As erosion continues, the machine controls advance the electrode through the work, always maintaining a constant gap distance between it and the workpiece. - To understand how EDM removes metal, let's examine a single spark in the erosion process. A pulse of DC electricity reaches the electrode and part, creating an intense electrical field in the gap. - Microscopic contaminants suspended in the dielectric fluid are attracted by the field and concentrate at the field's strongest point. - These contaminants form a high conductivity bridge across the gap as the field's voltage increases. - The material in the conductive bridge heats up as the voltage increases. Some pieces ionize, forming a spark channel between the electrode and the workpiece. - At this point, both the temperature and pressure in the channel rapidly increase, generating a spark. - A small amount of material melts and vaporizes from the electrode and workpiece at the points of spark contact. - A bubble composed of the gaseous byproducts of vaporization rapidly expands outward from the spark channel. - Once the pulse ends, the spark and heating action stop, causing the spark channel to collapse. - The dielectric fluid rushes into the gap, flushing molten material from both surfaces. - The residue left by EDM consists of small solidified balls of material and gas bubbles.