steel cans of wire EDM fluid

Your Basic Guide to Dielectric Fluid for Wire EDM

Dielectric fluid is an important part of a wire EDM. It ensures optimum cutting speed, smooth surface finishes, and cutting accuracy by removing the microscopic particles during the operation. These fluids are not something that you will find at your nearest gas station or a local grocery store. Many manufacturers view EDM fluid as a common fluid that hurts their operations in the long run.

EDM fluids have specific dielectric properties which aid in the cutting process. They do tend to wear over time and need to be maintained periodically to ensure that your EDM machine performs to its peak capability. Don’t worry if you have no clue about the perfect EDM fluid, its function, and capabilities. Here’s your basic guide to dielectric fluid for wire EDM.

EMD Fluid Function

An EMD’s fluid is designed to act as a conductor to specific electric currents. The electrode doesn’t encounter the workpiece, as there is a small spark gap that is responsible for the cutting process. EDM fluid has two main functions. First, it is responsible for an appropriate spark gap ionization. Second, it also flushes away any wastage from the spark gap area which is important for production efficiencies in the process.

Choosing The Right Fluid

Choosing a fluid is not as easy as choosing your favorite beverage from the supermarket. There are a lot of factors and considerations before you decide on the best product. Some machines require premium fluid, while for others, a standard fluid will be enough. There are three types of fluids available for wire EDM: petroleum-based, synthetic, and vegetable-based.

Petroleum-based fluids are the most common type of fluids and are less expensive than synthetic fluids. However, where it has the edge over the cost, the lifespan of the fluid is the lowest amongst the three types. Vegetable-based fluids were manufactured due to the request of the medical industry. FDA restricts the use of a certain types of fluids in the manufacturing of critical medical components.

Synthetic fluids cost more than your usual fluids however, the major benefit of these fluids is that they don’t need to be replaced. Their dielectric properties don’t change or wear down over time. If you decide to purchase synthetic fluids for your wire EDM then all you need to do is top it up periodically.

an EDM machine

Maintenance Of the Fluid

A refractometer is used to judge whether an EDM fluid needs replacement or not. Detailed information on the fluid’s viability and its strength can only be determined by laboratory analysis. However, you can do the traditional “sight and smell” test by comparing your existing fluid with a new one. With time, the fluid changes its color and can smell bad.

As an industry-standard, if you purchase a petroleum-based fluid then you need to change it after 5 years old or more. Furthermore, always use appropriate safety gear when changing the fluid. Dielectric fluids should be periodically maintained and replaced. Don’t be one of those manufacturing companies that don’t pay attention to the maintenance of your machines.

A well-maintained EDM is a powerful, reliable, and efficient cutting tool, and regularly maintaining and replacing the dielectric fluid is an important part of EDM maintenance. If you’re looking for quality wire EDM services, then check out MD Design & Automation. 

As a family-owned business, we specialize in wire EDM and CNC machining Wisconsin. Our motto is to provide the best products and services to our customers without compromising on our quality. We also provide jig and fixture design manufacturing in Wisconsin which includes 2D & 3D modeling, large and small assembly design, and much more. Contact us now or request a quote for your project.

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