by Kat Griffin Kat Griffin

Tapping Electrodes: Applications & Types

copper impregnated tapping electrodesIn the context of the Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) industry, tapping electrodes refer to a specific type of electrode used in EDM processes. They are used to remove material from a workpiece in order to shape it into a desired form.

In machining processes, tapping electrodes play a crucial role in creating precise and accurate threads in a variety of materials, including metals that are difficult to machine using conventional methods. This is particularly important in manufacturing industries where threaded components are commonly required, such as aerospace, automotive, and tooling.



Tapping electrodes used in EDM can be categorized based on the materials they are made of. Below are just some common types of tapping electrodes along with the materials typically used for their construction:


Graphite/Copper Graphite

Graphite tapping electrodes are widely used due to their excellent electrical conductivity and high temperature resistance. They are suitable for machining a wide range of materials, including hardened steels, aluminum, and other alloys. Graphite electrodes offer good wear resistance and can maintain their shape and dimensions during EDM operations.

Copper Tungsten

Copper tungsten is recommended for tapping tungsten carbide/carbide, titanium, and refractory metals, especially in smaller sizes where metals offer strength and maintain sharp edges. This material blends the high electrical conductivity of copper with the exceptional hardness and wear resistance of tungsten. These electrodes exhibit superior thermal conductivity, wear resistance, and compatibility with a diverse range of materials, making them ideal for precise material removal in EDM operations. 

The choice of electrode material depends on factors such as the specific machining requirements, the properties of the workpiece material, and the desired surface finish.


Factors Influencing Performance

Several factors influence tapping electrode performance in EDM, including material composition, electrical discharge parameters, workpiece material, EDM fluids, machining environment, machine setup and maintenance, and operator skill. The material from which the electrode is made affects its conductivity, hardness, and wear resistance, while its geometry impacts access to tight spaces and material removal efficiency. Proper selection of electrical discharge parameters and EDM fluids, along with stable machining conditions, is crucial for achieving optimal results. Additionally, maintaining equipment and ensuring operator proficiency are essential for maximizing tapping electrode performance and achieving high-quality machining outcomes.

Overall, considering and effectively managing these factors is essential for maximizing tapping electrode performance and achieving high-quality results in EDM and other machining operations.


Contact Us for a Quote Today

MWI provides tapping electrodes, including standard and orbital types, available in EC-15, EC-15C, and copper tungsten, which are customized to order upon request. We also offer these options in metric sizes. Check out our EDM Tapping Electrodes data sheet for more information. For tapping electrode inquiries, please reach out to us today at

by Kat Griffin Kat Griffin

Graphite as a Catalyst in Fuel Cells

Graphite, a versatile and widely used material, has found a remarkable application in the field of fuel cells. As the demand for cleaner and more efficient energy sources grows, exploring innovative catalysts becomes crucial. This blog post delves into the role of graphite as a catalyst in fuel cells, shedding light on its unique properties and the impact it can have on advancing clean energy technologies.


The Versatility of Graphitebipolar plate structure

Graphite’s unique properties make it an excellent candidate for catalyzing reactions in fuel cells. Its high conductivity, thermal stability, and chemical inertness contribute to its effectiveness as a catalyst. The structure of graphite allows for efficient electron transfer, a crucial factor in fuel cell performance.


Understanding Fuel Cells

Before delving into graphite’s role, let’s briefly understand how fuel cells work. Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy directly into electrical energy. They consist of an anode, cathode, and an electrolyte. Catalysts play a vital role in facilitating the reactions at the anode and cathode, making the overall process more efficient.


Graphite as an Anode Catalyst

Graphite’s conductivity makes it an ideal material for the anode in fuel cells. It promotes the oxidation of hydrogen molecules, releasing electrons that can be harnessed to generate electricity. The stability of graphite ensures a prolonged and reliable performance, addressing one of the challenges in fuel cell technology.


Graphite in the Cathode

In addition to its role in the anode, graphite can also serve as a catalyst in the cathode. It facilitates the reduction of oxygen molecules, a key step in the overall reaction within the fuel cell. The efficient catalytic activity of graphite contributes to enhancing the cell’s overall efficiency.



Graphite’s emergence as a catalyst in fuel cells marks a significant step towards more sustainable and efficient energy solutions. Its conductivity, stability, and catalytic activity contribute to the overall performance of fuel cells, opening new avenues for clean energy applications. As research in this field continues, the integration of graphite catalysts holds promise for advancing the frontier of fuel cell technology.

by Kat Griffin Kat Griffin

Exploring Dielectric Fluid in Sinker EDM: An Overview of its Purpose and Functions

Sinker EDM machining is used to produce high-precision parts from a variety of conductive materials, which require an electrode, typically made of graphite or copper. The electrode is then plunged toward the raw material/workpiece that has been submerged in a dielectric fluid. Dielectric fluid, often underestimated in its significance, plays a crucial role in enhancing the efficiency, precision, and overall performance of Sinker EDM. In this blog post, we will explore the purpose and functions of dielectric fluid in Sinker EDM, shedding light on its role in the machining process.

The Role of Dielectric Fluid in Sinker EDM

Oil-based dielectric fluid serves multiple functions in the Sinker EDM process, contributing significantly to its success. Here’s a breakdown of its primary roles:

  • Cooling and Thermal Management: Dielectric fluid acts as a coolant during the EDM process. As electrical discharges generate intense heat, the dielectric fluid absorbs and dissipates this heat, preventing the workpiece and the electrode from overheating. Efficient thermal management ensures the stability of the machining environment and prevents thermal-induced deformities in the workpiece.
  • Flushing Away Debris: The dielectric fluid serves as a medium to flush away the debris and eroded particles from the machining zone. This continuous flushing prevents the accumulation of debris, maintaining a clean and efficient working environment. It also helps in preventing the formation of a recast layer on the workpiece.
  • Electrical Insulation: Dielectric fluids act as electrical insulators, isolating the workpiece from the electrode. This insulation prevents premature arcing and short circuits, ensuring a controlled and stable EDM process. The dielectric fluid’s electrical properties play a crucial role in maintaining the spark gap and controlling the discharge.
  • Enhancing Machining Precision: The dielectric fluid’s ability to dissipate heat, flush away debris, and provide electrical insulation collectively contributes to improved machining precision. Consistent and controlled conditions facilitated by the dielectric fluid result in higher accuracy in reproducing intricate details on the workpiece.

sinker edm diagram

Tank Configuration

Sinker EDM machines typically have a tank filled with dielectric fluid where the workpiece and the electrode are being submerged. The fluid allows the electrical discharge to occur between the electrode and the workpiece.



While the fundamental role of dielectric fluid is to facilitate electrical discharge and remove debris in both sinker EDM and wire EDM, the specific requirements and applications may vary based on the machining process and machine configuration. The choice of dielectric fluid will depend on factors such as the material being machined, machine specifications, and desired surface finish.

Understanding the importance of dielectric fluid allows manufacturers to optimize their EDM processes, leading to higher efficiency and superior machining results. To learn about Dielectric Fluid in Wire EDM, click here.

by Kat Griffin Kat Griffin

EDM Tooling Systems: Precision in Manufacturing

EDM Tooling Systems

In the dynamic world of manufacturing, precision is paramount, and one technology that plays a pivotal role in achieving this is Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM). At the heart of EDM’s precision lies its tooling systems, a topic we’ll delve into in this blog post. Let’s uncover the intricacies of EDM Tooling Systems and their indispensable role in modern manufacturing.

Understanding EDM

Electrical Discharge Machining is a machining process that relies on controlled electrical discharges to shape and refine materials. This technique is particularly valued for its ability to work with hard materials and create intricate shapes with high precision.

The advantages of EDM are plentiful, ranging from its ability to cut complex shapes to its suitability for materials that are traditionally difficult to machine. It is a technology in modern manufacturing, contributing to the production of high-precision components across various industries.

Importance of Tooling Systems

While EDM’s principles are fascinating, the success of the process heavily relies on the efficiency of its tooling systems. These systems play a crucial role in maintaining stability during machining and ensuring the quality of the final product.

EDM tooling systems encompass a variety of components, including electrode holders, collets, and tool changers. Each has its unique function, contributing to the overall efficiency of the EDM process.

Electrode Holders
A cornerstone of EDM, electrode holders are integral in securing electrodes in place. They provide stability and precision during the machining process, ensuring the desired outcome is achieved.

Collets and Tool Changers
Collets play a vital role in securing electrodes firmly, preventing any unwanted movement during the machining process. Tool changers, on the other hand, automate the process, enhancing efficiency and reducing downtime between operations.

Choosing the Right EDM Tooling System

Selecting the appropriate EDM tooling system is key for the success of any machining operation. Choosing the right EDM tooling system is important for several reasons and it all stems from the impact it has on the overall efficiency, precision, and success of the machining process. Below are key reasons why selecting the appropriate EDM Tooling System is vital:

  • Precision and Accuracy
  • Material Compatibility
  • Reduced Downtime
  • Longevity and Durability
  • Versatility and Adaptability
  • Cost-Efficiency
  • Quality Assurance

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of EDM tooling systems, regular and proper maintenance is imperative.

For additional insights, refer to our Ready to Run Product Line spec sheet, which showcases MWI’s ability to provide electrodes mounted onto a wide range of EROWA and System 3R EDM Tooling Systems. Explore the possibilities and elevate your EDM machining capabilities with precision and reliability today.