SIX WEEKS INDUSTRIAL TRAINING REPORT COMPLETED AT

CENTRAL INSTITUTE OF HAND TOOLS (JALANDHAR)
By

DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

BEANT COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, GURDASPUR MAY/JUNE 2012 CONTENTS
1. AKNOWLEDGEMENT

2. ABOUT GNA UDYOG 3. INCEPTION OF THE COMPANY 4. INTERODUCTION 5. DIE DESIGN 6. DIE COMPONENTS 7. DIE OPERATIONS AND TYPES 8. ELECTRICAL DISCHARGE MACHINING 9. MAZAK VMC NEXUS 510-C 10.VERTICAL MILLING MACHNE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
“Winner don’t do different things, they do things differently”

It is my proud to have been conducted into
CENTRAL INSTITUTE OF HAND TOOLS (JALANDHAR)

a moderate industry for the manufacturing of auto parts & spares .This training is as per the fulfillment of requirements for award B.Tech (mechanical) of Punjab Technical Board. It is industry engaged in typical mechanical machinery used for the production which provides support to other mechanical industrials units in general & to automobile industry on particular. I‘m grateful to the professor & my Training co-coordinator & placement department ―Beant College Of Engineering And Technology, Gurdaspur‖ guide me to join such as professional concerned & inculate in me & aptitude to conduct the study & have deep insight into the various mechanical process &techniques in used here. I‘m no words to express my deep sincere thanks & gratitude to Mr. Rajiv Sharma for allowing me the full facilities to have partials & performance in various Mechanical fields. I‘m give special thanks to H.O.D of die Section Mr. Mohanjeet Singh, Mr.Jeevan & Mr. Rahul who helps lot of in my training. Last but no least I express my thanks to all workers who direct & in directly contributed in making training interested.

DIE DESIGN

An in-house die-shop equips us for fabrication of all types of dies and tooling, using machines such as: ‗MAZAK' VMC, Milling Machines, Spark Erosion Machines, Copy Milling Machines, Heavy Duty Lathe Machines, Die Sinking Machines, Vertical Band Saw Machines and Heavy Duty Pillar Drilling Machines. die design and tooling equipment used at GNA UDYOG include:  ‗MAZAK' Vertical Machine Center NEXUS 510-C  Heavy Duty Lathe Machines  Die Sinking Machines  Hydraulic Copy Milling Machines  Heavy Duty Pillar Drilling Machine  Lathe Machine  Pneumatic Die Grinders  Milling Machines  Radial Drilling Machines  Long Bed Lathe Machine

TOOL AND DIE MAKING,

Tool & die making the industrial art of manufacturing stamping dies, plastics molds, and jigs and fixtures to be used in the mass production of solid objects. The fabrication of pressworking dies constitutes the major part of the work done in tool and die shops. Most pressworking dies are utilized in the fabrication of sheetmetal parts that range in size from the finger stop on a dial telephone to the panels of an automobile body. Each pressworking die consists of two sections, called punch and die, or male and female. Both sections are mounted firmly in an electrically or hydraulically driven press. In a working cycle the press ram, on which the male section is mounted, descends into the fixed female section. Any metal interposed between the sections is cut or shaped to a prescribed form. Like the dies, the presses range in size from extremely small to gigantic. A bench press is often small enough to be picked up manually; but the press that stamps out the roof of a car is generally about three stories high and capable of exerting tons of force. The tooling involved in plastic molding is quite similar to that of stamping dies. The principal difference is that stamping requires force, while molding does not. In plastic molding, two units are required whose design is such that, when brought together, they make up a system of closed cavities linked to a central orifice. Liquid plastic is forced through the orifice and into the cavities, or molds, and when the plastic solidifies, the molds open and the finished parts are ejected. DIE COMPONENTS The main components for Die Toolsets are: Die block - This is the main part that all the other parts are attached to. Punch plate - This part holds and supports the different punches in place. Blank punch - This part along with the Blank Die produces the blanked part. Pierce punch - This part along with the Pierce Die removes parts from the blanked finished part. Stripper plate - This is used to hold the material down on the Blank/ Pierce Die and strip the material off the punches.

Pilot - This is used to keep the material being worked on in position. Guide / Back gage / Finger stop - These parts are all used to make sure that the material being worked on always goes in the same position, within the die, as the last one. Setting (Stop) Block - This part is used to control the depth that the punch goes into the die.

PUNCHING Punching is a metal forming process that uses a punch press to force a tool, called a punch, through the work piece to create a hole via shearing. The punch often passes through the work into a die. A scrap slug from the hole is deposited into the die in the process. Depending on the material being punched this slug may be recycled and reused or discarded. Punching is often the cheapest method for creating holes in sheet metal in medium to high production volumes. When a specially shaped punch is used to create multiple usable parts from a sheet of material the process is known as blanking. In forging applications the work is often punched while hot, and this is Process Punch tooling (punch and die) is often made of hardened steel or tungsten carbide. A die is located on the opposite side of the workpiece and supports the material around the perimeter of the hole and helps to localize the shearing forces for a cleaner edge. There is a small amount of clearance between the punch and the die to prevent the punch from sticking in the die and so less force is needed to make the hole. The amount of clearance needed depends on the thickness, with thicker materials requiring more clearance, but the clearance is always less than the thickness of the work piece. The clearance is also dependent on the hardness of the workpiece. The punch press forces the punch through a work piece, producing a hole that has a diameter equivalent to the punch, or slightly smaller after the punch is removed. All ductile materials stretch to some extent during punching which often causes the punch to stick in the workpiece. In this case, the punch must be physically pulled back out of the hole while the work is supported from the punch side, and this process is known as stripping. The hole walls will show burnished area, rollover, and die break and must often be further processed. The slug from the

hole falls through the die into some sort of container to either dispose of the slug or recycle it. Punching Characteristics
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Punching is the most cost effective process of making holes in strip or sheet metal for average to high fabrication It is able to create multiple shaped holes Punches and dies are usually fabricated from conventional tool steel or carbides Creates a burnished region roll-over, and die break on sidewall of the resulting hole.

Geometry The workpiece is often in the form of a sheet or roll. Materials for the workpiece can vary, commonly being metals and plastics. The punch and die themselves can have a variety of shapes to create an array of different shaped holes in the workpiece. Multiple punches may be used together to create a part in one step. Equipment Most punch presses are mechanically operated, but simple punches are often handpowered. Major components of this mechanical press are the frame, motor, ram, die posts, bolster, and bed. The punch is mounted into the ram, and the die is mounted to the bolster plate. The scrap material drops through as the workpiece is advanced for the next hole. A large computer controlled punch press is called a computer numerical controlled turret. It houses punches and their corresponding dies in a revolving indexed turret. These machines use hydraulic, pneumatic, or electrical power to press the shape with enough force to shear the metal. Forces The punch force required to punch a piece of sheet metal can be estimated from the following equation:

Where t is the sheet metal thickness, L is the total length sheared (perimeter of the shape), and UTS is the ultimate tensile strength of the material.

Die and punch shapes affect the force during the punching process. The punch force increases during the process as the entire thickness of the material is sheared at once. A beveled punch helps in the shearing of thicker materials by reducing the force at the beginning of the stroke. However, beveling a punch will disort the shape because of lateral forces that develop. Compound dies allow multiple shaping to occur. Using compound dies will generally slow down the process and are typically more expensive than other dies. Progressive dies may be used in high production operations. Different punching operations and dies may be used at different stages of the operation on the same machine, called hot punching. Progressive stamping Progressive stamping is a metalworking method that can encompass punching, coining, bending and several other ways of modifying metal raw material, combined with an automatic feeding system. The feeding system pushes a strip of metal (as it unrolls from a coil) through all of the stations of a progressive stamping die. Each station performs one or more operations until a finished part is made. The final station is a cutoff operation, which separates the finished part from the carrying web. The carrying web, along with metal that is punched away in previous operations, is treated as scrap metal. The progressive stamping die is placed into a reciprocating stamping press. As the press moves up, the top die moves with it, which allows the material to feed. When the press moves down, the die closes and performs the stamping operation. With each stroke of the press, a completed part is removed from the die. Since additional work is done in each "station" of the die, it is important that the strip be advanced very precisely so that it aligns within a few thousandths of an inch as it moves from station to station. Bullet shaped or conical "pilots" enter previously pierced round holes in the strip to assure this alignment since the feeding mechanism usually cannot provide the necessary precision in feed length. Progressive stamping can also be produced on transfer presses. These are presses that transfer the components from one station to the next with the use of mechanical "fingers". For mass productions of stamped part which do require complicated in press operations, it is always advisable to use a progressive press. One of the advantages of this type of press is the production cycle time. Depending upon the part, productions can easily run well over 800 parts/minute. One of the disadvantages of this type of press is that it is not suitable for high precision deep drawing which is when the depth of the stamping exceeds the diameter of the part.

When necessary, this process is performed upon a transfer press, which run at slower speeds, and rely on the mechanical fingers to hold the component in place during the entire forming cycle. In the case of the progressive press, only part of the forming cycle can be guided by spring loaded sleeves or similar, which result in concentricity and ovality issues and non uniform material thickness. Other disadvantages of progressive presses compared to transfer presses are: increased raw material input required to transfer parts, tools are much more expensive because they are made in blocks (see fig. 1) with very little independent regulation per station; impossibility to perform processes in the press that require the part leave the strip (example beading, necking, flange curling, thread rolling, rotary stamping ect). The dies are usually made of tool steel to withstand the high shock loading involved, retain the necessary sharp cutting edge, and resist the abrasive forces involved. The cost is determined by the number of features, which determine what tooling will need to be used. It is advised to keep the features as simple as possible to keep the cost of tooling to a minimum. Features that are close together produce a problem because it may not provide enough clearance for the punch, which could result in another station. It can also be problematic to have narrow cuts and protrusions. Applications An excellent example of the product of a progressive die is the lid of a beverage can. The pull tab is made in one progressive stamping process and the lid & assembly is made in another, the pull tab simultaneously feeding at a right angle into the lid & assembly process. punch press is a type of machine press used to cut holes in material. It can be small and manually operated and hold one simple die set, or be very large, CNC operated, with a multi-station turret and hold a much larger and complex die set. Description Most punch presses are large machines with either a 'C' type frame, or a 'portal' (bridge) type frame. The C type has the hydraulic ram at the top foremost part,

whereas the portal frame is much akin to a complete circle with the ram being centered within the frame to stop frame deflection or distortion. C type presses have a bed plate which is used to lock the die bottom bolster. For locking the die, T bolts are used and so this plate contain 'T - slots into which tbolts are slid in. These slots are placed diagonally and with a slot horizontal to the longer side of the plate, is the general practice. These slots run up to a central hole made in the plate, the hole being large enough to accommodate another bush with a hole, the hole being used for dropping the punched part to the bottom of the press. The top of the tool butted against a vertical sliding ram with a clamping system which accommodates only a particular diameter of a threaded cylindrical member called the "shank" of the tool. The bottom portion of the tool is locked to the bottom bed plate and the top portion of the tool is locked to the sliding ram. Top and bottom portions of the tool are generally guided by suitable pillar and bush assemblies, (one or two pairs ), which gives safety to the punching elements of the tool. Generally the tool is placed slightly above the bottom bed plate by providing two parallel blocks accurately ground to the same size. This is a necessary action since many tools, scrap (cut pieces which are a waste) is discharged through the bottom element of the tool, not necessarily in the centre of the tool. the scrap or the blank ( the required portion ) come out from the die at different places . These have to be taken out horizontally from between the parallels placed. Otherwise they get accumulated inside the tool itself and cause severe damage to the tool. In very heavy presses with higher tonnage, The sliding ram has also a thick plate with T slots for locking the top plate of the tool (called the top bolster). In such cases the threaded cylinder called shank is not attached to the tool. The clamps are either mechanical (manually operated using spanners ) or air operated varieties. Turret type punch press machines have a table or bed with brushes or rollers to allow the sheet metal workpiece to traverse with low friction. Brushes are used where scratches on the workpiece must be minimized, as with brushed aluminium or high polished materials. Turret type Punch presses are computer numerically controlled (CNC) able to be run in an automatic mode, according to a pre-built program, to perform the processing of the material. The punch press is characterized by parameters such as:

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Frame type Mechanism of delivering power to the ram (mechanical, electro-mechanical or hydraulic) Size of working area (e.g., 2500 x 1250 mm) Single or multiple station Force rating (for example, 20 tons) The type of tool shop and its capacity (e.g., store revolving type, capacity 34 tool) Speed or productivity (typically characterized by the speed of strokes with a step movement of 25 and 1 mm) Speed of movement without shock (speed-load displacement) Maximum weight of workpiece Safety features Power consumption The type of software

Punch presses are usually referred to by their tonnage and table size. In a production environment a 30 ton press is mostly the machine used today. The tonnage needed to cut and form the material is well known, so sizing tooling for a specific job is a fairly straightforward task. According to the requirement the tonnage may even go up to 2000 to 2500 ton presses. Die set A die set consists of a set of punches (male) and dies (female) which, when pressed together, form a hole in a workpiece (and may also deform the workpiece in some desired manner). The punches and dies are removable, with the punch being attached to the ram during the punching process. The ram moves up and down in a vertically linear motion, forcing the punch through the material into the die. Axis The main bed of most machines is called the 'X' Axis with the 'Y' Axis being at right angles to that and allowed to traverse under CNC control. Dependent on the size of the machine, the beds, and the sheet metal workpiece weight, the motors required to move these axis tables will vary in size and power. Older styles of machines used DC motors, however with advances in technology, today's machines mostly use AC brushless motors for drives. CNC-controlled operation

To start a cycle, the CNC controller commands the drives to move the table along the X and the Y axis to a desired position. Once in position, the control initiates the punching sequence and pushes the ram from top dead center (TDC) to bottom dead center (BDC) through the material plane. (The terms BDC and TDC go back to older presses with pneumatic or hydraulic clutches. On today's machines BDC/TDC do not actually exist but are still used for the bottom and top of a stroke.) On its stroke from TDC to BDC, the punch enters the material, pushing it through the die, obtaining the shape determined by the design of the punch and die set. The piece of material (slug) cut from the workpiece is ejected through the die and bolster plate and collected in a scrap container.[1] The return to TDC signals to the control to begin the next cycle. The punch press is used for high volume production. Cycle times are often measured milliseconds. Material yield is measured as a percentage of parts to waste per sheet processed. CAD/CAM programs maximize yield by nesting parts in the layout of the sheet. Drive Type: Flywheel drive Most punch presses today are hydraulically powered. Older machines, however, have mechanically driven rams, meaning the power to the ram is provided by a heavy, constantly rotating flywheel. The flywheel drives the ram using a Pitman arm. In the 19th century, the flywheels were powered by leather drive belts attached to line shafting, which in turn ran to a steam plant. In the modern workplace, the flywheel is powered by a large electric motor. Mechanical punch press Mechanical punch presses fall into two distinct types, depending on the type of clutch or braking system with which they are equipped. Generally older presses are "full revolution" presses that require a full revolution of the crankshaft for them to come to a stop. This is because the braking mechanism depends on a set of raised keys or "dogs" to fall into matching slots to stop the ram. A full revolution clutch can only bring the ram to a stop at the same location- top dead center. Newer presses are often "part revolution" presses equipped with braking systems identical to the brakes on commercial trucks. When air is applied, a band-type brake expands and allows the crankshaft to revolve. When the stopping mechanism is

applied the air is bled, causing the clutch to open and the braking system to close, stopping the ram in any part of its rotation. Hydraulic punch press Hydraulic punch presses, which power the ram with a hydraulic cylinder rather than a flywheel, and are either valve controlled or valve and feedback controlled. Valve controlled machines usually allow a one stroke operation allowing the ram to stroke up and down when commanded. Controlled feedback systems allow the ram to be proportionally controlled to within fixed points as commanded. This allows greater control over the stroke of the ram, and increases punching rates as the ram no longer has to complete the traditional full stroke up and down but can operate within a very short window of stroke. Servo drive turret punch press A servo drive turret punch press uses twin AC servo drives directly coupled to the drive shaft. This drive system combines the simplicity of the original clutch and brake technology with the speed of a hydraulic ram driven system. This results in high performance, reliability, and lower operating costs. A servo drive press system has no complex hydraulics or oil-cooling chillers, thus reducing maintenance and repair costs. A turret press can be equipped with advanced technology that stores and reuses energy generated during ram deceleration, providing extended electrical power savings.

DIE OPERATIONS AND TYPES Die operations are often named after the specific type of die that performs the operation. For example a bending operation is performed by a bending die.

Operations are not limited to one specific die as some dies may incorporate multiple operation types:

Bending: The bending operation is the act of bending blanks at a predetermined angle. An example would be an "L" bracket which is a straight piece of metal bent at a 90° angle. The main difference between a forming operation and a bending operation is the bending operation creates a straight line bend (such as a corner in a box) as where a form operation may create a curved bend (such as the bottom of a drink can). Blanking: A blanking die produces a flat piece of material by cutting the desired shape in one operation. The finish part is referred to as a blank. Generally a blanking die may only cut the outside contour of a part, often used for parts with no internal features. Three benefits to die blanking are:

1. Accuracy. A properly sharpened die, with the correct amount of clearance between the punch and die, will produce a part that holds close dimensional tolerances in relationship to the parts edges. 2. Appearance. Since the part is blanked in one operation, the finish edges of the part produces a uniform appearance as opposed to varying degrees of burnishing from multiple operations. 3. Flatness. Due to the even compression of the blanking process, the end result is a flat part that may retain a specific level of flatness for additional manufacturing operations.

Broaching: The process of removing material through the use of multiple cutting teeth, with each tooth cutting behind the other. A broaching die is often used to remove material from parts that are too thick for shaving.

Bulging: A bulging die expands the closed end of tube through the use of two types of bulging dies. Similar to the way a chefs hat bulges out at the top from the cylindrical band around the chefs head.

1. Bulging fluid dies: Uses water or oil as a vehicle to expand the part.

2. Bulging rubber dies: Uses a rubber pad or block under pressure to move the wall of a workpiece.

Coining: is similar to forming with the main difference being that a coining die may form completely different features on either face of the blank, these features being transferred from the face of the punch or die respectively. The coining die and punch flow the metal by squeezing the blank within a confined area, instead of bending the blank. For example: an Olympic medal that was formed from a coining die may have a flat surface on the back and a raised feature on the front. If the medal was formed (or embossed), the surface on the back would be the reverse image of the front. Compound operations: Compound dies perform multiple operations on the part. The compound operation is the act of implementing more than one operation during the press cycle.

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Compound die: A type of die that has the die block (matrix) mounted on a punch plate with perforators in the upper die with the inner punch mounted in the lower die set. An inverted type of blanking die that punches upwards, leaving the part sitting on the lower punch (after being shed from the upper matrix on the press return stroke) instead of blanking the part through. A compound die allows the cutting of internal and external part features on a single press stroke. Curling: The curling operation is used to roll the material into a curved shape. A door hinge is an example of a part created by a curling die. Cut off: Cut off dies are used to cut off excess material from a finished end of a part or to cut off a predetermined length of material strip for additional operations. Drawing: The drawing operation is very similar to the forming operation except that the drawing operation undergoes severe plastic deformation and the material of the part extends around the sides. A metal cup with a detailed feature at the bottom is an example of the difference between formed and drawn. The bottom of the cup was formed while the sides were drawn.

Extruding: Extruding is the act of severely deforming blanks of metal called slugs into finished parts such as an aluminum I-beam. Extrusion dies use extremely high pressure from the punch to squeeze the metal out into the desired form. The difference between cold forming and extrusion is extruded parts do not take shape of the punch. Forming: Forming dies bend the blank along a curved surface. An example of a part that has been formed would be the positive end(+) of a AA battery. Cold forming (cold heading): Cold forming is similar to extruding in that it squeezes the blank material but cold forming uses the punch and the die to create the desired form, extruding does not. Horning: A horning die provides an arbor or horn which the parts are place for secondary operations. Piercing: The piercing operation is used to pierce holes in stampings. Shaving: The shaving operation removes a small amount of material from the edges of the part to improve the edges finish or part accuracy. (Compare to Trimming). Swaging: Swaging (necking) is the process of "necking down" a feature on a part. Swaging is the opposite of bulging as it reduces the size of the part. The end of a shell casing that captures the bullet is an example of swaging. Trimming: Trimming dies cut away excess or unwanted irregular features from a part, they are usually the last operation performed.

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ELECTRIC DISCHARGE MACHINING (EDM)

EDM sometimes colloquially also referred to as spark machining, spark eroding, burning, die sinking or wire erosion, is a manufacturing process whereby a desired shape is obtained using electrical discharges (sparks). Material is removed from the workpiece by a series of rapidly recurring current discharges between two electrodes, separated by a dielectric liquid and subject to an electric voltage. One of the electrodes is called the tool-electrode, or simply the ‗tool‘ or ‗electrode‘, while the other is called the workpiece-electrode, or ‗workpiece‘. When the distance between the two electrodes is reduced, the intensity of the electric field in the volume between the electrodes becomes greater than the strength of the dielectric (at least in some point(s)), which breaks, allowing current to flow between the two electrodes. This phenomenon is the same as the breakdown of a capacitor (condenser) (see also breakdown voltage). As a result, material is removed from both the electrodes. Once the current flow stops (or it is stopped – depending on the type of generator), new liquid dielectric is usually conveyed into the inter-electrode volume enabling the solid particles (debris) to be carried away and the insulating properties of the dielectric to be restored. Adding new liquid dielectric in the inter-electrode volume is commonly referred to as flushing. Also, after a current flow, a difference of potential between the two electrodes is restored to what it was before the breakdown, so that a new liquid dielectric breakdown can occur. Generalities Electrical discharge machining is a machining method primarily used for hard metals or those that would be very difficult to machine with traditional techniques. EDM typically works with materials that are electrically conductive, although methods for machining insulating ceramics with EDM have also been proposed. EDM can cut intricate contours or cavities in pre-hardened steel without the need for heat treatment to soften and re-harden them. This method can be used with any other metal or metal alloy such as titanium, hastelloy, kovar, and inconel. Also, applications of this process to shape polycrystalline diamond tools have been reported. EDM is often included in the ‗non-traditional‘ or ‗non-conventional‘ group of machining methods together with processes such as electrochemical machining (ECM), water jet cutting (WJ, AWJ), laser cutting and opposite to the ‗conventional‘ group (turning, milling, grinding, drilling and any other process whose material removal mechanism is essentially based on mechanical forces)

Ideally, EDM can be seen as a series of breakdown and restoration of the liquid dielectric in-between the electrodes. However, caution should be exerted in considering such a statement because it is an idealized model of the process, introduced to describe the fundamental ideas underlying the process. Yet, any practical application involves many aspects that may also need to be considered. For instance, the removal of the debris from the inter-electrode volume is likely to be always partial. Thus the electrical proprieties of the dielectric in the interelectrodes volume can be different from their nominal values and can even vary with time. The inter-electrode distance, often also referred to as spark-gap, is the end result of the control algorithms of the specific machine used. The control of such a distance appears logically to be central to this process. Also, not all of the current between the dielectric is of the ideal type described above: the spark-gap can be short-circuited by the debris. The control system of the electrode may fail to react quickly enough to prevent the two electrodes (tool and workpiece) from coming into contact, with a consequent short circuit. This is unwanted because a short circuit contributes to material removal differently from the ideal case. The flushing action can be inadequate to restore the insulating properties of the dielectric so that the current always happens in the point of the inter-electrode volume (this is referred to as arcing), with a consequent unwanted change of shape (damage) of the tool-electrode and workpiece. Ultimately, a description of this process in a suitable way for the specific purpose at hand is what makes the EDM area such a rich field for further investigation and research. To obtain a specific geometry, the EDM tool is guided along the desired path very close to the work; ideally it should not touch the workpiece, although in reality this may happen due to the performance of the specific motion control in use. In this way, a large number of current discharges (colloquially also called sparks) happen, each contributing to the removal of material from both tool and workpiece, where small craters are formed. The size of the craters is a function of the technological parameters set for the specific job at hand. They can be with typical dimensions ranging from the nanoscale (in micro-EDM operations) to some hundreds of micrometers in roughing conditions. The presence of these small craters on the tool results in the gradual erosion of the electrode. This erosion of the tool-electrode is also referred to as wear. Strategies are needed to counteract the detrimental effect of the wear on the geometry of the workpiece. One possibility is that of continuously replacing the tool-electrode during a machining operation. This is what happens if a continuously replaced wire is used as electrode. In this case, the correspondent EDM process is also called wire EDM. The tool-electrode can also be used in such a way that only a small

portion of it is actually engaged in the machining process and this portion is changed on a regular basis. This is, for instance, the case when using a rotating disk as a tool-electrode. The corresponding process is often also referred to as EDM grinding. A further strategy consists in using a set of electrodes with different sizes and shapes during the same EDM operation. This is often referred to as multiple electrode strategy, and is most common when the tool electrode replicates in negative the wanted shape and is advanced towards the blank along a single direction, usually the vertical direction (i.e. z-axis). This resembles the sink of the tool into the dielectric liquid in which the workpiece is immersed, so, not surprisingly, it is often referred to as die-sinking EDM (also called conventional EDM and ram EDM). The corresponding machines are often called sinker EDM. Usually, the electrodes of this type have quite complex forms. If the final geometry is obtained using a usually simple-shaped electrode which is moved along several directions and is possibly also subject to rotations, often the term EDM milling is used. In any case, the severity of the wear is strictly dependent on the technological parameters used in the operation (for instance: polarity, maximum current, open circuit voltage). For example, in micro-EDM, also known as μ-EDM, these parameters are usually set at values which generates severe wear. Therefore, wear is a major problem in that area. The problem of wear to graphite electrodes is being addressed. In one approach, a digital generator, controllable within milliseconds, reverses polarity as electroerosion takes place. That produces an effect similar to electroplating that continuously deposits the eroded graphite back on the electrode. In another method, a so-called "Zero Wear" circuit reduces how often the discharge starts and stops, keeping it on for as long a time as possible. Definition of the technological parameters Difficulties have been encountered in the definition of the technological parameters that drive the process. Two broad categories of generators, also known as power supplies, are in use on EDM machines commercially available: the group based on RC circuits and the group based on transistor controlled pulses.

In the first category, the main parameters to choose from at setup time are the resistance(s) of the resistor(s) and the capacitance(s) of the capacitor(s). In an ideal condition these quantities would affect the maximum current delivered in a discharge which is expected to be associated with the charge accumulated on the capacitors at a certain moment in time. Little control, however, is expected over the time duration of the discharge, which is likely to depend on the actual sparkgap conditions (size and pollution) at the moment of the discharge. The RC circuit generator can allow the user to obtain short time durations of the discharges more easily than the pulse-controlled generator, although this advantage is diminishing with the development of new electronic components. Also, the open circuit voltage (i.e. the voltage between the electrodes when the dielectric is not yet broken) can be identified as steady state voltage of the RC circuit. In generators based on transistor control, the user is usually able to deliver a train of pulses of voltage to the electrodes. Each pulse can be controlled in shape, for instance, quasi-rectangular. In particular, the time between two consecutive pulses and the duration of each pulse can be set. The amplitude of each pulse constitutes the open circuit voltage. Thus, the maximum duration of discharge is equal to the duration of a pulse of voltage in the train. Two pulses of current are then expected not to occur for a duration equal or larger than the time interval between two consecutive pulses of voltage. The maximum current during a discharge that the generator delivers can also be controlled. Because other sorts of generators may also be used by different machine builders, the parameters that may actually be set on a particular machine will depend on the generator manufacturer. The details of the generators and control systems on their machines are not always easily available to their user. This is a barrier to describing unequivocally the technological parameters of the EDM process. Moreover, the parameters affecting the phenomena occurring between tool and electrode are also related to the controller of the motion of the electrodes. A framework to define and measure the electrical parameters during an EDM operation directly on inter-electrode volume with an oscilloscope external to the machine has been recently proposed by Ferri et al These authors conducted their research in the field of μ-EDM, but the same approach can be used in any EDM operation. This would enable the user to estimate directly the electrical parameter that affect their operations without relying upon machine manufacturer's claims. Finally, it is worth mentioning that when machining different materials in the same setup conditions, the actual electrical parameters of the process are significantly different.

Material removal mechanism The first serious attempt of providing a physical explanation of the material removal during electric discharge machining is perhaps that of Van Dijck. Van Dijck presented a thermal model together with a computational simulation to explain the phenomena between the electrodes during electric discharge machining. However, as Van Dijck himself admitted in his study, the number of assumptions made to overcome the lack of experimental data at that time was quite significant. Further models of what occurs during electric discharge machining in terms of heat transfer were developed in the late eighties and early nineties, including an investigation at Texas A&M University with the support of AGIE, now Agiecharmilles. It resulted in three scholarly papers: the first presenting a thermal model of material removal on the cathode, the second presenting a thermal model for the erosion occurring on the anode and the third introducing a model describing the plasma channel formed during the passage of the discharge current through the dielectric liquid. Validation of these models is supported by experimental data provided by AGIE. These models give the most authoritative support for the claim that EDM is a thermal process, removing material from the two electrodes because of melting and/or vaporization, along with pressure dynamics established in the spark-gap by the collapsing of the plasma channel. However, for small discharge energies the models are inadequate to explain the experimental data. All these models hinge on a number of assumptions from such disparate research areas as submarine explosions, discharges in gases, and failure of transformers, so it is not surprising that alternative models have been proposed more recently in the literature trying to explain the EDM process. Among these, the model from Singh and Ghosh reconnects the removal of material from the electrode to the presence of an electrical force on the surface of the electrode that could mechanically remove material and create the craters. This would be possible because the material on the surface has altered mechanical properties due to an increased temperature caused by the passage of electric current. The authors' simulations showed how they might explain EDM better than a thermal model (melting and/or evaporation), especially for small discharge energies, which are typically used in μ-EDM and in finishing operations.

Given the many available models, it appears that the material removal mechanism in EDM is not yet well understood and that further investigation is necessary to clarify it, especially considering the lack of experimental scientific evidence to build and validate the current EDM models. This explains an increased current research effort in related experimental techniques. Types Sinker EDM Sinker EDM allowed quick production of 614 uniform injectors for the J-2 rocket engine, six of which were needed for each trip to the moon. Sinker EDM, also called cavity type EDM or volume EDM, consists of an electrode and workpiece submerged in an insulating liquid such as, more typically, oil or, less frequently, other dielectric fluids. The electrode and workpiece are connected to a suitable power supply. The power supply generates an electrical potential between the two parts. As the electrode approaches the workpiece, dielectric breakdown occurs in the fluid, forming a plasma channel, and a small spark jumps. These sparks usually strike one at a time because it is very unlikely that different locations in the inter-electrode space have the identical local electrical characteristics which would enable a spark to occur simultaneously in all such locations. These sparks happen in huge numbers at seemingly random locations between the electrode and the workpiece. As the base metal is eroded, and the spark gap subsequently increased, the electrode is lowered automatically by the machine so that the process can continue uninterrupted. Several hundred thousand sparks occur per second, with the actual duty cycle carefully controlled by the setup parameters. These controlling cycles are sometimes known as "on time" and "off time", which are more formally defined in the literature. The on time setting determines the length or duration of the spark. Hence, a longer on time produces a deeper cavity for that spark and all subsequent sparks for that cycle, creating a rougher finish on the workpiece. The reverse is true for a shorter on time. Off time is the period of time that one spark is replaced by another. A longer off time, for example, allows the flushing of dielectric fluid through a nozzle to clean out the eroded debris, thereby avoiding a short circuit. These settings can be maintained in micro seconds. The typical part geometry is a complex 3D shape, often with small or odd shaped angles. Vertical, orbital,

vectorial, directional, helical, conical, rotational, spin and indexing machining cycles are also used. Wire EDM

CNC Wire-cut EDM machine In wire electrical discharge machining (WEDM), also known as wire-cut EDM and wire cutting, a thin single-strand metal wire, usually brass, is fed through the workpiece, submerged in a tank of dielectric fluid, typically deionized water. Wirecut EDM is typically used to cut plates as thick as 300mm and to make punches, tools, and dies from hard metals that are difficult to machine with other methods. The wire, which is constantly fed from a spool, is held between upper and lower diamond guides. The guides, usually CNC-controlled, move in the x–y plane. On most machines, the upper guide can also move independently in the z–u–v axis, giving rise to the ability to cut tapered and transitioning shapes (circle on the bottom square at the top for example). The upper guide can control axis movements in x–y–u–v–i–j–k–l–. This allows the wire-cut EDM to be programmed to cut very intricate and delicate shapes. The upper and lower diamond guides are usually accurate to 0.004 mm, and can have a cutting path or kerf as small as 0.021 mm using Ø 0.02 mm wire, though the average cutting kerf that achieves the best economic cost and machining time is 0.335 mm using Ø 0.25 brass wire. The reason that the cutting width is greater than the width of the wire is because sparking occurs from the sides of the wire to the work piece, causing erosion This "overcut" is necessary, for many applications it is adequately predictable and therefore can be compensated for (for instance in micro-EDM this is not often the case). Spools of wire are long—an 8 kg spool of

0.25 mm wire is just over 19 kilometers in length. Wire diameter can be as small as 20 micrometres and the geometry precision is not far from +/- 1 micrometre. The wire-cut process uses water as its dielectric fluid, controlling its resistivity and other electrical properties with filters and de-ionizer units. The water flushes the cut debris away from the cutting zone. Flushing is an important factor in determining the maximum feed rate for a given material thickness. Along with tighter tolerances, multi axis EDM wire-cutting machining center have added features such as multi heads for cutting two parts at the same time, controls for preventing wire breakage, automatic self-threading features in case of wire breakage, and programmable machining strategies to optimize the operation. Wire-cutting EDM is commonly used when low residual stresses are desired, because it does not require high cutting forces for removal of material. If the energy/power per pulse is relatively low (as in finishing operations), little change in the mechanical properties of a material is expected due to these low residual stresses, although material that hasn't been stress-relieved can distort in the machining process. The work piece may undergo a significant thermal cycle, its severity depending on the technological parameters used. Such thermal cycles may cause formation of a recast layer on the part and residual tensile stresses on the work piece. Applications Prototype production The EDM process is most widely used by the mold-making tool and die industries, but is becoming a common method of making prototype and production parts, especially in the aerospace, automobile and electronics industries in which production quantities are relatively low. In Sinker EDM, a graphite, copper tungsten or pure copper electrode is machined into the desired (negative) shape and fed into the workpiece on the end of a vertical ram.

Coinage die making

For the creation of dies for producing jewelry and badges, or blanking and piercing (through use of a pancake die) by the coinage (stamping) process, the positive master may be made from sterling silver, since (with appropriate machine settings) the master is significantly eroded and is used only once. The resultant negative die is then hardened and used in a drop hammer to produce stamped flats from cutout sheet blanks of bronze, silver, or low proof gold alloy. For badges these flats may be further shaped to a curved surface by another die. This type of EDM is usually performed submerged in an oil-based dielectric. The finished object may be further refined by hard (glass) or soft (paint) enameling and/or electroplated with pure gold or nickel. Softer materials such as silver may be hand engraved as a refinement.

EDM control panel (Hansvedt machine). Machine may be adjusted for a refined surface (electropolish) at end of process.

Master at top, badge die workpiece at bottom, oil jets at left (oil has been drained). Initial flat stamping will be "dapped" to give a curved surface.

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