Electrical discharge machining (EDM), also known as spark machining is a metal fabrication process whereby a desired shape is obtained by using electrical discharges (sparks). Material is removed from the piece by a series of rapidly recurring current discharges between two electrodes, separated by a dielectric liquid and subject to an electric voltages.
One of the electrodes is called the tool-electrode, or simply the tool or electrode, while the other is called the workpiece-electrode, or work piece. The process depends upon the tool and piece not making physical contact.
When the voltage between the two electrodes is increased, the intensity of the electric field in the volume between the electrodes becomes greater, causing dielectric break down of the liquid, and produces an electric arc. As a result, material is removed from the electrodes
Adding new liquid dielectric in the inter-electrode volume is commonly referred to as flushing. After a current flow, the voltage between the electrodes is restored to what it was before the breakdown, so that a new liquid dielectric breakdown can occur to repeat the cycle.
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