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What is EDM?

December 29, 2023

What is EDM?

Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) is a non-traditional machining method that uses electric sparks to remove material from the workpiece. It is usually used to process hard materials or complex-shaped parts that are difficult to machine. This process involves an electrical spark discharge between the workpiece and an electrode, causing the material to be sequentially corroded and gradually formed into the desired shape.

Here are some key features and principles of EDM:

Working principle: The basic principle of EDM is to establish an electric field between the workpiece and the electrode, and generate electric sparks through high-voltage current discharge. These electric sparks generate high temperatures on the surface of the workpiece, melting and evaporating the material, thereby removing tiny material particles from the workpiece and gradually forming the desired shape.

Hard materials: EDM is often used to process hard materials that are difficult to machine, such as high-speed steel, carbide, ceramics and steel molds. This makes it very useful in areas such as mold making and aerospace.

High precision: EDM can achieve very high machining accuracy, typically in the range of a few microns. This makes it suitable for manufacturing parts that require a high degree of accuracy.

Complex shapes: Because EDM is non-contact, it can handle complex internal and external contours, making it useful in manufacturing complex parts and molds.

Surface quality: EDM typically produces very smooth surfaces that eliminate the need for subsequent grinding, saving process time.

Cutting speed: Although EDM can provide high precision and quality, it is generally a relatively slow process and therefore suitable for precision manufacturing rather than high production volumes.

Electrical discharge machining is usually performed by specialized machines that control the position and shape of the discharge, depending on the desired workpiece shape and size. Although it is slower, EDM is an important machining method when working with difficult-to-machine materials and manufacturing high-precision parts.

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