The past two decades have been excellent for wire erosion. In that time the technology has become far more reliable. As a result, people can obtain wonderful results that are more stable and able to deliver consistent edge quality and metallurgy.
One of the biggest advances has been the improvements in adaptive controls. They work to control the equipment and maintain the consistency. This works by fine tuning internal parameters in the machine so they can adapt automatically to different changes, including material thickness or steps. In turn it ensures that the cutting can continue at the optimum speed.
A major thing the adaptive controls can do is reduce the risk of wire breakage. In the past this was a big issue with wire erosion. If the user pushed too hard to try to increase the cutting speed, it would often cause the wire to break. This could cause a number of issues, including lost production time, higher tooling costs, and damage to the workpiece.
With the controls, this could no longer happen. They would automatically adapt the parameters to avoid aggressive settings. Even if the user chooses to manually make the machine work harder, the adaptive controls would rebalance it.
Another fantastic benefit of improvements in wire erosion is the reduction of recasting. When you use any kind of thermal process, from cutting to welding, it can create a recast layer. What happens is the heat causes part of the metal to melt. This is known as the heat-affected zone. When it cools, it will re-solidify. However, it will have slightly different properties from the rest of the metal due to the recasting.
With adaptive controls, the recast layer can be incredibly small. In the past it would be between 0.001″ to 0.005″ deep depending on the metal and cutting temperature. However, now it can be 0.0002″ or even less. As a result, it is practically eliminated entirely. This improves the quality of the final product.
Modern wire erosion is also much better at controlling rust. It can be a big surface finish problem, especially when cutting many types of steel. This occurs because the technique uses water and electricity, a process known as electrolysis.
However, newer equipment tends to have an anti-electrolysis system. This can work to prevent corrosion on the cut edges. Users can also try adding chemical inhibitors to the water. They can be effective but do require some maintenance to maintain the concentration level.
It is important to look at burn time here. Bigger, more complex parts take longer to cut. That increases the risk of rust because the metals will be in the work tank for more time. Here the user will likely need rust inhibitors. It may even become necessary to use oil instead of water, especially for long unattended jobs. The oil can allow the use of a thinner wire too.
Do you want to arrange wire erosion services?
Brindley Metals is a leading metal stockist and also works with clients to arrange different processing services for their needs. This can include various types of cutting, polishing, and more. We want clients to be able to come to us confident they can order metals and choose a reliable service to deliver the final products they need.
So, if you want help to order high quality metals or want to arrange wire erosion and other services, trust us. You can get in touch to talk to us about anything.