Wire EDM Machining Process
Wire EDM machining (Electrical Discharge Machining) is an electro thermal production process in which a thin single-strand metal wire in conjunction with de-ionized water (used to conduct electricity) allows the wire to cut through metal by the use of heat from electrical sparks.
Due to the inherent properties of the process, wire EDM can easily machine complex parts and precision components out of hard conductive materials.
How Wire EDM Works
Wire EDM machining (also known as "spark EDM") works by creating an electrical discharge between the wire or electrode, & the workpiece. As the spark jumps across the gap, material is removed from both the workpiece & the electrode.
To stop the sparking process from shorting out, a non conductive fluid or dielectric is also applied. The waste material is removed by the dielectric, and the process continues.
Wire EDM Machining According to Wikipedia.org:
"...In [wire EDM machining], a thin single-strand metal wire, usually brass, is fed through the workpiece. The wire, which is constantly fed from a spool, is held between upper and lower guides. The guides move in the X-Y plane, and sometimes the upper guide can also move independently giving rise to transitioning shapes (circle on the bottom square at the top). This gives the Wire EDM the ability to be programmed to cut very intricate and delicate shapes. The wire-cut uses water as its dielectric with the water's resistivity and other electrical properties carefully controlled by filters and de-ionizer units." [View Wikipedia Entry]