The Working Principles of Molybdenum Wire Cutting

molybdenum wire cutting photoWire Electrical Discharge Machining (Wire EDM) is a non-conventional machining process that employs molybdenum wire as an electrode to cut and shape conductive materials. The working principles of molybdenum wire cutting, which is a subtype of EDM, are as follows:

1.Electrical Discharge: At the core of Wire EDM is the principle of electrical discharge. The process begins with a molybdenum wire, which acts as the cutting tool, and a workpiece made of a conductive material (typically metal). The molybdenum wire is threaded through the workpiece.

2.Dielectric Fluid: Both the molybdenum wire and the workpiece are submerged in a dielectric fluid, such as deionized water, which serves multiple purposes: It acts as an electrical insulator, preventing premature discharges between the wire and the workpiece; The dielectric fluid is continuously circulated to flush away debris and molten material from the cutting area; It helps to cool the workpiece and the molybdenum wire.

molybdenum wire cutting photo

3.Electrical Discharge Generation: A high-frequency power supply is used to apply electrical voltage between the molybdenum wire and the workpiece. When the voltage is increased to a critical level, electrical discharges occur between the wire and the workpiece. These discharges are sparks or arcs that have very high energy.

4.Melting and Erosion: The intense heat generated by the electrical discharges causes localized melting and vaporization of the workpiece material at the point of contact. The high-energy discharges also create a small crater or indentation in the workpiece.

5.Removal of Debris: The dielectric fluid, which surrounds the machining area, helps remove the molten material, debris, and particles created by the electrical discharges. The flushing action of the dielectric fluid keeps the cutting area clean.

6.Controlled Motion: To cut the workpiece into the desired shape, the molybdenum wire is continuously fed through the workpiece. The wire is driven by a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) system, which precisely controls its speed and direction. The controlled movement of the wire ensures that the desired shape is cut.

wire EDM cutting photo

7.High Precision: The process is highly accurate and capable of creating intricate shapes and fine details. The precision is achieved by controlling the electrical discharges and the movement of the wire.


8.Minimal Heat-Affected Zone: Wire EDM generates minimal heat in the workpiece, leading to a small heat-affected zone (HAZ). This is particularly advantageous when cutting materials that are sensitive to heat or when maintaining tight tolerances is essential.


Molybdenum wire cutting is used in various industries, such as aerospace, medical device manufacturing, tool and die making, and more, where precision, intricate shapes, and minimal heat-affected zones are critical. It is a non-contact and non-traditional machining process known for its high accuracy and the ability to cut even the hardest materials.


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