Are you looking for quick answers to the most important questions about spark erosion (EDM)? Then you are in the right place. On this page you will find a list of the most frequent questions and answers sorted by category.
Surrounded by an insulating dielectric fluid, the electrically charged wire electrode never touches the workpiece. Instead, high-energy, plasma-hot sparks over 10.000°C, vaporize the material in front of it, cutting precise shapes in conductive materials, regardless of hardness. The current is pulsed, with some generators switching on and off in units of nano-seconds with cutting speeds over 400 mm²/min. The wire electrodes used in the application are from bedra.
Spark erosion is the uncontested key technology in the production of sophisticated moulding and stamping tools for production of metal and plastic parts for all industries. Additionally, there is the direct machining of complex precision components. Geometric variety and accuracy are the decisive erosion advantage. Unconventional solutions are realised. Freeform surfaces with extreme tapers, small holes, near-sharp corners and fine finishes. Everyone profits from spark erosion: whether we look at our watch, use an electric shaver, board a car, train or airplane, make a phone call, play or sit on stacking chairs … bedra EDM wire always represents a link in the chain of process.
Try the wire button on our website. It is very helpful and you can get to it by clicking here. The wire button will ask a series of questions, depending on your project needs, and recommend the most suitable wire solutions. You may also contact our EDM application team for further inquiries.
Coated bedra wire electrodes achieve a higher processing speed in spark erosion compared to conventional bare wires. This increases the efficiency and profitability of your EDM processes. Coated wires also increase your process reliability, such as the risk of wire cracks in case of poor flushing conditions or when machining high workpieces is reduced. In addition, our coated EDM wires achieve an excellent surface quality and edge zone integrity of the workpiece. Quality, economy and productivity therefore go hand in hand when using coated EDM wires. One example: Compared to conventional brass wire, the use of gapstar® ONE can increase the machining speed by up to 60 percent. If wire consumption and the machine hourly rate are taken into account, production costs are reduced by more than 37 percent.
Spark erosion is a thermal material removal process in which very small amounts of material are locally melted and removed as a result of clocked spark discharges. In the early years of EDM, generator and control technologies were not mature. Often, a very pronounced edge zone with thermal damage such as cracks, microstructural transformations, and residual stresses could appear in the manufacturing process. The so-called "white edge layer", which is created by the very rapid resolidification of molten material, has gained special significance in spark erosion. Due to the extremely fine-grained or even amorphous structure, this zone appears white in micrographs. Many users still associate spark erosion with unavoidable severe damage to the component edge zone.
In modern wire EDM, however, the energy pulses are so short and so controlled that the heat can only penetrate the workpiece to a very small extent. In particular, the use of re-cutting with successively reduced discharge energy means that the thermal influence can now be limited to less than 1 µm. This is an order of magnitude in which the thermal influence of machining processes, such as grinding or hard milling, also lies. Modern wire EDM is safe, effective, and well suited to create custom, high-finish, specialty parts for use in a variety of medical, aerospace, and industrial applications.
Wire erosion can also lead to discoloration of the surface due to oxidation and deposition of residues. However, these can be easily removed with standard cleaning agents.
Erodability requires a certain minimum electrical conductivity of the material. Metals and metallic alloys are therefore easily erodible. Common metals used in EDM are steels, aluminium alloys, titanium alloys, nickel alloys, copper and non-ferrous metals. Sintered materials consisting of hard phase(s) and binder phase(s) can also be eroded. Even if the hard phase is an electrical insulator, the electrical conductivity of the binder phase can make it possible to erode. Classical examples of sintered materials in spark erosion are hard metals and PCD (polycrystalline diamond) and increasingly also special ceramic materials. Graphites can also be processed by spark erosion. Problems can occur if workpieces are provided with a non-conductive coating or have strong oxide layers, or if the material has larger non-conductive phases or impurities, such as non-metallic inclusions. Mechanical properties such as strength and toughness, on the other hand, have no influence on the erodibility.
Electrically non-conductive materials and semiconductors cannot be eroded. These include, for example:
The wire cannot be reused immediately, as it wears out during the EDM process. However, it can be recycled. Our sustainability principle bedra360 is ideally suited for this purpose.
The maximum height of the workpiece is generally determined by the size of the wire EDM system, i.e. by the maximum travel of the Z-axis. For standard machines, the maximum cutting height is usually at least 250 mm. Depending on the size, the cutting height can be up to 1000 mm. However, even greater heights could be achieved by special machine modifications. From heights of 100-150 mm, the use of a wire diameter of 0.30 mm or larger is advisable to ensure efficient machining.
Most bedra products can be used universally on all common wire EDM machines. However, there are wires which are specially developed for certain machine types of the manufacturers. Therefore these wires are not necessarily suitable for use on other machines. Our wire buton will guide you to the best suited bedra wire electrode based on the machine type and other application criteria. Our EDM application team is at your disposal for further inquiries.
The patented and innovative 12-cornered shape prevents it from rolling away. Thus, bedra erosion wires can be stored lying down properly while work safety is improved.
gapstar® ONE delivers unparalleled performance, up to 60% faster cutting than brass wire, while maintaining a competitive price. gapstar® ONE boosts cutting speed for both the main cut and the trimcuts, enabling this new wire to cover a broad range of applications from simple cuts to highly complex contours. Numerous lab tests and real world applications prove gapstar® ONE raises your throughput. Taking into account wire consumption and hourly machine rates, your production cost could be lowered up to 37%.
Another major advantage of gapstar® ONE is the compatibility across all EDM machine manufacturers and machine types with both a hard (gapstar® ONE.9) and two soft wire variants (gapstar® ONE.5 and gapstar® ONE.4). This means that no cumbersome adjustments are necessary in order to achieve the high cutting performance deliverd by gapstar® ONE.
For more information please visit the gapstar® ONE product pages.
gapstar® ONE is a completely new generation of coated EDM wire that utilizes TRIMPAC® technology, something new to the world of EDM. TRIMPAC® means “Triple Impact Sheath” which describes a unique, patented technology that delivers up to 60% faster cutting performance as compared to brass wire. The difference between gapstar® ONE and other coated wires lies in the performance across all cuts with high precision and good surface quality. TRIMPAC® performance increases benefit both the main cut and trimcuts. High cutting precision is also achieved (Ra = 0.25). gapstar® ONE thus covers a very wide range of applications, i.e. from simple cuts to precision work with up to 4 trimcuts.
For more information please visit the gapstar® ONE product pages or check the next question (What advantages does gapstar® ONE offer compared to coated wire?).
gapstar® ONE cuts significantly faster than all wires of the previous generations and is the first product of our new TRIMPAC® wire generation. It offers plug and play compatibility on all machines, i.e. the wire works on machines with bare wire technologies as well as on machines with coated cutting technologies. gapstar® ONE operates with existing standard technologies of your machine. This means that no complicated adaptations are necessary in order to achieve high cutting performance.
gapstar® ONE is also characterized by good stability under poor flushing conditions, which can often occur in the manufacturing process. Additionally, gapstar® ONE achieves significant performance at a very attractive price-performance ratio. In numerous laboratory tests as well as practical applications, gapstar® ONE demonstrates increased throughput by up to 60% compared to brass wire. If the wire consumption and the machine hour rate are taken into account, costs are reduced by up to 37%.
gapstar® ONE is available in 3 different versions : Type ONE.9 is suitable for cylindrical and slightly conical cuts on all EDM machines. The types ONE.5 and ONE.4 have been specially developed for taper machining.
For more information please visit the gapstar® ONE product pages.
TRIMPAC® is bedra's latest patented coating technology. From the strengths of the wire generations cobracut®, broncocut® and topas® bedra developed the new coating technology TRIMPAC®. TRIMPAC® stands for "Triple Impact Sheath", which points out that the TRIMPAC® coating combines three effects:
1. The wire has a thin oxide layer that acts like a semiconductor and prevents faulty discharges, which improves the cutting quality.
2. The increased zinc content of the sheath increases abrasion, while at the same time improving wear resistance.
3. The surface has a special structure, which has a positive effect on the cutting performance and cutting quality.
As a result of the three effects, wires with TRIMPAC® coating technology achieve significantly higher cutting performance levels than the wires of the predecessors.
TRIMPAC® coating technology can be found in our new EDM high-performance wire generation gapstar® ONE.
We recommend our new and innovative betterbrass for standard applications, as it usually offers an increased performance in eroding, which is even more effective with increasing workpiece height.
Furthermore, betterbrass is characterized by the following features in addition to the very good price-performance ratio:
Faster eroding. Less wire consumption. Reduced wire costs
For more information please visit the betterbrass product page.
The differences of betterbrass compared to a standard brass wire are in the specialized development of the alloy. The innovative heat treatment generates the increased performance speeds up to +10%.
For further information please visit the betterbrass product page or check the next question (What advantages does the betterbrass offer compared to a standard brass wire?).
The key to the realization of betterbrass was innovation in our core continuous casting and heat treatment technologies. Through this, our engineers have succeeded in generating a wire electrode from a new type of alloy and thus raising performance to a new level.
For betterbrass, alloy and casting technology are the basis for high process performance and stability already created during the original forming process. The specially developed heat treatment then completes the desired material structure.
The result is an increase in cutting performance of up to 10%. Thus, less wire is used and costs are reduced immediately. The improved results become even more apparent with lager workpiece heights. Reliability and precision meet the highest demands on bright brass wires.
betterbrass combines a lean manufacturing process with a performance characteristic that has never been achieved before:
Faster eroding. Less wire consumption. Reduced wire costs
For further information please visit the betterbrass product page.
topas® plus G can be used to produce the highest surface qualities.
Yes, topas® plus G is also suitable for machining tungsten carbide.
In general, for Japanese machines such as Sodick, Fanuc or Mitsubishi, we recommend our betterbrass for the standard and our gapstar® ONE.9 with the new TRIMPAC® technology for high performance. For Makino, we recommend our topas® H.E.A.T. for high productivity in addition to betterbrass for the standard.
Wires with an elongation >10% are recommended for cutting cones >7°. Our gapstar® ONE.5 is very well suited for this purpose.
For cutting cones >30°, wires with an elongation of >30% are recommended. Our gapstar® ONE.4 is very well suited for this purpose. For more detailed information please use our wire button.
In terms of precision, our cobracut® Type G is the measure of all things.
Our new wire type gapstar® ONE.9 is particularly suitable for series production due to its uniquely high cutting performance.
This depends on the exact requirements of the individual application. Our application team is at your disposal for concrete recommendations.
This depends on the machine type and manufacturer. Our wire button will help you here.
We recommend the microcut® CCA.
This depends on the machine type, manufacturer and specific diameter. Our wire button will help you here
For a quick analysis of the causes and elimination of the error, it is crucial that we inspect the rejected goods. You can therefore support the complaint process by returning at least one wire coil that contains the fault as quickly as possible. An additional short description of the fault in picture or text form is also very helpful. Furthermore, you are welcome to contact our application team personally.
Expose the snagged coils and cut the bundle of coils with scissors. Grasp all ends by hand and pull the wire layers over the coil flange.
The warranty period for all our EDM wires is 12 months after date of manufacturing. (See question: What is the best way to store bedra spools? and What is the best way to store a used spool?) You can find more information on the EDM product page.
The spools are packed in shock, dust, and oxidation-proof material to protect the wire from shipping damage and contamination. The wire should be stored in the original packaging until ready for use. This will ensure the highest quality for your EDM applications. The storage of the EDM spools should also always be stored in a horizontal manner to prevent loosening / falling of individual turns of wire and thus disturbances during unwinding. Warranty will void in case of improper storage. You can find more information on the EDM product page.
It is very important to properly secure the loose end of the wire on partially used spools. This will prevent the wire from shifting on the spool and becoming tangled. Improper handling and storage techniques can cause unwinding problems and unnecessary wire breakage. Partially used spools should be stored in their original packaging material when not in use. This will minimize contamination and shifting of the wire on the spool. You can find more information on the EDM product page.
bedra360 - the all-round sustainability principle enables the recovery of copper and brass wire and its return to a closed recycling loop. The return of used wire recyclables is carried out by our authorised dealer network directly at the end customer. The recyclable materials are collected in transport containers provided by bedra and then collected by us from the dealer. Afterwards, the recyclable materials are reprocessed (cleaning, melting down, casting) to produce new wire.
This offers the following advantages:
bedra360 is currently only available in Europe.