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Understanding Electrical Discharge Machining: Principles and Applications

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Even if you can perform electromachining, do you truly understand its principles?

The following video displays the full micro-process of electromachining.



As we all know, traditional machining relies on the principle that the tool is harder than the workpiece and uses mechanical energy to remove metal for processing. The essence of this approach is to confront toughness with toughness.

traditional machining

In 1870, the British scientist Priestley discovered that discharges can have a corrosive effect on metals. For a long time, discharge corrosion has been considered a harmful phenomenon. In daily life, it can be observed that the contact surface often gets scorched and corroded with rough and uneven pits when plugs are repeatedly inserted and removed, due to the occurrence of discharges.

discharge corrosion

With the advancement of science and technology, the Lazarenkos of the former Soviet Union studied the phenomenon and causes of damage to switch contacts by spark discharge in 1943. They found that the instantaneous high temperature of electric sparks could melt and vaporize local metal, leading to corrosion. This discovery led to the invention of the EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) method.

This marked a significant deviation from the traditional processing methods, and for the first time, a processing method was developed that used softness to overcome hardness.

softness to overcome hardness

Electrical machining mainly includes two technological methods: EDM forming and WEDM.

Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)

EDM forming

The electrode used in EDM is commonly made of copper or graphite and can be molded into any desired shape. During the EDM process, the electrode creates a cavity in the workpiece that corresponds to its shape.

EDM forming

Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (WEDM)

WEDM

Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (WEDM) can be divided into two categories: low-speed wire cutting and high-speed wire moving. Typically, a wire electrode with a diameter of 0.1mm to 0.3mm is used to process parts with ruled surfaces. These parts can be either male die parts or female die holes.

WEDM

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