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Machine Tools and Manufacturing TechnologyMicro electrical discharge machining

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Micro electrical discharge machining (µEDM)

Gear wheel produced by micro wire EDM

Micro-machining of high-hardness materials combines the challenge of limited mechanical machinability with the challenges of high accuracy and narrow component tolerances. Electrical discharge machining operates independently of the mechanical properties of the materials to be machined and is almost free of process related forces, enabling structures with very small dimensions to be produced. In industrial production, µEDM is mainly used for the manufacture of micro-structured tools such as rollers, micro injection mould inserts or hot embossing tools as well as for the production of micro bore holes. With modern µEDM centres available at the IWF, minimum component dimensions and bore diameters up to D = 10 µm can be achieved with dimensional tolerances up to t = ± 2 µm and surface roughness up to an arithmetic mean roughness value Ra = 70 nm. In addition, a large number of innovative technologies have been developed in the past for machining high-performance materials such as high-alloy steels, tungsten carbides, technical ceramics and diamond materials, which are available for industrial applications.

The following machines are used:

  • Sinking EDM (Genius 1000 of the company Zimmer & Kreim)
  • Wire EDM (AC Vertex 1F and Evolution 2SFF of the company GF Machining Solutions)
  • Drilling EDM (AGIETRON Compact 1 and Quadraton 1 of the company GF Machining Solutions)
Square geometry produced by dry EDM
Cylinder geometry produced by dry EDM

Current research activities in the field of electrical discharge machining include:

  • Development and optimization of machining parameters and manufacturing strategies
  • Integration of new control and machine components
  • Machining of high-performance materials
  • Tool development
  • Converting the results into the economical production of prototype micro components and micro forming tools

Thanks to the close cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK, the results of basic research are quickly and effectively transferred into industrial applications. Further information can be found here.


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