Principles of Hole Drilling EDM

EDM Machinery

The EDM in hole drilling stands for ‘Electrical Discharge Machining’. Electrical Discharge Machining Hole Drilling is a unique and quick way to produce semi accurate holes in conductive materials regardless of their hardness at relatively high speeds. Using a rapidly generated ON/OFF Generator to produce sparks the machine controls the gap distance between the electrode as it is held in a rotating spindle, from the material being eroded. As in all EDM processes, Hole Drilling (or sometimes referred to as "Hole Poppers") use electricity to vaporize material, through a rapidly produced sparking processes it reduces particles of hardened conductive materials to mere dust and much like other EDM processes, it utilizes a flushing liquid or ‘dielectric’ in order to wash these eroded particles away from the cut and depositing the flushing liquid to the bottom of the hole being drilled requires a drilling electrode with a through-hole capability or best described as a ‘Tube’. The dielectric used is commonly deionized water (to control the erosion process) or other combinations of chemicals such as Vytol.


The EDM drilling tubes are typically a low cost material yet highly conductive such as brass or copper and copper alloy. These drilling tubes or "electrodes" are easily worn during the EDM process and must be frequently replaced.  The hole  produced can be roughly 200-250 times smaller than the effective drilling depth so the process is extremely effective for long deep small holes. Typical hole diameters range from 0.010” up to 3/16”. There are also applications and systems available for 5-Axis machining that would produce holes at varying angles depending on application.  

Click Here for a Video introduction to Small Hole EDM Drilling by Carl Sommer of Reliable EDM


Common Uses for this process include Broken Tap/Drill/Reamer Extraction, Wire EDM Hole Starting and Cooling Holes in Aerospace Engine Components among many other more specific application.


Common industries for this technology include Aerospace, Energy, General Machine Shop, Tool & Die, Cutting Tools, Moldmaking/Repair and the Medical Field.


Click HERE to Read more in depth about Hole Drilling EDM Machinery from Carl Sommer of Reliable EDM

If you need information on Small Hole EDM Machining or any other EDM or Machining Process, the experts at Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales, Inc. can assist you.  Call us today at 813-444-4555 or contact us HERE

Andy Kamashian
Andy Kamashian
Andy has extensive experience in Machining as well as Metal Fabricating. Gaining his knowledge through years dedicated to Tool & Die Making, Machining and Metal Fabrication with hands-on applications at companies such as: Kamashian Engineering, US Navy/DOD, Boeing, Charmilles, AGIE and Calypso Waterjet Systems. Andy is able to share this experience to assist you in your machining and fabrication equipment and application needs.
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