What are the best cleaners to maintain my Wire EDM machine?

by | Feb 23, 2022 | Elements of EDM, General, Wire

Proper maintenance and cleaning of Wire EDM equipment is key to achieve reliable and repeatable cutting results. Use the mildest possible, yet most effective cleaner. All cleaning chemicals need to be used sparingly within the machine. It is best to apply cleaners to a shop rag rather than spraying them directly in the machine, which can cause contamination to the water, damage other machine components, negatively affect resin life and consume more cleaning product.

Depending on the type of chemicals used, care should be taken when cleaning. Allowing cleaners to sit on some surfaces too long may etch, bleach or damage surfaces. Avoid getting cleaners on attachment points where power cables connect to the heads, as cleaners can act like a corrosive agent and degrade the power cables.

From a maintenance perspective, it is best to perform machine cleaning on a frequent basis. Cleaning at regularly scheduled intervals (weekly is recommended) will prevent the buildup of heavy debris that can require additional cleaning time and the use of stronger cleaners. Most machines also include a washdown hose to help keep the work tank clean and debris buildup to a minimum.

A general all-purpose cleaner/degreaser (such as Simple Green) should be used when possible. When an aggressive cleaner is required, it is best to use an EDM-designed acid cleaner (such as a Hypros HYP-R2S), which is a phosphoric acid-based chemical. The concentration level of the EDM acid cleaner is specifically designed for the cleaning application without being too aggressive. Another good product is the SAVAN 210 cleaner. While milder and requiring more elbow grease, it does not damage any surfaces, does not create micro cracks in workpieces, and is fully biodegradable.

When using EDM acid cleaners, proper safety is a must, and gloves and eye protection should be worn. Be sure to read and follow the chemical’s directions, as many cleaners come in highly concentrated form and require dilution with water. It is important to use and apply the proper chemicals to your cleaning tasks. Commercial toilet bowl cleaners should never be used on a Wire EDM machine, as these cleaners contain too high of a concentration level for EDM cleaning needs, and sterilization is not a requirement EDM. As part of good general practices, it is best to wash and rinse all cleaned surfaces with water afterward to neutralize any remaining chemicals.

Recommended cleaners:

            1) Hypros HYP-R2S (Aggressive)

            2) EDM Cleaners (Aggressive)

            3) Savan 210 (Less aggressive, biodegradable)

            4) Denatured Alcohol or Acetone

            5) General Cleaners (Simple Green/409/Orange cleaners)

Not recommended/Do not use:

            1) Toilet Bowl Cleaner (Muriatic Acid/HCl)

            2) Lime Away/CLR