AMAZING video shows metal blocks seamlessly merging after being built by precision engineering that uses “lightning bolts” to slice the material.
The mind-boggling footage shows the intricately cut blocks fitting together so tightly it’s impossible to tell where the join is between them.
The two bits of metal are put together
After it’s impossible to tell where they join is
The metal is cut using a technique known as electrical discharge machining and it is increasingly used in technology that affects our lives such as medical equipment, artificial bones and jet engines.
Electrical discharge machining involves cutting metal using a superfine brass wire through which electricity is zapped to produce a spark.
Brian Pfluger, EDM product line manager at Makino, a machine tool maker told Wired “applying a mechanical force against the workpiece to physically make a chip or remove material.
“Whereas with EDM we’re not physically touching the part—we’re machining with lightning bolts.”
What is electrical discharge machining?The process involves an electrical spark being created between a wire and the item being machined.The wire itself never actually touches the material but rapid-fire sparks vaporizes tiny bits of the metal being cut.
This spark is very carefully controlled so that it only affects the surface of the material.
The process usually doesn’t affect anything below the surface allowing the cuts to be smooth and seamless.
Manufactures make multiple passes of over each of the two parts to hone them.
The electric spark produces intense heat of 14,000 to 21,500°F which can melt almost any material.
That allows the metal to be cut in such a precise way that two blocks can merge so seamlessly.
It is used when a manufacturer needs parts that fit as tightly together as humanly possible or are made of superhard materials that traditional machining techniques can’t touch.
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Pfluger explained that the clearance between the two bits of metal is about five micros,
By contrast a human hair is about 75 microns across and the gap can even be as small as two microns.
Traditional forms of machining can produce only about 20 microns of clearance.
The metal is cut using a spark
The final join is just a fraction the size of a human hair
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