The cables used in a cable 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 part.
Regular economy brass EDM wire is very cost effective and especially the choice of cost conscious operators. Although the cable is cheaper, it still promises good quality and is consistent, clean and straight. Brass wires are even available vQuality Wire EDM filters in the High Performance Brass EDM Wire range. This wire is primarily alloyed with a higher percentage of zinc than the standard variety. Many users prefer these cables as they believe that the higher zinc content promotes speed.
High performance EDM coated wires are becoming more and more popular with users of wire electric discharge machining. Zinc-coated brass wire is preferred as it allows a higher cutting speed. The wires are also produced using different types of core materials, such as pure copper, for better electrical conductivity. Copper and zinc alloys provide higher tensile strength. Coatings are primarily beta and gamma phase brass and layered.
Special wires are also available for specific tasks, such as Compeed EDM wire. This EDM wire has a steel core with an intermediate layer of copper and an outer layer of brass in beta phase. Compeed EDM thread is widely used when excessive breakage is a problem. Similarly, moly EDM wire is highly preferred 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 that require a smaller diameter. They also have a high melting point and high tensile strength, but low electrical conductivity and high cost. Other specialty wires for EDM include zinc-rich brass and silicon-aluminum-alloy-brass wires.