During these last years, the evolution of the machining speed of the EDM processes has become a key challenge for this technology. The recent progress made on the spark generators leads to a higher production speed in all processes such wire EDM, die-sinking, drilling, milling, etc. Nevertheless, if the electrical process is developing fast, many limiting factors still remain under investigations. In this context, our group started 7 years ago a research program to increase the understanding of the EDM particle hydrodynamics. We describe in this paper some results obtained and discuss the physical aspects related to the evacuation of the machining debris.
During the EDM process, if the cleaning of the dielectric is not effective and some debris remain in the gap, the electrical resistance is locally reduced and the spark occurs at the same place. The process cannot go farther. In this situation, i.e. when the spark frequency and power are high enough, the machining speed is governed mainly by hydrodynamics. In this paper we will present efficient strategies to clean the gap in the wire EDM (part 1) and die sinking processes (part 2).
For the wire EDM process (part 1), we have designed and analysed dielectric injection nozzles with the aim of improving the cleaning processes in the gap. Three main tools have been used to achieve this goal. The first is a fluid flow simulation model using CFD solvers. Then, the results have been validated using experimental techniques at full scale on EDM machines. Finally, a test rig has been developed and experimental analyses have been done.