CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2014 Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart

Electric Discharge Machining

Reference work entry



Electric discharge machining (EDM) is defined as the removal of material by electric discharges between two electrodes (workpiece and tool) in a dielectric fluid. The material removal takes place by non-stationary electric discharges (sparks) which are separated from each other both spatially and temporally (CIRP Dictionary 2004).

Theory and Application

Theoretical Background and General Principle

The basic idea of EDM as material removal process is generally traced back to the work of B. R. and N. I. Lazarenko in Moscow who conducted studies on the minimization of wear on electric power contacts. They tested different materials with discharges of defined energy generated by a capacitor. B. R. Lazarenko published the paper “To invert the effect of wear on electric power contacts,” in 1943. This idea started the development of EDM, using controlled discharge conditions, for achieving precision machining (Kunieda et...

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  2. Klocke F, König W (2007) Fertigungsverfahren: Abtragen, Generieren und Lasermaterialbearbeitung, Band 3 [Manufacturing Technology, Material Removal, Additive Manufacturing and Laser Processing]. Springer, Berlin (in German)Google Scholar
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  4. Lazarenko BR (1943) To invert the effect of wear on electric power contacts. Dissertation of the All-Union Institute for Electro Technique in Moscow/CCCP (in Russian)Google Scholar
  5. Schumacher BM (2004) After 60 years of EDM the discharge process remains still disputed. J Mater Process Technol 149(1–3):376–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© CIRP 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production EngineeringRWTH AachenAachenGermany