In preparing a workpiece, machinists and manufacturers have diverse options. The machinery they use will depend upon the purpose of the piece, the environment in which it operates, the specifications of the component and the requests of the client. One method used to form the material into a specific shape is Electrical discharge machining (EDM). One specific type of this technique is sinker EDM.
What Is Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)?
EDM goes by different names. It is called:
* Spark machining
* Spark eroding
* Die sinking
* Wire burning
* Wire erosion
No matter the nomenclature, it refers to a non-conventional or non-traditional manufacturing process that employs electrical discharges or “sparks” to obtain the required shape.
The discharges or sparks between two separated electrodes removes the excess and undesirable material, cutting cavities and contours. The one electrode is referred to formally as the tool-electrode, while the other is called the workpiece-electrode. In short hand they are called the tool and the workpiece.
Machinists employ EDM when the metal is hard or if the material is too difficult to machine using the more conventional methods. Materials employing this method include:
* Insulating Ceramics
* Pre-Hardened Steel
Various types of EDM technology perform different tasks. Although wire EDM is common, one of the more advanced methods is sinker EDM.
Sinker Electrical Discharge Machining
This form of machining, also called conventional EDM, cavity type EDM, volume EDM or ram EDM, burns electrically conductive substances without causing stresses to appear in the material. It consists of a workpiece and a tool connected to a power source. They are submerged into oil or dielectric fuels that act as an insulating fluid. When the two electrodes approach each other, a spark flies. The sparks strike singularly – one after another, eroding the base surface of the metal
This type of equipment is very advanced. It is perfect machining solution for machining certain components such as dies and molds. When controlled by CNC, it helps a company reduce the risks in occurrence of inaccuracies. It makes the result more reliable. Settings can control the spark pattern and speed tightly allowing the EDM to handle intricate and odd geometric shapes and angles with ease. Other advantages of this form of EDM include:
* Durable results
* High-quality finishes
* Cuts exotic and tough materials with ease
* Requires little secondary processes such as polishing
* Cuts thin materials without producing any damage
Investing in EDM technology can provide some production advantages to a machine shop. The technology allows a machinist to produce complicated shapes while not generating any stress into the material. Its versatility of production also makes the sinker EDM a very efficient technological method for producing both injection molds and stamping dies.