Magnetic filtration attracts efficiencies in EDM

Electrical Discharge Machining is one of the most powerful and precise methods of cutting within the manufacturing industry, and is expected to grow to be a $6 billion industry worldwide by 2027.

The process is appealing thanks to its ability to produce intricate parts from conductive materials that would otherwise be impossible to machine.

However, even with its precision accuracy and high-quality results, the process has its challenges. However, with the help of magnetic technology, many complications can be overcome, increasing machine efficiency significantly.

Efficiently filtered dielectric fluid is instrumental to producing highly accurate and high-quality machined parts, and is essential for transferring the charge during the EDM process, flushing particles out of the gap to prevent them from forming bridges that cause a short circuit.

By using a magnetic filter in conjunction with the traditional paper barrier filter, fluids benefit from the highest level of protection. Using a paper filter alone can allow particles smaller than the pore of the filter to flow through, leaving the fluids susceptible to secondary sparking. By introducing magnetic technology, these particles are quickly and safely removed, making sure virtually all contamination is removed.

Secondary sparking, or re-spark, has long been one of the main hindrances that occur during the EDM process, resulting in a high percentage of energy wastage, occurring when metal particles that have been pushed from the workpiece continue to flow in the dielectric fluid. Such particles can be just microns in size; however, they can cause a spark bridge between the electrode and workpiece that ultimately slows the cutting process significantly.

In the case of wire EDM machines, these problematic particulates within the dielectric fluid can also result in increased wire breakages and inefficient re-threading. Furthermore, the fluid should be clear of particles to prevent further snagging to the re-threaded wire which can in turn result in further wire breakages, making the process even more unstable.

It is key to the EDM process to keep wire breakage and re-threading to a minimum as the automated re-threading systems employed can be time-consuming and unreliable, in some cases forcing the operation to stop completely – particularly troublesome for 24/7 operations, when workshops staffing levels are reduced.

The Micromag magnetic filter, designed and manufactured by Eclipse Magnetics, provides the ideal solution for solving many problems that occur during the EDM process. Its high-intensity collection capabilities coupled with its high-strength magnetic core and an optimised fluid flow orientation work effectively to remove virtually all ferrous particles from the dielectric fluid. This leads to marked improvements in secondary sparking, significantly less wire breakages, increased machine productivity and longer tool life.

The Micromag offers not only a significant rise in efficiency, slashing costs and increasing output, but also provides a rapid return on investment – often within just weeks of install. With its easy-clean design, the collected swarf can be quickly and efficiently disposed of and recycled, significantly cutting down on the need for high-cost consumables.

Eclipse Magnetics

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