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Wire cutting thin metal

teezenutz

Plastic
Joined
Jan 9, 2024
I'm am very new to wire edm and am trying to cut what I think is just cold rolled steel about 2.5mm thickness, to be used as profile grinder templates for the woodworking Industry. I have one end of the workpiece just floating out in the middle of the table and the other end clamped to the table. When cutting, the material twists and warps severely, causing wire breaks and occasionally "prolonged negative erosion" error. Any advice to avoid this twisting action? Machine is an Agie cut e-350.
 
Cold roll sheet on a wire EDM is a pain. I'd try to go for a more stable material (perhaps annealed/normalized steel, or it you need the extra toughness, try a better alloy like 4140 pre-hard).

If you have to do CRS, then stay FAR away from the edges of the sheet. Along the edges where it's been sheared will give you the most problems. Try clamping the plate on a corner or across the full horseshoe of your EDM table to prevent the free side of the plate from wrangling when your part is cut free.

If warpage is fairly small, rough all the way around the part leaving it hanging with tabs. Then come back and run finish passes, then cut the part out one tab at a time and polish off any tab remnant.
 
Cold roll sheet on a wire EDM is a pain. I'd try to go for a more stable material (perhaps annealed/normalized steel, or it you need the extra toughness, try a better alloy like 4140 pre-hard).

If you have to do CRS, then stay FAR away from the edges of the sheet. Along the edges where it's been sheared will give you the most problems. Try clamping the plate on a corner or across the full horseshoe of your EDM table to prevent the free side of the plate from wrangling when your part is cut free.

If warpage is fairly small, rough all the way around the part leaving it hanging with tabs. Then come back and run finish passes, then cut the part out one tab at a time and polish off any tab remnant.
Thanks for the tips! i'll give it a shot.
 
As BajaFire says: cutting through an outside edge is often problematic, and that can apply to many different types of material, in my experience. If you can do so, drill a start hole in from the outside edge by a decent amount, and then start cutting from the start hole to your profile and proceed.

If you happen to be making a number of these templates, then you might consider building up a stack of them, with possibly a sacrificial plate top and bottom, squeeze the bejeezus out of the stack and tig weld some small pieces of metal that attach the top plate to the bottom plate in a few places around your stack. Pop in your start hole through the entire stack, and go to town.

PM
 
Start holes and tabs as others say. Sequence of cuts and making sure your workpiece isn't flexing as you cut is super critical.
 








 
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