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Definition of Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)
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In the Electrical Discharge Machining process (EDM), metal is removed by generating high-frequency sparks through a small gap filled with a dielectric fluid. This technique allows to machine complicated shapes in hard metals, including refractory alloys.
A necessary condition for achieving a good surface finish is a well controlled gap between the electrode (tool) and the work piece. The sparking gap ranges from about 10 to 100 microns, respectively for finish and roughing. The control problem is therefore the regulation of the gap, that is measured only indirectly by processing some secondary signals like ignition delays, average gap voltage, etc..