wire EDM processing speed is fast, and the project can be established and completed in a very short time.
4 Suitable for machining hard metal materials and special materials (electrical conductivity).
Wire EDM or Sinker EDM, Which process should we use?
If you want plastic molds and injection molding cavities, you should use an EDM machine because it is the most common application of EDM machines. This process also helps manufacturers achieve incredibly detailed design and production of various components in different industries, including the aerospace and automotive industries.
If you are making precision parts for metal stamping tools and dies that need tight tolerances, your first task should be wire cutting. Compared to other methods available on the market, wire cutting is the most cost-effective and time-saving method. It is also widely used in the aerospace and medical industries for the manufacture of different types of high-precision parts. This process does not require post-processing heat treatment, which means there is no thermal stress and there is less chance of deformation of the material surface.
All in all, EDM is a process that uses electrical discharge to manipulate the shape and physical properties of materials. In this article, we thoroughly discussed EDM and its two types Sinker EMD and Wire-cut EDM to give you an idea of their machining process. So, now you can have enough knowledge to choose the most suitable option that meets your requirements for the best results.