Wire EDM is a method to cut conductive materials with a thin electrode that follows a programmed path. The electrode is a thin wire. As the wire feeds from reel to reel, it uses sparks of electrical energy to progressively erode an electrically conductive work-piece along a path determined by the relative motion of the machine’s axis. Typical wire diameters range from .004″ – .012″ although smaller and larger diameters are available. The hardness of the work piece material has no detrimental effect on the cutting speed. There is no physical contact between the wire and the part being machined. Rather, the wire is charged to a voltage very rapidly. This wire is surrounded by de-ionized water. When the voltage reaches the correct level, a spark jumps the gap and melts a small portion of the work piece. The de-ionized water cools and flushes away the small particles from the gap.
Wire EDM can be accurate to +/- 3 Microns. No burrs are generated. Since no cutting forces are present, wire EDM is ideal for delicate parts. No tooling is required so delivery times are short. Pieces over 16″ thick can be machined. Tools and parts are machined after heat treatment so dimensional accuracy is held and not affected by heat treat distortion.