Zinc-Coated EDM Wire Speeds Cutting, Improves Finish
MC Machinery Systems, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp., offers its ZT Hybrid Wire for EDM machining. The hybrid wire features a baked-on external zinc layer for average speeds 30 percent faster than conventional brass wire, higher accuracy, better surface finish and clean cutting, according to the company. The wire is available in both hard and soft versions, with spool sizes ranging from P2 through P15, and from K125 through K250.
The baked-on zinc coating forms microscopic pockets on the wire’s surface that allow more water to integrate into the cutting process. The extra water maximizes spark energy for faster, more accurate cutting and finer finishes. The added wire texture also gets water closer to the brass core, promoting more efficient off-time cooling and minimizing the risk of electrode breakage.
The baking process adheres the outer zinc layer to the wire’s brass base better than conventional coating, the company says. This strong bond makes ZT Hybrid Wire more resistant to flaking, resulting in a cleaner cutting process that can reduce machine tool maintenance and extend operating life.
By systemizing die making into repeatable steps, Dies Plus, a division of Otto Engineering, is using its machinists to effectively make dies. This solution relies on a paperless color-coding system to convey the tolerances machinists need to hit in order for tool and die makers to do the final fitting.
A shop specializing in wire EDM for large mold components now offers EDM “turning” of small, intricate parts. Despite the potential risks involved in early adoption of new technologies, the shop believes this practice gives it a leg-up on the competition and lets it gain experience with alternative machining techniques before offering them to customers.
A new breed of power generators for wire EDMs has options for reducing, even eliminating, one of the unwanted side effects of this very versatile metalcutting process.