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Wire EDM - Electrical Discharge Machining

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Wire EDM - Electrical Discharge Machining --- Aheadmold

Wire EDM or Electrical Discharge Machining is a technique used to slice through metal. The technique uses thin brass wire for the purpose and can create intricate profiles with the process. The EDM machine uses spark discharges that are fast, repetitive, and controlled for cutting. This process works with electrically conductive metals. The process is specially suited for contours and cavities that are not possible with other cutting tools.

The EDM Process

EDM is also known as "spark machining" as it uses repetitive electrical discharges to remove metal. The electrical discharges are passed between the metal part and the electrode. A stream of continuously flowing liquid is used to remove the metal remnants produced during the process. A set of successively deeper craters is formed till the final shape is created by the discharges.

Different types of EDM
Ram EDM - In ram EDM, a graphite electrode is used along with traditional tools. This electrode is connected to the ram with the help of a power source and is fed into the work piece. The whole process is carried out in a fluid bath. The fluid helps to flush away the material, serves as a coolant to reduce the heat, and acts as a conductor for passing current between the work piece and the electrode.
Wire EDM - In this method, a thin wire is used as an electrode. The wire is fed in the metal and the discharges are used to cut the material. The process is carried out in a bath of water. When closely observed, you can see that the wire does not touch the metal. All the cutting work is done by the electrical discharge. Computer software controls the whole operation including the path of the wire. The process can produce all sorts of complex shapes that are very difficult with other processes.
 
Advantages of Wire EDM Cutting
Allow cutting intricate internal and external shapes along with tight radius contours. It is a low cost process when the quantity is low or when the surface area of the cut edge is small.
 
Specifications for Wire EDM cutting
The process can be used on material such as titanium, steel, super alloys, aluminum, brass, and most other metals. It requires only software programming tooling to carry out the procedure.

Ahead Mold has many high precision EDM machines for molds processing, which allows you to design your own custom parts online.


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In terms of annual dollars spent, machining is the most important of the manufacturing processes. Machining can be defined as the process of removing material from a workpiece in the form of chips. The term metal cutting is used when the material is metallic. Most machining has very low set-up cost compared to forming, molding, and casting processes. However, machining is much more expensive for high volumes. Machining is necessary where tight tolerances on dimensions and finishes are required.
 
The Machining section is divided into the following categories:
 
1:DRILLING:
 
Drilling is easily the most common machining process. One estimate is that 75% of all metal-cutting material removed comes from drilling operations.
 
Drilling involves the creation of holes that are right circular cylinders. This is accomplished most typically by using a twist drill, something most readers will have seen before. The figure below illustrates a cross section of a hole being cut by a common twist drill:
The chips must exit through the flutes to the outside of the tool. As can be seen in the figure, the cutting front is embedded within the workpiece, making cooling difficult. The cutting area can be flooded, coolant spray mist can be applied, or coolant can be delivered through the drill bit shaft. For an overview of the chip-formation process

 2:TURNING:
 
Turning is another of the basic machining processes. Information in this section is organized according to the subcategory links in the menu bar to the left.

Turning produces solids of revolution which can be tightly toleranced because of the specialized nature of the operation. Turning is performed on a machine called a lathe in which the tool is stationary and the part is rotated. The figure below illustrates an engine lathe. Lathes are designed solely for turning operations, so that precise control of the cutting results in tight tolerances. The work piece is mounted on the chuck, which rotates relative to the stationary tool.

3:MILLING:
 
Milling is as fundamental as drilling among powered metal cutting processes.
 
Milling is versatile for a basic machining process, but because the milling set up has so many degrees of freedom, milling is usually less accurate than turning or grinding unless especially rigid fixturing is implemented.
For manual machining, milling is essential to fabricate any object that is not axially symmetric. There is a wide range of different milling machines, ranging from manual light-duty Bridgeports to huge CNC machines for milling parts hundreds of feet long. Below is illustrated the process at the cutting area.
 
4:GRINDING:
 
Grinding is a finishing process used to improve surface finish, abrade hard materials, and tighten the tolerance on flat and cylindrical surfaces by removing a small amount of material. Information in this section is organized according to the subcategory links in the menu bar to the left.
In grinding, an abrasive material rubs against the metal part and removes tiny pieces of material. The abrasive material is typically on the surface of a wheel or belt and abrades material in a way similar to sanding. On a microscopic scale, the chip formation in grinding is the same as that found in other machining processes. The abrasive action of grinding generates excessive heat so that flooding of the cutting area with fluid is necessary.

5:CHIP FORMATION:
 
Because of the importance of machining for any industrial economy, Machining Theory has been extensively studied.
 
The chip formation process is the same for most machining processes, and it has been researched in order to determine closed-form solutions for speeds, feeds, and other parameters which have in the past been determined by the "feel" of the machinist.
 
With CNC machine tools producing parts at ever-faster rates, it has become important to provide automatic algorithms for determining speeds and feeds. The information presented in this section are some of the more important aspects of chip formation. Reasons for machining being difficult to analyze and characterize can be summarized as follows:
The strain rate is extremely high compared to that of other fabrication processes.
The process varies considerably depending on the part material, temperature, cutting fluids, etc.
The process varies considerably depending on the tool material, temperature, chatter and vibration, etc.
The process is only constrained by the tool cutter. Unlike other processes such as molding and cold forming which are contained, a lot of variation can occur even with the same configuration.
For all types of machining, including grinding, honing, lapping, planing, turning, or milling, the phenomenon of chip formation is similar at the point where the tool meets the work.

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