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Our Raleigh Machinist Explains What EDM Is & How It Works

Machine shops are a fascinating place to visit no matter if you need something worked on or not. At a custom machine shop near me I discovered a large variety of manufacturing equipment. Some work automatically. Others are handled by expert craftspeople to create custom components.

Electrical Discharge Machining

One such product used is Electrical Discharge Machining, or EDM. At a local custom machine shop, this piece of equipment is utilized to create a part’s shape through electrical charges. We asked a Raleigh NC custom machine worker to provide more details.

A Machine By Many Names

EDM is also known as spark machining, spark eroding, or wire erosion. The process is simple. Once placed in the machine, the component is refined through repeating current discharges. These are delivered between a pair of electrodes separated by dielectric liquid.

These two electrodes are named the tool and the workpiece. In order for the process to work, the electrodes cannot make physical contact. The most likely result would be a short that damaged the electrodes and other parts of the machine.

Voltage Increase

When a local custom machine shop uses EDM, they increase the voltage between the two electrodes. As a result, the electric field’s intensity is enhanced. This helps an electric arc emanate from the dielectric fluid. This method removes material from the electrodes.

When the process is stopped, solid particles are flushed away. Then, new liquid dielectric is added between the electrodes. In turn, the voltage between the tool and the workpiece is reset for another session.

EDM Uses

Raleigh NC custom machine shops use EDM for a number of projects. It’s widely implemented in the production of parts for prototypes. The reason is components made may need to have slight tolerance differences.

A custom machine shop near me also uses EDM for the creation of jewelry and badges. In particular, it’s utilized to drill small holes into the same size parts. The process is also used for general maintenance. For instance, if a stuck part needs to be removed from a piece of equipment.

Needless to say, EDM is a multi-purpose tool. Contact us if you want to know more and receive a quote.

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