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BASIC PRINCIPLE OF WEDM PROCESS The WEDM machine tool comprises of a main worktable (X-Y) on which the work

piece is clamped; an auxiliary table (U-V) and wire drive mechanism. The main table moves along X and Y-axis and it is driven by the D.C servo motors. The travelling wire is continuously fed from wire feed spool and collected on take up spool which moves though the work piece and is supported under tension between a pair of wire guides located at the opposite sides of the work piece. The lower wire guide is stationary where as the upper wire guide, supported by the U-V table, can be displaced transversely along U and V-axis with respect to lower wire guide. The upper wire guide can also be positioned vertically along Z-axis by moving the quill. Figure 1 exhibits the schematic diagram of the basic principle of WEDM process. Figure 2 shows the detail of WEDM cutting gap.

Fig. 1 Schematic Diagram of the Basic Principle of WEDM Process

A series of electrical pulses generated by the pulse generator unit is applied between the work piece and the travelling wire electrode, to cause the electro erosion of the work piece material. As the process proceeds, the X-Y controller displaces the worktable carrying the work piece transversely along a predetermined path programmed in the controller. While the machining operation is continuous, the machining zone is continuously flushed with water passing through the nozzle on both sides of work piece. Since water is used as a dielectric medium, it is very important that water does not ionize. Therefore, in order to prevent the ionization of water, an ion exchange resin is used in the dielectric distribution system to maintain the conductivity of water.

MECHANISM OF MATERIAL REMOVAL IN WEDM PROCESS The mechanism of metal removal in wire electrical discharge machining mainly involves the removal of material due to melting and vaporization caused by the electric spark discharge generated by a pulsating direct current power supply between the electrodes. In WEDM, negative electrode is a continuously moving wire and the positive electrode is the work piece. The sparks will generate between two closely spaced electrodes under the influence of dielectric liquid. Water is used as dielectric in WEDM, because of its low viscosity and rapid cooling rate.

Fig. 2 Detail of WEDM Cutting Gap

Step by Step procedure of WEDM Process Step: 1 Generation of Volts and Amps as wire is surrounded by demonized water as shown in Figure

Volts and Amps produced by power supply

Step: 2 During pulse on time controlled sparks are produced between work piece and electrode which helps in erosion and hence precisely melts and vaporize the material as shown in Figure

Flushing of corroded particles

Step: 3 During pulse off time pressurized dielectric fluid cools the material and flushes away the eroded particles as shown in figure.

Filtration and reuse of dielectric

Step: 4 A filter system is used to filter the eroded particles from the dielectric fluid and the fluid is thus reused as shown in figure.

Spark generation and erosion of material

Features of WEDM process The following are the features of the WEDM process Forming electrode adapted to product shape is not required. Electrode wear is negligible. Machined surfaces are smooth. Geometrical & dimensional tolerances are tight. Relative tolerance between punch & die is extremely high & die life extended. Straight holes can be produced to close tolerances. EDM machine can be operated unattended for long time at high operating rate. Machining is done without requiring any skills. Any electrically conductive material can be machined irrespective of its hardness & strength. EDM allows the shaping of complex structures with high machining accuracy in the order of several micrometers. Advantages of WEDM Process

As continuously travelling wire is used as the negative electrode, so electrode fabrication is not required as in EDM. There is no direct contact between the work piece and the wire, eliminating the mechanical stresses during machining. WEDM process can be applied to all electrically conducting metals and alloys irrespective of their melting points, hardness, toughness or brittleness. Users can run their work pieces over night or over the weekend unattended. The machining of complex geometric forms complex contoured shapes can be produced in one piece rather than several, in the exact configuration that is required. The rapid, economic production of prototypes and low run parts. Precise machining of pre-hardened materials. The ability to accurately machine complex designs, can be

immediately used in assembly, with little or no additional finishing. Because hardened materials can be EDM eroded, the need for the heat treatment of machined parts is eliminated, avoiding potential distortion. Machining to tight tolerances, avoiding distortion and stress. Very low machining forces allow tight tolerances of up to 2 microns to be achieved. With little or no stress imparted into the work only clamping is necessary. Thin materials can also be machined without distortion. The accurate and economic machining of exotic materials including A-286 super alloys, medical grade stainless. Titanium, Hastelloy, Tungsten carbide, Molybdenum, Aluminum alloys and Copper can be machined. Better utilization of valuable materials is provided through chip less machining. Because with wire EDM there is no contact between the cutting wire and the surface, there is no tooling wear and absolute consistency can be achieved on every machined part. Applications of WEDM Process The present application of WEDM process includes automotive, aerospace, mould, tool and die making industries. WEDM applications can also be found in the medical, optical, dental, jewellery industries, and in the automotive and aerospace R & D areas.

The machines ability to operate unattended for hours or even days further increases the attractiveness of the process. Machining thick sections of material, as thick as 200 mm, in addition to using computer to accurately scale the size of the part, make this process especially valuable for the fabrication of dies of various types. The machining of press stamping dies is simplified because the punch, die, punch plate and stripper, all can be machined from a common CNC program. Without WEDM, the fabrication process requires many hours of electrodes fabrication for the conventional EDM technique, as well as many hours of manual grinding and polishing. With WEDM the overall fabrication time is reduced by 37%, however, the processing time is reduced by 66%. Another popular application for WEDM is the machining of extrusion dies and dies for powder metal (PM) compaction. Parts with complex geometry Parts requiring tolerances in the range of tenths Parts where burrs cannot be tolerated Delicate parts that are susceptible to tool pressure Progressive, blanking and trim dies Extrusion dies Precious metals Narrow slots and keyways Mold components Tooling for forging or injection molding operations Medical and dental instrumentation Cutting hardened materials such as carbide Cutting difficult to machine materials like hastealloy, Inconel etc Aerospace, defense and electronic parts Prototypes of different parts Production part