Abrasive Cutting Master (ACM) - The tool used in the total form machining method of producing graphite electrodes.

Altered Metal Zone (AMZ) - The mechanically and metallurgically altered zones created by the EDM process on the workmetal surface.

Ammeter - An instrument for measuring electric current in amperes.

Amperage - In EDM, the amount of average current measured during the cut.

Ampere - The unit of electric current. Equivalent to the steady current produced by 1 volt across 1 ohm.

Angstrofine - A class of EDM graphite characterized by a particle and pore size of less than 1 micron, very high strength, isotropy, and uniform structure. The most advanced graphite material available.


Anisotropic - Exhibiting properties whose values change when measured along differing axes. Opposite of isotropic.

Anode - The positive terminal of an electrolytic cell or battery. Often incorrectly applied to the tool (electrode) in the EDM process.

Arc - A continuous flow of electrical current between an electrode and workpiece. Should an arc occur in EDM, the workpiece, electrode, or both will usually be damaged. An arc is normally visually recognizable as a yellow flash.

Arc dampener - Same as Arc suppressor.

Arc guard - Same as Are suppressor.

Arc suppressor - A circuit in the EDM power supply that reduces the possibility of arcing.


Automatic depth finder - (Refer first to Depth finder) An automatic depth finder is electrically connected to the servo and will stop the downward advance of the electrode at within 0.0001" of the workpiece surface and will hold it at this distance. Therefore, if the workpiece position is shifted by moving the table in any direction with its handwheels, the servo will constantly adjust the vertical relationship of the electrode to maintain its distance at 0.0001" away from even a previously EDMed cavity, even one with an irregular surface.

Automatic Tool Changer (ATC) - A device used with computer numerically controlled EDM to provide automatic operation.

Average current - The average value of all the minimum and maximum peaks of amperage in the spark gap, as read on the ammeter. For any given available current setting, the higher the average current, the greater the efficiency of the particular cut being made. See Machining rate.

Billet - A block of graphite, usually the uncut size as produced by the manufacturer.

Blind hole - Any hole or cavity cut into a solid shape which does not connect with other holes.

Breakthrough - The exit end of a through-hole cavity at the moment of completion.


Burning - A slang term for EDM.

Capacitor - An electrical component that stores an electric charge. In some EDM power supplies, a bank of capacitors are connected across the machining gap. The current for the spark comes directly from the capacitors when they are discharged.

Carbon - An abundant, naturally occurring element. Often used in place of the word graphite. Graphite is a form of the element carbon. There are four forms of carbon, the others being amorphous carbon (having no definite crystal structure), diamond, and the recently discovered fullerenes (also known as Buckyballs).

Catalyst - A material which causes an increase in the rate of a reaction due to its presence, but is unchanged at the end of the reaction. In EDM, catalyst refers to particulates of graphite and metal which aid in establishing a current path in the dielectric fluid.

Cathode - The negative terminal in an electrolytic cell or battery. In EDM, sometimes incorrectly applied to the workpiece.

Center flow - The pumping of dielectric fluid through either the electrode or the workpiece for flushing.


Center flushing - A method of flushing dielectric through a center hole in an electrode.

Circuit - A continuous path allowing and directing the flow of electric current.

Coarse - A class of graphite characterized by a particle size of more than 100 micron, large pores and voids, a non-uniform structure, and low strength. Not recommended as an EDM electrode material.

Collet - A device used to hold electrodes with round shanks.

Colloidal suspension - Particles suspended in a liquid that are too fine to settle out. In EDM, the tiny particles produced in the sparking action form a colloidal suspension in the dielectric fluid.

Common metals - The first group of metallic electrode materials. Includes copper, brass, and zinc.


Composite - Made up of more than one material. In EDM, copper tungsten is an example of a metallic composite. The copper and tungsten do not alloy, but are simply combined together. Copper graphite is a metallic/carbon composite.

Computer Numeric Control (CNC) - Pro-grammed control of EDM by means of microprocessors.

Condenser, condensor - An obsolete term for capacitor.

Conductor - A material that will carry electric current.

Contamination - The accumulation of debris in the dielectric fluid, causing a decrease in the fluid's dielectric strength.

Coolant - Sometimes used incorrectly to describe dielectric fluid.


Copper graphite - A graphite EDM electrode material infiltrated with copper.

Copper tungsten - A porous tungsten material infiltrated with copper.

Core - The slug that remains after EDMing with an electrode that has a flush hole in it.

Corner wear - In EDM, the comers of the electrode wear the most. Comer wear is the distance up the electrode corners that show signs of wear.

Crater - The small cavities left on the EDMed surface of the workpiece by the EDM sparks. Also known as pits.

Cubic inches per hour (in3/hr) - The units of measure used to describe the rate of metal removal from the workpiece. See Cutting rate, Machining rate.


Cut, take a cut - To machine with EDM.

Cutting rate - Same as Machining rate. DC arcing Same as Arc,

DC (Direct Current) - Constant polarity current, as opposed to Alternating Current (AC), which changes polarity from negative to positive in cycles.

DC arcing - Same as arc

Decalescent point - The highest temperature at which a tool steel may be heat treated and still be hardened in a quenching medium.

Deionization - A return of the condition of the dielectric to a non-conductive state. Failure to accomplish deionization (through flushing) during off-time of the spark is responsible for DC arcing.


Depth finder - An aid for machine set up. An electrical impulse is used to indicate when a downward moving electrode approaches to within 0.0001" of contact with the surface of the workpiece, either to start a cut or to reposition the electrode to resume cutting, as after dressing an electrode. Used when manually or power jogging an electrode downward. Usually used in conjunc-tion with a dial indicator to set depth of cut at which EDMing will stop. NOTE: Do not confuse with Automatic depth finder.

Depth of craters, pits - The distance from the peaks to valleys on an EDMed surface.

Depth-to-diameter ratio - In small hole EDMing, the ratio of the depth of a blind hole compared to the diameter of the electrode used to make the hole.

Diameter (dia.) (Ø) - The length of a straight line through the center of a round object.

Diametral sparking distance - The difference between the electrode dimension and the dimension of the cavity produced.

Dielectric fluid - In EDM, a nonconductive liquid. It fills the gap between the electrode and workpiece and acts as an insulator until a specific gap and voltage are achieved. It then ionizes and becomes an electrical conductor, allowing a current (spark) to flow through it to the workpiece. It also serves to cool the work and to flush away the particles generated by the spark.


Dielectric strength - The voltage at which the insulating qualities of a material break down. In EDM, a specification applied to dielectric fluid.

Discharge - The EDM spark.

Discharge channel - The conductive pathway formed by ionized dielectric and vapor between the electrode and workpiece.

Discharge dressing - The process used to dress worn electrodes prior to finishing. The machine is programmed to move the worn electrode to a dressing block in the work tank. After dressing, the electrode is returned to the cavity for the finishing cut.

Disintegrator - A different branch of EDM technology using the destructive power of electric arcs.

Dither - A slight up and down vibratory motion of the machine tool ram and attached electrode used to improve cutting stability.


Downfeed - A control circuit to advance or retract the electrode.

Dressing - The remachining of the face of a three dimensional electrode to sharpen its detail after it has been used to sink a mold cavity. Electrodes used to make a through-hole are often cut off at the worn end.

Dual power supply - Two EDM power supplies in a single cabinet which can be used to operate two machines simultaneously, or can be connected to apply the full power available to only one machine.

Ductile - Capable of being drawn out or hammered thin.

Duty cycle - The percentage of the on-time relative to the sum of the on-time and off-time setting for a particular cut.

Edge finder - An electrically activated device on an EDM machine to aid in the accurate location of the workpiece with respect to the electrode. When any point along the side of the workpiece is brought to within approximately 0.0001" of any point along the side of the electrode, a signal light or buzzer will be activated.


EDM - See Electrical Discharge Machining.

Efficiency - A measure of EDM performance which varies with the on-time and off-time settings for an EDM cut. See Duty cycle.

Electrical Discharge Grinding (EDG) - An EDM machine resembling a surface grinder but using a wheel made from electrode material. Can also be done with a horizontal spindle attachment (mounted on the quill of a conventional EDM machine) which has a built-in motor drive for the electrode wheel.

Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) - A metal removal process using a series of electric sparks to erode material from a workpiece under carefully controlled conditions.

Electrical Resistivity - The resistance of the flow of electricity through material. Measured in ohms.

Electrode - The tool in the EDM process. It must be made from an electrically conductive material. Its form, or shape, is a mirror image of the finished form or shape desired in the workpiece, with its dimensions adjusted to take into account the amount of overcut that occurs.


Electrode growth - A plating action occurring at certain low wear settings which causes workpiece material to build up on the electrode, causing it to increase in size.

Electrode Management Technology (EMT) - Automatic methods of replenishment, redressing, and feeding of electrodes, especially in flexible machining applications.

Electroforming - An electroplating process used to make metal EDM electrodes.

Electrolyte - A normally conductive liquid or gas.

End wear - A reduction in the length of an EDM electrode occurring during EDMing. Can be given as a dimension, or as a percentage of the original usable length of the electrode.

Entrance opening - The point at which the electrode first enters the workpiece.


Eroding - Material removal by the EDM process.

Exit point - The point at which the electrode pierces the workpiece in through hole EDM.

Exotics - The third group of metallics used as EDM electrode materials. Includes all rarely used metals such as tantalum, nickel, molybdenum, etc.

Exudate - Material that has flowed or diffused out of a porous body.

Farad - The unit of electrical capacitance. Used to rate the energy storing capacity of a capacitor. One farad = the capacitance of a capacitor between whose plates there appears a potential of one volt when charged by one coulomb (ampere = one coulomb/sec.).

Filler - In manufactured carbon and graphite product technology, carbonaceous particles comprising the base aggregate in an unbaked green-mix formulation


Filtering - In EDM, removing the debris from the dielectric fluid before pumping it back into the worktank or through flushing holes in the electrode or workpiece.

Fine - A class of EDM graphite characterized by a particle size range from 11 µ to 20 µ.

Finish - The surface texture produced by EDMing. Usually given in µin Ra (U.S.).

Finish cut - The final cut made with EDM on the workpiece. The finer the finish desired, the longer it will take for the finish cut. Therefore, roughing cuts, done with conventional equipment or with EDM, should be planned to leave only enough material to be removed by the finish cut to gain final size and surface finish desired.

Flashpoint - The temperature at which any flammable material will burst into flame. A factor in selecting dielectric fluid for EDM.

Flexural strength - A property of a solid material that indicates its ability to withstand a flexural or transverse load.


Fluid level switch - An adjustable float switch that monitors the depth of the dielectric fluid in the tank.

Flush pot - A multipurpose box-like fixture which is clamped to the machine worktable. Primarily used when EDMing through-holes. Top and bottom surfaces must be precision ground parallel. The workpiece is clamped to its top, usually over an opening that will permit an electrode to pass through the workpiece without interference from the tank's top plate. It is connected to the dielectric system and can be used for either suction flushing or pressure flushing.

Flushing - Flowing dielectric through the gap to remove the debris caused by machining with EDM.

Flushing hole - A hole through the workpiece or electrode used to introduce dielectric fluid to the gap for flushing purpose.

Flushing pressure - The pressure applied to the dielectric to force it through the spark gap.

Frequency - The number of cycles (on/off) completed per unit of time. Usually expressed in Hertz.


Gap (spark gap) - The distance between the electrode and workpiece when the spark occurs.

Gap voltage - This can be measured as two different values during one complete cycle. The voltage which can be read across the electrode/ workpiece gap before the spark current begins to flow is called the open gap voltage. The voltage which can be read across the gap during the spark current discharge is the working gap voltage.

Generator - An old tern for EDM power supply.

Grain - In manufactured carbon and graphite product technology, a region in a carbon or graphite body that is identifiable as being derived from a particle of filler.

Graphite - One of the four forms of carbon. In EDM, a material used for electrodes which has high heat resistance and transfers electric current very efficiently. It is the most popular electrode material and probably the easiest to machine.

Head - That part of the EDM machine tool in which the quill or rain travels.


Heat-Affected Zone (HAZ) - The layer below the recast layer. This layer has been subjected to elevated temperatures that have altered the properties of the workmetal.

Hertz (Hz) - The international term for one complete electrical wave cycle. In EDM, the unit of frequency.

Hogging - Same as Roughing.

Hunting - An erratic bouncing movement of the quill of an EDM machine during a cut. Causes include poor flushing conditions in the gap, servo response set for too much sensitivity, and build-up of carbon deposits on the bottom of the cavity being EDMed.

Initiation voltage - Same as Open gap voltage.

Injection - The introduction of dielectric fluid to the gap under pressure.


Injection flushing - An external flushing method, also known as jet flushing. Fluid is directed into the gap by means of a flexible tube.

Insulator - A substance which blocks the flow of electric current.

Ion - An atom or group of atoms that carries a positive or negative charge as a result of having lost or gained one or more electrons. It is ionization of the dielectric fluid that provides the conductive path for the EDM spark.

Ionization - Generally accepted as a phenomenon by which the dielectric between two points on the electrode and workpiece become electrically conductive. See Dielectric.

Ionization time - The time from the application of voltage until current begins to flow.

Ionization voltage - The voltage at which current flow begins across the gap.


Ionized path - The path of electrically conductive dielectric molecules between the two points on the electrode and workpiece through which the spark current will flow.

Isotropic - Exhibiting properties with the same values when measured along axes in all directions. Opposite of anisotropic.

Lateral flushing - Same as surface, splash, or injection flushing. Directing the flow of dielectric fluid through a shallow blind cavity.

Low wear - The result of certain settings for EDM machining which produces a very low degree of wear on the electrode. In some cases less than 1%, which is also known as no-wear.

Machine tool - It performs the purely mechanical functions and, along with the dielectric system and the power supply, makes up the complete EDM.

Machining rate - Same as Metal removal rate. The rate at which material is removed from the workpiece by EDM.


Mean overcut - The average of top and bottom overcut.

Medium - A class of EDM graphite materials characterized by a particle size from 21 µ to 100 µ, anisotropy, non-uniform performance, and high porosity.

Metal Removal Rate (MRR) - The rate at which material is removed from the workpiece by EDM. In the U.S., usually expressed in cubic inches/hour (in3/hr).

Metallic composite - A non-alloyed combination of metals, such as copper tungsten.

Microfarad - One-millionth of a farad. See Farad.

Microinch (µin) - One-millionth of an ohm (0.000001 ohm).


Micron, micrometer (µ) - A unit of length equal to one-millionth of a meter.

Microprocessor - A computer-on-a-chip. Found in all advanced EDM systems, the microprocessors provide many control functions.

Microsecond (µs) - One-millionth of a second (0.000001 sec.).

Mil - One thousandth of an inch (0.001").

Millisecond (ms) - One thousandth of a second (0.001 sec.).

Miss - A pulse that does not produce machining due to too great a gap.


Modular construction - When used in EDM, a type of power supply where entire circuits are integrated on boards or modules. This type of construction provides a simple and rapid method of servicing and replacing electronic circuits in the field.

Monitor - In EDM, any mechanical or electrical device which is used to indicate various operating conditions, i.e., ammeters, indicators, lights, pressure gages.

Multiple electrodes - The simultaneous use of electrodes to produce multiple cavities in one or more workpieces.

Multiple lead (Multilead) power supply - A standard power supply usually has one wire lead which can be connected to the electrode or workpiece and through which the total power available can be channeled. With a multilead power supply, it is possible to divide the total power available into small units, each capable of being channeled through separate wire leads connected to multiple electrodes or workpieces for production work. Or, all power can be put through a single wire lead by connecting all the individual leads into one.

No-load - Same as Open gap voltage.

No-wear - Defined by POCO as a condition under which 1 unit or less of electrode is eroded to every 100 units of workpiece.


Non-directional finish - A finish having no specific direction to its surface pattern. An EDM finish is non-directional.

Normal polarity - Negative polarity to the electrode.

Off-time - The time between sparks, measured in microseconds. Too short an off-time may result in DC arcing.

Ohm - A unit of electrical resistance equal to that of a conductor in which a current of one ampere is produced by a potential of one volt.

Oil-through-chuck - A sealed holder for tubular electrodes through which dielectric fluid can be pumped or sucked for center hole flushing.

On-time - The duration time of the EDM spark measured in microseconds.


Open circuit - An electrical circuit which is not complete.

Open gap voltage - The voltage which can be read across the electrode/workpiece gap before the spark current begins to flow. See Gap voltage.

Operating current - Same as Average current.

Oscilloscope - An electronic imaging device which can be used to visually check the shape and voltages of pulses being generated by the EDM power supply.

Output - The voltage and current of an EDM power supply.

Overburn - Same as Overcut.


Overcut - An EDM cavity is always larger than the electrode used to machine it. The difference between the size of the electrode and the size of the cavity (or hole) is called the overcut. When discussing or calculating overcut, be sure to specify whether you are referring to total overcut (diametral overcut) or overcut per side. Diametral overcut is most often used.

Overcut per side - One-half of the diametral overcut value. It is important to follow this procedure in designing electrodes: (1) Select surface finish settings to determine finishing cut overcut. (2) Design finishing electrode size with overcut allowance. (3) Design roughing electrode providing for overlap which will leave proper allowance for the finish machining cut to clean up the surface left by the rough cut.

Overlap - (1) The area by which the electrode for the next cut exceeds the workpiece cavity. (2) The difference between the rough machined hole or cavity size and the size of the electrode to be used for the next cut.

Particle size - The average cross section of the solid graphite particles in a graphite system. The particle size is determined by the carbonaceous material from which the graphite is produced and the method of manufacturing. Also referred to as grain size.

Pause - The absence of electrical energy for a preset time following a discharge of electrical energy (pulse).

Pause duration (time) - Same as Off-time.


Peak current - The maximum current available from each pulse from the power supply/generator.

Percent electrode wear - The volume of electrode worn away as compared to the volume of workpiece worn away.

Pieced electrode - (1) An EDM electrode made using a lower quality graphite as a base material with a higher quality material as the cutting surface. Such electrodes require careful mating to insure conductivity and correct positioning. (2) An electrode that has been repaired by replacing a broken part. All cutting surfaces must be of the same material for uniform performance. (3) An electrode made from several pieces of the same quality material to obtain a bigger electrode.

Plasma - A superheated, ionized gas which forms in the discharged channel due to the action of the thermoelectric force.

Platen - A large flat mounting surface affixed to the end of the quill or the ram of an EDM machine, and on which the electrodes or various electrode holding devices can be mounted. It usually has tapped holes or machined T-slots for convenience in clamping electrodes or holders.

Polarity - In EDM, the designation of positive or negative electrical potential to the electrode.


Pore - EDM graphite is made of individual particles bonded together. This leaves voids or spaces between them, called pores. Larger particles mean larger pores, or spaces, between them. No graphite may be machined to tolerances closer than its average pore size.

Potential - The difference in voltage between two points of an electrical circuit.

Power pack - Same as Power supply.

Power supply - The part of the EDM system that supplies the voltage and current that causes the sparks or discharges between the electrode and workpiece. It is usually housed in a cabinet separate from the machine tool and connected to it by a cable.

Premium graphite - A material with a particle size of 5 microns or less.

Pressure flush - The forcing of dielectric up through flush holes in the workpiece or down through flush holes in the electrode.


Pulsator - Not related to the generation of sparks. It is a unit added to, or built into, an EDM machine which periodically causes the electrode to retract for a short period of time to aid in flushing a deep or blind cavity. Also commonly called a RAM cycler.

Pulse - The discharge of a quantity of electrical energy having preset voltage and amperage and expended over a preset time.

Pulse duration (time) - Same as On-time.

Pulse timer - This refers to the spark, not flushing. Used to set the length of on-time and off-time of the spark. On some machines, on-time and off-time can be set individually in microseconds.

Pulsed flushing - Flushing that is synchronized with the pulsator of the EDM machine. When a machine is set for this mode (Systematic Coordinated Flushing), pressure flushing takes place only when the quill retracts the electrode from the cavity.

Quench - The rapid cooling of the EDMed surface by the dielectric fluid. Partially responsible for the metallurgical changes forming the recast layer and the heat-affected zone.


Quill - The moving member of an EDM machine on which the electrode or electrode holder is mounted. A cylinder working in a bearing or bushing.

Ram - The moving member of an EDM machine on which the electrode or electrode holder is mounted. A dovetail guided arrangement.

Ram cycler - Same as Pulsator.

RC (relaxation) circuit - An outmoded EDM power supply circuit which uses capacitors to store the charge that produces the spark at the gap. The capacitor is charged through a resistor and discharged across the gap when conditions are correct (gap distance, voltage, etc.). This is the original EDM circuit and is seldom used in advanced machines.

Recast layer - A layer created by molten metal solidifying on the workmetal surface.

Reciprocator - An hydraulic device attached to the ram of conventional EDM providing a longitudinal reciprocating action.


Rectifier - This converts alternating current to direct current.

Refeed - Automatic electrode replenishment.

Relaxation circuit - Same as RC circuit.

Repetition rate - Same as Frequency.

Resolidified layer - Same as Recast layer.

Reverse burning - The technique of mounting the electrode on the machine table or flush tank and the workpiece on the quill. Used in EDMing a blanking punch with female electrode.


Reverse polarity - A term used to indicate positive polarity on some machines.

RMS (Root Mean Square) - An obsolete term used in surface finish measurement.

Rotating spindle - Either an accessory mounted on the quill or ram, or a built-in machine spindle used to rotate the electrode to achieve more uniform wear and to improve flushing conditions. Its use is limited to round electrodes. Another use for the rotating spindle is in trimming the workpiece with an indicator, as you would on a jig borer, for setting locations.

Roughing (hogging) cut - The mode of EDM that removes the most material in the shortest time.

Safety cut - The method of undersizing roughing electrodes to compensate for differences between them and the finishing electrodes.

Secondary discharge - A discharge that occurs as conductive particles are carried up the side of the electrode by the dielectric fluid.


Sensitivity - A control switch that adjusts the response time of the servo mechanism.

Servo reaction time - The time between a signal to the servo and its physical response to the signal.

Servo-mechanism - The device that drives and controls the movement of the quill or ram.

Side wear - In EDM, the wear along the side walls of the electrode.

Silicone - A dielectric fluid for special situations consisting mostly of the chemical polymer silicone.

Silver tungsten - A porous tungsten material which is infiltrated with silver.


Slurry - A watery mixture of insoluble material and water. Used as an abrasive in ultrasonic machining.

Solid state power supply - Transistorized circuitry. See Transistor.

Sonotrode - The forming tool in ultrasonic machining.

Spark - An electrical discharge of very short duration between two conductors.

Spark erosion - Another name for EDM. Used primarily outside the U.S.

Spark gap - The distance between the electrode and the workpiece when discharges are occurring.


Spark generator - Same as Power supply.

Spark intensity - The amount of energy in the spark.

Spindle - An upper rotating member of an EDM machine to which the electrode or electrode holder is mounted.

Split electrode - Multiple electrodes on a single machine electrically insulated from each other. Used with multiple lead power supplies.

Split lead power supply - Same as Multiple lead power supply.

Square wave - A term for an electrical wave shape generated by a solid state power supply.


Stability - Refers to the steadiness of EDM cut. The opposite of hunting.

Staged electrode - A multiple electrode set designed to produce a single cavity. From rougher to finisher, each electrode must have dimensions that take into account leaving sufficient metal for the last electrode to produce the required dimensions.

Stepped electrode - An electrode constructed in such a manner as to allow the roughing and finishing of a through-hole cavity in a single set up. The smaller front section is used to rough out the cavity and the larger rear portion is used for finishing.

Stroke - The distance the ram/quill travels under servo control.

Sublime - To pass directly from a solid state to a gaseous state. Graphite does not melt when heated at normal pressures, but passes directly into a gaseous state.

Suction flushing - Using a vacuum to draw the contaminated dielectric away from the gap as opposed to forcing it out with pressure.


Superfine - A class of EDM electrode materials with a particle size from 6 µ to 10 µ characterized by moderately high strengths, usually isotropic.

Surface finish - The relative roughness or smoothness of the machined surface. Usually measured in (in Ra in the U.S.).

Surface flushing - The use of nozzles or hoses to direct jets of dielectric at the cutting area to flush away the debris. Usually employed while pulsating the electrode.

Surface integrity - The quality of the machined surface and subsurface.

Surface roughness - Surface irregularities on a machined surface. See Finish, Surface finish.

Swarf - The eroded particles or residue.


Tap - A control on some early power supplies that changes spark frequency and on-time.

Tap buster - Same as Disintegrator.

Taper - The dimensional difference between the entrance and exit opening of a through-hole cavity, or between the entrance and bottom of a blind hole.

Tapping attachment - An accessory that holds and rotates an electrode as it EDMs a threaded hole into a workpiece. It advances the electrode to produce the pitch of the thread desired.

Tellurium copper - An alloy of copper and tellurium.

Temperature cut-off - The dielectric oil temperature at which the power is shut off.


Thermoelectric - The combined action of heat and electricity.

Through-hole flushing - The use of a pre-drilled hole in the workpiece to inject dielectric fluid up toward the gap by injection flushing or down from the gap by suction flushing.

Tilting head - An attachment allowing the electrode to be tilted in two directions.

Timed retractor - Same as pulsator.

Timer, timing unit - A control unit that establishes the spark on- and off-times.

Total Form Machining (TFM) - An abrasive machining device capable of copying complete graphite electrodes.


Tramming attachment - A mechanical accessory used in EDM to check the accuracy of the setup and to aid in the precise location of the workpiece in respect to the electrode.

Transducer - A device for changing electromagnetic force into mechanical force. A loudspeaker is a transducer. In EDM, a transducer is used in ultrasonic machining of graphite, though the sound produced is too high for most human hearing.

Transistor - An electronic component used as a switch to open and close with extreme speed. Replaced the vacuum tube due to its reliability, long life, and much higher switching speed.

Trepanning electrode - A hollowed out or tubular electrode which is used in through-hole machining to remove a large amount of material from the solid so as to avoid pre-machining by conventional means.

Tubular electrode - A round electrode with a center hole.

Tungsten - A metal used in pure or near pure state as an electrode material. Melting point is 3380°C.


Ultrafine - A class of EDM graphite characterized by a particle size from 1 µ to 5 µ, isotropy, uniform structure, and high strength.

Unstable - Erratic or intermittent EDMing.

Vacuum flushing - Same as Suction flushing.

Vacuum tube power supply - An EDM power supply which uses vacuum tubes to switch the electrical machining pulses (sparks) on and off,

Vibrator - An accessory used on an EDM machine to move the workpiece or electrode back and forth rapidly. Employed primarily for improving flushing in blind cavities.

Viscosity - The tendency of a fluid to resist flow. High viscosity liquids are thicker.


Voltmeter - An instrument that measures voltage. On an EDM machine, it measures the voltage across the gap.

Volumetric wear - The total wear of the electrode expressed in cubic inches.

Wave form - A geometric display of the output of a power supply as seen on an oscilloscope.

Wear - The erosion of the electrode during the EDM process.

Wear ratio - The volume of electrode worn away as compared to the volume of workpiece material removed by EDM.

Wire EDM, wirecut - The electrode is a con-tinuously spooling conducting wire that moves in preset patterns around the workpiece.


Working gap voltage - See Gap voltage.

Workpiece - Any part on which EDM is being used to cut holes or cavities.