5 Factors that determine your Graphite electrode selection

As EDM industry is growing year-on-year, and steadily the outlook towards it has changed during this period. Market looks at EDM as proven and precise machine, which can do wonders as compared to conventional machining.

While there are many methods used to come to conclusion as to what material is to be used, we at Sparkonix have identified 5 key factors that for it. Lets take a look at the same.

The grade that gives you the rigth Metal Removal Rate (MRR)

Achieving an efficient MRR is not simply a matter of the right machine settings. It also involves direct energy dissipated in the EDM process. Graphite is generally much more efficient than metallic electrodes, however metal removal rates vary widely between graphite types. With the proper electrode material/work metal/application combination MRR can be maximized.

Focus on corner wear resistance

Typically there are 4 types of wears – volumetric, corner, end, and side. Corner wear impact more as contours of the final cut are determined by the electrode’s ability to resist the erosion of its corners and edges. Minimizing corner wear requires choosing an electrode material that combines high strength with high temperature resistance.

Electrodes and machining parameters for expected surface finish

Producing the best finishing can be achieved by using electrode with combination of materials. Final surface finish is usually a mirror image of electrodes, proper power supply settings, high frequency, low power, and orbiting are key aspects of final finish. High strength graphite are the best choices for finishing electrodes.

The right strength depending on machining

Harder electrode materials will be more prone to chipping during the machining process. Most machining personnel know Graphite is easy to cut. So strength of the graphite has to be defined as per the machining process while selecting a electrode.

The total cost of material, not the upfront costs

Cost of electrode material is often considered as point of decision. However, this cannot be considered in isolation. Fabrication time, cutting time, labor, electrode wear— all these factors depend on the electrode material more than on any other factor. Hence, it is pertinent to understand properties and performance characteristics of the electrode in detail, and not to select the electrode on upfront costs.

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