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The Superiority of Graphite Electrode Compared with Copper Electrode

Aug. 26, 2020

The advantages of graphite electrodes are easier processing, high metal removal rate during EDM (electric spark), and low graphite loss. Therefore, more and more mold factories abandon the use of copper electrodes and switch to graphite electrodes. So, what are the advantages of graphite?

1. The specific gravity of graphite is 1/5 of copper, and the weight of the graphite of the same volume is 5 times lighter than copper. The large electrodes made of copper are too heavy, which is very detrimental to the accuracy of the EDM machine tool spindle during long-term electric sparks. Graphite does not, and it is very safe to handle!

2. Graphite can have a high processing speed, and the processing speed of general graphite is 3-5 times that of ordinary metals. Moreover, choosing suitable hardness cutters and graphite can reduce cutter wear and electrode wear.

3. Graphite is easy to shape and does not deform. Some shapes of electrodes are not easily made of copper but can be easily made of graphite. For example, flake electrode, copper is easy to be deformed in machining and EDM, while graphite can be easily reached, and graphite can be used in EDM with a large current and processing speed, there is no need to worry about deformation caused by excessive temperature and damage to the workpiece.

Graphite Electrode

4. For the trimming and polishing of graphite, in general, graphite does not need to be polished after processing. This also reduces the accuracy error of the electrode after forming and shortens the production cycle.

5. EDM (electric spark) of graphite is fast and has little loss. Because the melting point of copper is 1083°C and the temperature of EDM is 1100°C, the copper electrode is relatively easy to wear and wear after EDM. As long as the graphite is sublimated at 3550℃, the graphite electrode can achieve zero loss in the theoretical sense as long as the reasonable processing parameters are matched. Thereby avoiding the number of repeated processing of the electrode.

6. In terms of electrode design and programming, the design of graphite electrodes is also different. Many mold factories usually have different allowances for rough machining and finishing of copper electrodes, while graphite electrodes can use the same allowance, which reduces the workload of CAD/CAM and the number of machining operations. This reason alone is sufficient to shorten the mold design and processing cycle, and also reduce the probability of errors in processing.

Graphite also has its shortcomings. Such as: unlike copper electrodes that can be recycled. But with such a high production efficiency, this is relatively insignificant. Of course, to switch from copper electrodes to graphite electrodes, it is necessary to understand how to use graphite materials and to consider many other factors. Graphite is divided into different grades. The ideal effect can be achieved by using appropriate grade graphite and machine parameters in special applications.

The information is provided by the graphite electrodes factory.


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