EDM Basics - 4: Dielectric Fluid
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As mentioned the dielectric fluid acts as an insulator between the electrode and the mold cavity. There are many dielectrics to choose from based on the insulation properties of the fluid. Air is not a very good insulator. Water is best. But water has a few drawbacks. First, it causes rust. Second, the electrical discharge separates the water into pure hydrogen and pure oxygen. A very explosive pair. A good compromise then is kerosene. No rust problem and no dangerous gasses are produced with kerosene.

The dielectric must be constantly filtered, cooled and recirculated. A great deal of heat is generated during the EDM process and the dielectric absorbs the most of it. Additionally the process creates a lot of debris and this needs to be filtered out of the system.

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label: edm, electircal discharge machining, electodes, voltage, dielectic fluids, graphite, wire edm, die-sinking, injection molding