This thesis looks at the capabilities of cutting thin webs on Wire EDM machines that are difficult or impossible to machine using conventional methods. Covered is an investigation of how different material and web thickness affect the capability of machining thin-walled parts.

Five different metals are used for the test; Aluminum 6061 T6, Yellow Brass SS360, 420 Stainless Steel, D2 unheat-treated tool steel 25-30 RC, and D2 heat-treated tool steel 60-65 RC. The small parts were cut to a 6mm (0.2362 inch) height with six different wall thicknesses: 0.30mm (0.0118 inch), 0.25mm (0.0098 inch), 0.20mm (0.0078 inch), 0.15mm (0.0059 inch), 0.10mm (0.0039 inch), and 0.05mm (0.0020 inch). A Sodick AQ325L Wire EDM machine was utilized for testing.

The methods employed during the study include the following:

• Machine settings and offsets were limited to the default setting selected from the Sodick AQ325L database.

• Two different pre-test cuts were taken on the material to check for web bending during the cutting process.

• Hardness was tested for comparison of the web heights.

This thesis shows that bending increased as webs became thinner and that bending occurred toward the wire as the second side of the web was cut. Bending does affect the height of the web. Physical properties of materials also impacted the height of the web with the hardest material staying intact during the cutting process. This study shows that two factors, physical properties of materials and web thickness, significantly affect cutting results for thin web parts.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





Wire EDM, thin wall, D2 tool steel, yellow brass, aluminum 6061, 420 stainless steel



Technology Emphasis

Manufacturing Systems (MS)