Tungsten carbide is well-known for its durability and high melting point. With a level of hardness next to diamond and boron carbide, it is often considered to be a type of material that is extremely difficult to machine. It is most commonly used in applications that need wear or impact resistance like cutters, abrasives, dies, and punches.
Aside from tools used to cut diamonds, wire EDM is the most practical way to machine carbide. The hardness and toughness of the carbide is determined by the amount of cobalt (usually from 6 to 15 percent) that is added to bind a tungsten carbide.
Wire EDM cuts through metals even with high melting point or strength. And since it uses electrical discharges that flow through a fine wire, wire EDM can machine hard and fragile materials even in mass production.
When the binder within the tungsten carbide is cobalt, it is the cobalt that is most quickly eroded by wire EDM. This is because of cobalt’s superior electrical conductivity properties.
Therefore, it’s the amount of cobalt binder that determines the wire EDM cutting speed, while the depth of binder removed is determined by the energy applied during the cutting.
If too much energy is applied, the first cut can cause micro-cracks in the surface. Additional skims could then be used to eliminate those cracks.
To produce the best surface edge for stamping and to eliminate surface micro-cracks, sufficient skim cuts are needed. Careful skimming improves surface quality and produces accurate and high-quality dies.
Cutting Carbide Parts
Here at CAM Tech, we have experience in cutting carbide parts. Typically, we use 4 passes to provide a very smooth finish. One job we have is 2″ thick carbide, and we hold size on an intricate design to +/-0.0002″. That means no compromise when you’re looking for high-precision carbide parts!
As the industry changes, new materials and process requirements can emerge. Products are developed with even greater strength. Other characteristics may be altered so that traditional machining can no longer effectively accommodate those requirements.
Wire EDM remains the perfect fit for cutting any conductive piece, quickly and efficiently. It is an excellent solution for your cutting needs.
Our experienced engineers provide reliable and fast solutions while making sure quality of production is always at its best. We also seek to maintain ongoing communications on all projects to avoid surprises and make sure you are always aware of your project’s status.
As you can see, there are many advantages of using wire EDM machining for your next project. But it’s not the machine that does the work for you. Be sure to choose an experienced company with quality machines and expert operators so you get the best possible results.
Contact us at CAM Tech, Inc. We are happy to discuss your project and demonstrate how wire EDM can benefit your manufacturing requirements.