Chicago, IL -Electrical discharge machining, used for more than 50 years for the three-dimensional machining of all electrically-conductive materials, has always required the highest precision. Now, a quantum leap forward has been announced by Agie Charmilles +GF+, taking the process to the next level - the nanometer range.
Movements in the sub micron range are very difficult using conventional machine tool mechanisms because the contact friction of the metal parts causes stick-slip effects (backlash) and reversing errors. By comparison, the Agietron Micro-Nano system exploits elastic and reversible material deformation in order to realize small, controlled movements of a few nanometers. On the basis of this simple principle, six elastic parallelograms are moved and regulated by three linear motors, while the position of the main axes is continually measured with glass scales.
The calibration of the linear movements takes place with the help of a three-beam laser system. The positioning accuracy thus achieved of ±0.1 µm (±100 nm) is better than a standard EDM by a factor of 5 to 10. In fact, this limit is only imposed by the ambient conditions in which the machine works. When ED machining, a form deviation of less than 1 µm is achieved.
Among the applications envisioned for the Agietron Micro-Nano are micro-valves and nozzles in control technology, telecommunications, and optics. Further possibilities include:
o 3D-inserts in micro-mold making
o Precision parts for the watch industry
o Micro-stampings for micro-to-nano gearwheels and lead frames
o Manufacture of micro-tools
For more information on the new Agietron Micro-Nano and the complete line of Agie EDM systems for wire and die sinking applications, contact Agie US, 575 Bond Street, Lincolnshire, IL 60069, 1-800-438-5021, agieus.com. Agie US is a unit of Agie Charmilles Corp. and is responsible for the marketing, sales and service of Agie EDM systems in the United States and Canada.
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