PowerPoint to accompany

Technology of Machine Tools
6th Edition

Krar • Gill • Smid

Unit 95

Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Permission required for reproduction or display.


• Define electrical discharge machining
and state its principle
• Summarize the EDM process
• Identify the advantages and the
limitations of electrical discharge
• Name the main operating systems of
wire-cut electrical discharge machines


Electrical Discharge Machining
• Commonly known as EDM
• Proved valuable in machining of super
touch new space-age alloys
• Made it relatively simple to machine
intricate shapes
• Used extensively in plastics industry to
produce cavities in steel molds


Controlled spark removes metal during
electrical discharge machining
Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Permission required for reproduction or display.

95-5 Servo Tool Rectifier Work 220-V AC Current Control Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. .

95-6 Principle of EDM • Controlled metal-removal technique where electric spark used to cut (erode) workpiece – Takes shape opposite to that of cutting tool • Electrode (cutting tool) made from electrically conductive material • Dielectric fluid surrounds both tool and work • Servo mechanism gives gap .005 to . between work and tool • Direct current of low voltage and high amperage .001 in.

95-7 Types of EDM Circuits • Several types of electrical discharge power supply used for EDM • Two most common types of power supplies: – Resistance-capacitance power supply • Widely used on first EDM machines • Capacitor charge through resistance from directcurrent voltage source – Pulse-type power supply .

high voltage. high capacitance.95-8 Resistance-Capacitance Circuits • Combination of low frequency. and high amperage results: – Rather coarse surface finish – Large overcut around tool – Larger metal particles being removed and more space to flush out particles • Advantages of resistance-capacitance power – Circuit simple and reliable – Works well at low amperages .

. Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display.95-9 Pulse-Type Power Supply • Similar to resistance-capacitance type • Vacuum tubes or solid-state devices used to achieve extremely fast pulsing switch effect • More discharges per second produces finer surface finish Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies.

95-10 Main Advantages of Pulse-Type Circuit • Versatile and can be accurately controlled for roughing and finishing cuts • Better surface finish produced as less metal removed per spark – Many sparks per unit of time • Less overcut around electrode (tool) .

95-11 The Electrode • Formed to shape of cavity desired • Characteristics of good electrode materials: – – – – – Be good conductors of electricity and heat Be easily machined to shape at reasonable cost Produce efficient metal removal from work Resist deformation during erosion process Exhibit low electrode (tool) wear rates .

and steel • Yellow brass used for pulse-type circuits – Good machinability. cooper. relatively inexpensive – Tool wear rate less and high metal-removal rate almost double of other materials . electrical conductivity • Copper used in resistance-capacitance circuits with higher voltages • Graphite – Gaining acceptance.95-12 Electrode • Common materials (not general-purpose) – Graphite. copper graphite. brass. copper tungsten.

95-13 EDM Process • Servo mechanism – Automatically maintains constant gap ~. senses and corrects any shorted condition by rapidly retracting tool (vertical movement) – Feed control applied to table for horizontal moves • EDM power supply – Provides direct current electrical energy for electrical discharges between tool and work . 001 in.0005 to . between electrode and work – Advance tool into workpiece.

High frequencies • Usually 20. Low-energy spark levels . drops to 20 V after spark initiated 2.000 Hz 4.000 to 30. Low voltages • Normally about 70 V. Low capacitance • About 50 mF or less 3.95-14 Characteristics of Pulse-Type Circuits 1.

95-15 The Discharge Process • Dielectric fluid changes into gas when sufficient electrical energy applied • Allows heavy discharge of current to flow through ionized path and strike workpiece • Heat between electrode and work surface causes small pool of molten metal to form on work surface .

000 Hz – Each discharge removes minute amount of metal – Voltage constant so amount of metal removed will be proportional to amount of charge between electrode and work • Current maintained but frequency increased.000 to 30. results in smaller craters and better surface . molten metal particles solidify and washed away • Electrical discharges occur at rate of 20.95-16 • Current stopped (microseconds).

Acts as coolant for both electrode and workpiece . Confines spark path to narrow channel 4. Serves as insulator between tool and workpiece until required voltage reached 2. Flushes away metal particles to prevent shorting 5. Vaporizes (ionizes) to initiate spark between electrode and workpiece 3.95-17 Main Functions of Dielectric Fluid 1.

95-18 Types of Dielectrics • Must be able to ionize and deionize rapidly and have low viscosity – Allow them to be pumped through narrow machining gap • Most common have been various petroleum products – Light lubricating oils. siliconbase oils and kerosene • Selection of dielectric important since it affects metal-removal rate and electrode wear . transformer oils.

95-19 Methods of Circulating Dielectrics • Must be circulated under constant pressure • Pressure used generally begins with 5 psi and increased until optimum cutting obtained • Four methods to circulate dielectric fluid – All must use fine filters in system to remove metal particles so they are not recirculated .

Inc.95-20 Down Through the Electrode • Hole drilled through electrode and dielectric fluid forced through electrode and between it and work  Rapidly flushes away Pressure metal particles Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. . Permission required for reproduction or display.

Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. .95-21 Up Through the Workpiece • Cause fluid to be circulated up through workpiece • This type limited to through-hole cutting applications and to cavities having Pressure holes for core or ejector pins Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Inc. which causes dielectric to flow through normal . Suction . Permission required for reproduction or display. clearance between electrode and workpiece • Improves machining efficiency.001 in. reduces smoke and fumes and helps to reduce or eliminate taper in work Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies.95-22 Vacuum Flow • Negative pressure (vacuum) created in gap.

95-23 Vibration • Pumping and sucking action used to cause dielectric to disperse chips from spark gap • Valuable for very Vibration small holes. . Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. deep holes. or blind cavities Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies.

95-24 Metal-Removal Rates • Rate dependent on following factors: – – – – – Amount of current in each discharge Frequency of discharge Electrode material Workpiece material Dielectric flushing conditions • Normal metal-removal rate ~1 in3 work material per hour for every 20 A of current .

tool subject to wear or erosion • Difficult to hold close tolerances as tool gradually loses its shape during machining operation • Average wear ratio of workpiece to electrode is 3:1 for metallic tools – Graphite electrodes wear ratio 10:1 .95-25 Electrode (Tool) Wear • During discharge process.

95-26 Reverse-Polarity Machining • New development that promises to be major breakthrough in reducing electrode wear • Molten metal from workpiece deposited on graphite electrode about as fast as electrode worn away • Operates best on low spark-discharge frequencies and high amperage • Improves metal-removal rates and reduces electrode wear .

95-27 Overcut • Amount the cavity in the workpiece is cut larger than the size of electrode used in machining process • Distance between surface of work and surface of electrode (overcut) is equal to length of sparks discharged – Constant over all areas of electrode • Amount ranges from .007 in. and dependent on amount of gap voltage .0002 to .

95-28 Overcut • Amount varied to suit metal-removal rate and surface finish required – • Determines size of chip removal Size of chip removed important factor in setting amount of overcut because: 1. Large chips produced with higher amperages require larger gap to enable them to be flushed out effectively . Chip in space between electrode and work serve as conductors for electrical discharges 2.

high frequency. low capacitance and highest gap voltage required . surface finishes of 2 to 4 µin.95-29 Surface Finish • Low metal-removal rates. possible • High metal-removal rates. produced • Fast metal removal (roughing cuts) – High amperage. low frequency. finishes of 1000 µin. high capacitance and minimum gap voltage required • Slow metal removal (finish cut) – Low amperage.

95-30 Advantages of EDM • Any material that is electrically conductive can be cut. regardless of its hardness • Work can be machined in hardened state. thereby overcoming deformation caused by hardening process • Broken taps or drills can readily be removed from workpieces .

since tool never comes into contact with work • Process is burr-free • Thin.95-31 • Does not create stresses in work material. fragile sections easily machined without deforming • Process is automatic – servo mechanism advances electrode into work as metal removed • One person can operate several EDM machines at one time .

95-32 • Intricate shapes. impossible to produce by conventional means. complete with necessary clearance . are cut out of a solid with relative ease • Better dies and molds can be produced at lower cost • A die punch can be used as electrode to reproduce its shape in matching die plate.

0001 in.95-33 Limitations of EDM • Metal-removal rates are low • Material to be machined must be electrically conductive • Cavities produced are slightly tapered but can be controlled for most applications to as little as .250 in. . in every .

but is easily removed • Slight case hardening occurs – However.0002 in. in diameter are impractical • Work surface is damaged to depth of .003 in. may be classed as advantage in some instances .95-34 • Rapid electrode wear can be come costly in some types of EDM equipment • Electrodes smaller than .

polycrystalline cubic boron nitride. polycrystalline diamond. difficult-to-machine material . pure molybdenum. and ellipses • Process commonly used for: – Machining tungsten carbide. involutes. parabolas.95-35 Wire-Cut EDM Machine • Uses thin brass or copper wire as electrode • Makes possible cutting most shapes and contours from flat plate materials – Complex shapes: tapers.

95-36 The Process • Uses CNC to move workpiece along X and Y axes in horizontal plane toward vertically moving wire electrode • Electrode does not contact workpiece but operates in stream of dielectric fluid – Directed to spark area between work and electrode – When in operation. dielectric fluid in spark area breaks down. forming gas that permits spark to jump between workpiece and electrode – Eroded material caused by spark washed away .

95-37 Operating Systems • Four main operating systems of wire-cut electrical discharge machines – Servo mechanism – Dielectric fluid – Electrode – Machine control unit .

001 to .002 in. and slows or speeds up drive motors to maintain proper arc gap .95-38 Servo Mechanism • Controls cutting current levels. between wire and workpiece – Important there be no physical contact • Advances workpiece into wire. feed rate of drive motors. senses work-wire spacing. and traveling speed of wire • Automatically maintains constant gap of .

Flushes away particles of disintegrated wire and work from gap to prevent shorting 4. Helps initiate spark between wire and work 2. Serves as insulator between wire and work 3.95-39 Dielectric Fluid • • Usually deionized water Serves several functions: 1. Acts as coolant for both wire and workpiece .

copper. tungsten.012 in. molybdenum. in diameter (2 to 100 lb) – Continuously travels from supply spool to takeup spool so new wire always in spark area • Both electrode wear and material-removal rate from workpiece depend on: – Material's electrical and thermal conductivity.95-40 Electrode • Spool of brass. its melting point and duration and intensity of electrical pulses . 002 to . or zinc wire ranging from .

5. Be good conductor of electricity Have high melting point Have high tensile strength Have good thermal conductivity Produce efficient metal removal from workpiece . 3. 4.95-41 Characteristics of Electrode Materials 1. 2.

95-42 Machine Control Unit • Separated into three individual operator panels – Control panel for setting cutting conditions (servo mechanism) – Control panel for machine setup and data required to produce part (numerical control) – Control panel for manual data input (MDI) and cathode ray tube display .