One of the reasons that top companies turn to specialized services for the production of parts and components is the ability to use the best process and operation to create all elements of the part. It is similar to having the right tools for the job combined with the latest in technology and the trained and experienced operators to ensure that quality control and precision is maintained throughout the process.
Small hole EDM drilling is one such specialized process. It utilizes electric discharge machining technology which means there is no cutting tool that makes direct contact with the workpiece. This has the advantage of allowing even very thin metals and alloys, as long as they are electrically conductive, to be drilled using this technology.
The Uses of the Technology
With small hole EDM drilling, very fine boreholes can be made with precision and accuracy. These types of holes are found in turbine blades, thermoplastic molds as vent holes as well as in fuel injectors and even to control the flow of coolant on cutting tools.
As with all EDM drilling, a spark is used to actually remove a small amount of the workpiece in a very precise location. This is controlled by a computer program, with the ability to stipulate a degree of precision and tolerance range that would not be possible with other types of drilling processes.
In just seconds to minutes, depending on the hardness of the material being drilled and the specifics of the depth of the hole, the process is completed. The use of dielectric fluid over the workpiece and between the electrode allows for the controlled level of energy required for the metal or alloy and also removes the eroded particles, flushing out the hole on a continual basis.
In this process, unlike some of the other drilling methods, it is possible to drill on a curve. This allows holes to be drilled through spherical objects, which is often important in medical devices. Additionally, holes can also be cut on angles with the equipment, which is why it is ideal for the production of turbine blades.
The additional benefit to small hole EDM drilling is that the hole is perfectly smooth once it is fully drilled. There will be no need to deburr or to grind the surface; it will be smooth, even and free from irregularities.
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