Wires used in a wire electrical discharge machining system are the core of the system. These wires act as electrodes that produce electrical erosion to separate the material from the conductive piece.
The regular economy brass EDM wire is very cost effective and especially the choice of cost conscious operators. Though the wire is cheaper, it still promises good quality and is consistent, clean and straight. The brass wires are even available in the high performance brass EDM wire range. This wire is mainly alloyed with a higher percentage of zinc than the standard variety. Many users prefer these wires, as they believe that the higher zinc content promotes speed.
High performance coated EDM wires are getting increasingly popular with wire electrical discharge machining users. The zinc coated brass wire is preferred, as it enables higher speed for cutting. Wires are also produced using different types of core materials, such as pure copper, for better electrical conductivity. The copper and zinc alloys provide higher tensile strength. The coatings are mainly of beta and gamma phase brass and in layers.
Specialty wires are also available for specific tasks, such as the Compeed EDM wire. This EDM wire has a steel core with an intermediate layer of copper and an outer layer of beta phase brass. The Compeed EDM wire is extensively used where excessive breakage is a problem. Similarly, molybdenum EDM wire is highly favored for applications requiring a wire diameter between .002′ and .006′. Molybdenum EDM wires have a high melting point and high tensile strength.
Tungsten wires are widely used for applications requiring lower diameter. They too have a high melting point and high tensile strength, but low electrical conductivity and high cost. The other specialty EDM wires include, aluminum and brass silicon alloyed and zinc rich brass wires.