Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) is an advanced machining process that relies on the precise application of electrical sparks to produce a desired workpiece shape or finish. Wire EDM (WEDM) is a variation of the EDM machining method that is often used for cutting plates or forming ties, tools or punches from harder metals that are typically not conducive to standard machining processes.
The EDM manufacturing process begins by submerging the part or component into a tank filled with dielectric fluid. The next step is feeding a thin stand of metal wire, which is held between upper and lower guides, through the submerged part. The guides are typically CNC-controlled and designed to move in the X and Y plane. An electric current is then introduced to generate the sparking and produce the desired cutting or shaping action.
What Are the Benefits of Using Wire EDM Machines?
Wire EDM machining offers an array of important benefits during the manufacturing process. Because it can remove materials without exerting a high amount of cutting force, it is ideally suited for situations requiring low levels of residual stress. This minimizes the risk of damage to the workpiece. By enabling hard materials to be wire cut, wire EDM machining eliminates the need for post-machining heat treatment, which in turn reduces the likelihood of surface distortion. Submerging the workpiece in dielectric fluid imposes almost no heat stress on the part.
In addition, this EDM machining process produces an accurate, burr-free surface and edge finish. The workpiece is ready for immediate use with finished parts and components with no post-treatment steps required. The absence of heavy force facilitates adherence to tight, repeatable tolerances and results in remarkable consistency. It is also easy to produce highly complex or contoured shapes with wire EDM machining, providing greater flexibility to designers.
Many manufacturers also choose wire EDM machining service for the fast turnaround time. This allows you to receive the finished workpiece quickly to minimize unproductive downtime. If cost is a primary factor, wire EDM machining offers a more budget-friendly alternative than many other machining processes. What’s more, it is also an excellent choice if you routinely use “exotic” materials in your manufacturing processes, such as tungsten carbide, super alloys or medical-grade stainless steel, as these materials are more easily shaped by wire EDM machining than other methods.
Wire EDM Service Applications
Wire EDM services are applicable to mold and die-manufacturing processes and are increasingly used for making prototypes and production parts. Industries that make frequent use of wire EDM machining include automotive, aerospace and electronics. Specific applications include the manufacturing of blanking punches and extrusion dies as well as in metal and tool fabrication processes. The highly precise nature of the process makes it ideally suited for working with delicate, complex or intricate parts.
In general, EDM machining services make sense when working with parts with very thin walls, as the lack of contact and force results in no workpiece deformation. It also works well with parts that feature differing geometries at the top and bottom. EDM cutting services are recommended when there is a need to make angled, recessed or intermittent cuts.
Finally, EDM machining is ideally suited for applications requiring multiple component assemblies, as it facilities tapering or recessing to create one workpiece.
Astro Machine Works Possesses Broad EDM Machining Capabilities
Astro Machine Works has been providing reliable and affordable machining and milling solutions since 1984. As one of the top wire EDM machining companies in the U.S., we have the in-house capabilities to execute a wide range of EDM machining projects. We are an ISO- and AS-certified small business that is a full-service machining solutions provider. We can produce a customized precision EDM part that will exceed your quality and performance expectations.
Our ongoing investment in technology, manpower and equipment enables us to remain at the forefront of machining innovation and continue to deliver exceptional value to every customer, whether it’s a large company with hundreds of employees or a ten-person shop that needs a cost-effective solution for smaller machining jobs. We are able to provide specialized machining services that are beyond the scope of many of our competitors, enabling our customers to remain viable in today’s challenging global marketplace.
Contact Us to Learn More About Our EDM Machining Services
Discover why so many companies in aerospace, electronics, telecommunications and general manufacturing turn to Astro Machine Works for all their machining needs. Contact us to for more information about our wire EDM machining services and to receive a no-obligation project quote today.