Posted On: April 6, 2020
Drilling is one of the oldest machining or cutting techniques in use today. Earlier it was performed using hand-driven tools, whereas now it is more automated and precise. Among the various drilling methods, Electronic Discharge Machining (EDM) Services has gained significant importance in recent years. It also deems fit as a superior alternative to the conventional drilling process. Due to certain reasons, this technique is taking over conventional drilling across various industries.
A Brief Description of EDM Drilling
Electronic discharge machining (EDM) drilling is a process of making holes on the surface by using a tubular electrode that is charged with a deionized water solution. In this process, the deionized water current is pressurized on the surface to cut through it. Since deionized water works as a flushing agent, it removes the material from the surface, according to drill dimensions.
Factors That Make EDM Drilling Superior to Conventional Drilling
Electronic discharge machining is a precision machining technique that is used frequently in the mechanical industry. Some industries like medical equipment and aircraft parts manufacturing demand tighter and faster drilling. In such cases, the EDM drilling takes precedence. It certainly has overtaken the application of conventional drilling for the following discussed reasons.
- Effective for drilling curved surfaces:
When it comes to curved surface drilling, the conventional drilling method often fails. The reason for this is that curved surfaces are subjected to internal stress and strain, which resists the motion of a conventional drill. In the case of Electronic Discharge Machining, there is no metal tool used, it uses a tubular electrode which flushes the material in the forward direction. Also, the electrode rotates at the perimeter of the hole size required, which allows precise drilling on the curved surfaces.
- Suitable for hard material drilling:
Conventional Drilling becomes difficult on hard material surfaces. The resistance offered by the surface against the drilling tool is very high, it can break the tool as well. Often small eroded particles of the material surface interrupt the tool which makes the drilling even more difficult. Unlike conventional drilling, EDM drilling has the potential to pass through the hard material surface like carbide. This drilling is suited for hard surfaces because the electrode flushes out eroded material particles.
- Reduces chip formation and interruption for soft surface drilling:
Soft materials have a tendency to burr or chip during conventional drilling, due to metal to surface direct contact. This affects the speed and precision of the drilling process. However, in Electronic Discharge Machining, there is no physical contact of the electrode with the material surface, therefore it reduces chip formation and increases the speed of the operation.
- Enhanced surface finish:
Conventional drilling is a function of friction between the tool and the surface, therefore it causes an uneven surface finish. Deburring is performed for recovering the surface finish but it is time-consuming and may affect the drill dimensions. EDM drilling does not create burrs, therefore it gives a smooth surface finish.
- Drill depth:
Drill dimensions are such concern while conventional drilling. The operator needs to change the tool forvarying depths of the hole. A small diameter drilling tool fails to drill deeper however, in EDM drilling there is no tool change required for different deeper depths of the hole. Therefore, this technique becomes a practical choice for smaller, deeper holes, as well as the applications where precision is required.
Although EDM drilling offers several benefits over the conventional drilling, the choice of the right technique will depend on your application requirements. If you intended to get professional drilling services done, it is always better to approach an expert like BDE, Inc, which is a leading CNC machine shop in Portland. The company has over 34 years of experience in these services. The company has been offering these services to military, aerospace, medical equipment, automotive and tool manufacturing industries.