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How To EDM Carbide In A Sinker EDM Machine 

EDM Handbook

Occasionally the need arises to EDM carbide in a sinker EDM machine, though not as often as in the past. This is probably due to the fact that the WEDM is much better at this.

Nevertheless, when you have to burn carbide right now, you need to know how to do it, and it is not so easy to find out what needs to be done. With some patience and a little experimentation, you will discover that it is not so hard, but it is slow.

You should try to get some information from your EDM machine technical support, but most likely they won't know, or will be too slow in responding. So, here is how you can EDM carbide in a sinker EDM.

Click here to get your own copy of the EDM handbook...

How to EDM carbide

  • Use tungsten carbide for you electrode. You will most likely need to WEDM this, or you can machine it, but it is not so machinable.

  • Use negative polarity to the electrode, which is reverse from normal.

  • Use low on and off times, which is high frequency.

  • You need a lot of patience as well, burning carbide is much slower than burning steel.

  • Expect a lot of wear—30%-50%, and longer cycle times than steel.

  • Ask your EDM machine supplier, but don't get too excited if you never find out from them! For some reason, technical support can be rather sketchy at times. If you do have a good working relationship, you can give them a call and ask them for some settings.

Each machine is a bit different, but the concept is the same. Play around with the settings, keep track of what you use and monitor the results. Then, write it down and put it in your notebook for future reference!

Here are some great resources for electrical discharge machining

EDM DVDThis is an authoritative DVD published by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. It is a comprehensive DVD that covers every aspect of EDM.

This DVD is and excellent training tool for new EDM people and "the rest of the company", who may or may not understand this mysterious machining operation.

Click here to get you copy of the Electrical Discharge Machining DVD, by ASME...




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