The Wonder Material of the Space Age

has already for 50 years been used in the constructions of Sodick EDMs.

Supreme thermal stability and electric insulation of the EDM work zone!

Marvel Rigid Insulation Skeleton of Hi-Tech EDM Work-Zone

Ceramic components of Sodick EDMs:
cases of ceramic sliders, supporting arms, workpiece support, machine table, non-wear parts of the wire feed mechanism.

FineXCera®robust & rugged ceramics of Sodick:

ultra low thermal expansion – 3-4 times less than steel

ideal electric insulator> 1014Ohm*cm

low specific gravity – 2.5 times lighter than steel

supreme chemical and corrosion resistance

hardness close to that of sapphire

Canonic Material for Geometrically Accurate Electric Discharge Machine Tools

EDM Ceramic Work Zone

Exclusively in all Sodick EDMs

Sodick fine ceramics are used to make all those load-bearing structures of the working area,
whose thermal expansion affects the accuracy of machining and which are to be electrically isolated.

Sodick Wire-Cur EDM Ceramic Work Zone

Fine Ceramic parts
in Sodick
Wire-Cut EDMs
table plate,
workpiece stands
and upper
and lower arms

Fine Ceramic parts
in Sodick
Die-sinker EDMs
table plate
and electrode plate
+ Z axis carriage
(in some models)

керамический рабочий стол и надэлектродная плита электроэрозионного станка Sodick

Electric discharge machining is

simultaneously an electrical and thermal processes.

EDMing sign

On the one hand, EDMing is a thermal process.
High temperatures in the EDM gap are unevenly transmitted through the workpiece, table,
electrode or wire and guide blocks to the bearing structures, causing them to deform.
The geometric accuracy is lost, which results in defects and spoilages.

high temperature sign

On the other hand, EDMing is аn electrical process.
The instruments in EDM process are electric sparks of different power and frequency that erode metal.
The work area must be completely electrically insulated from the rest of the machine structure,
and parts of the work area – from each other.

Therefore it infers that
the ideal materials for the EDM work zone
are merely and nothing but
robust electrical insulators
with very low thermal expansion.

chemical and corrosion resistance
(a must for water wire-cut EDMs)
high hardness 
(for tables of die-sinker EDMs)
sufficient rigidity and strength
(for all electric discharge machines)

Sodick EDMs are the Industry's only EDMs

with the In-House Materials, Ideal for EDM Work Zone,

that had been created and developed specifically for EDMs

What materials are used to build the work zone of conventional non-Sodick EDMs?

Steel is a rigid and durable material, but it has a high
thermal expansion coefficient and low corrosion and
chemical resistance, and is also an electrical conductor. These are the 4 imperfections and flaws that make steel as it is unsuitable for the working area of EDMs.

Electric insulating plastics
are as а material not rigid enough.
You can not use plastic to make supports and arms for a wire-cut EDM.
Plastic can only be used and is used as an

insulator to insulate steel supports and arms.

Non-Sodick EDM work zone structures
are merely “sandwiches” made of materials
unsuitable for the EDM work zone!

As a result due to thermal deformations – “play” of the position of the electrode relative to the part, and due to chips on the surfaces of insulators leakage currents and a drop in performance in years of operation.

“Sandwiches” of unsuitable materials
is a inexpensive but compelled engineering solution, contrived and adjusted to the Laws of Physics! 

in Sodick EDMs

Instead of adapting for the EDM work zone the materials that are unsuitable by the laws of physics Sodick engineers in contrast had developed and manufacture special materials that are ideal for the EDM work zone.  

Ultra low thermal expansion 
With the same heat influence ceramic load-bearing structures in the EDM work zone of Sodick “play” 3 – 4 times less than steel structures with plastic insulators of the conventional EDM. Accordingly, the geometrical losses of the relative position of the electrode and the workpiece is 3 to 4 times lower..

No matter how accurate is the design of the EDM itself, if parts of the electric discharge zone “play” when heated, precise machining (precision on the workpiece) is next to impossible.

Ideal galvanic isolation
of the high-frequency EDM work zone from the control systems and other parts of the machine. The ability to generate impulses that are not implemented on machines with a metal table, where the part “sits” on the ground.

The verdict by the laws of physics is not subject to appeal!

Sodick's flawless and uncompromising engineering solution:

Sodick found an ingenious solution to the problems of thermal stability in EDMing back in the 80s.
Since then, Sodick is the world’s first and only manufacturer of EDMs with fundamentally new proprietary materials in the work (EDMing) zone. These fine ceramic materials have been developed by Sodick over many years of research and are known as FineXCera®. More often, these materials are referred to simply as “Sodick ceramics”.

Impeccable & Perfect Solution

The highest electrical resistance is extremely important for the stable operation of computer systems of EDMs that machine by high-frequency, powerful electric spark discharges.
Complete galvanic isolation
In Sodick EDMs the workpiece and the electrode are completely electrically isolated from all machine structures and from each other.
Complete galvanic isolation means that the workpiece does not “rest” on earth (connected to machine tool body)!

Complete electrical insulation of parts of the work zone makes it possible to generate specific and unique spark pulses, which are impossible on EDMs with metal table, where the workpiece “rests” on the body (earth). In effect generation of bipolar pulses and pulses of a special waveform is facilitated. This facilitates the efficient use of bipolar pulses with which electrolytic erosion (anodic oxidation) is impossible.

Further unique and exemplary properties of Sodick ceramics:

  • Due to crystal structure of Sodick ceramics its hardness is close to that of sapphire and as a result the ceramic work table of a Sodick EDM never get scratched.
  • The ceramics of the Sodick machine-tools are either as strong as or superior to traditional steel and cast iron but have significantly lower specific gravity. With lower mass of structures Sodick EDMs impose less load on the drives.

It is generally known that the bearing parts (tables, columns) of the best measuring machines are made of granite. But the thermal expansion of granite is 2 times more than that of Sodiсk’s ceramics!
Sodick customers acquire machine tools with work zone quality higher than that of the best measuring machines.

And this quality (unlike non-Sodick EDMs with metal-plastic work zone) is maintained for the entire service life of Sodick Wire EDMs. And it is proven by many years of machine-tool operation experience. To a greater extent, the same applies to the high quality of the electrical insulation of the electrical discharge working area of Sodick EDMs.

Sodick ceramics are ideal and alternativeless materials for the work zone of high-quality and geometrically accurate electric discharge machines!

long ceramics - 5500 mm - 220 kg

The longest and largest part of ceramics - a world record!

Many manufacturers of EDM-tools have tried to use ceramics (and would like to use ceramics in their machine-tools), but it is expensive. It is expensive and time consuming if you order ceramics from specialized companies. But despite of the fact that the best doesn’t come cheap, Sodick has been able to cut-down production cost of the ceramic parts developed by Sodick engineers and manufactured in-house by Sodick.

The ceramic parts for the EDM work zone (alumina-base SA610 fine ceramics) are mass-produced at ceramic departments in Sodick’s plants in Japan, Thailand and China. Zirconium oxide parts – wear-free rollers, shafts and wire feed deflectors – as well as extra-large SA610 parts are manufactured at Sodick F.T. in the suburbs of Kaga (Japan).

Sodick Ceramics are a Hi-Tech Basis of EDM-Tool Architecture of the Future!

FineXCera®robust & rugged ceramics of Sodick:

ultra low thermal expansion – 3-4 times less than steel

ideal electric insulator> 1014Ohm*cm

low specific gravity – 2.5 times lighter than steel

supreme chemical and corrosion resistance

hardness close to that of sapphire

Ceramic Work Zone

Active Longivity of Sodick Wire-Cut EDMing

1 ceramic work zone EDW = 1,5 conventional EDWs

(In terms of productivity 1 ceramic work zone Wire-Cut EDM =

= 1,5 conventional "non-Sodick" EDWs with metal-plastic work zone constructions)

Experienced operators know well that after a year or two since the start of operation, the cutting speed of wire EDM machines decreases. This occurs as a result of a decrease in the quality of insulation of electrical insulators due to the deposition of conductive sludge and chips on the plastic insulator surfaces. In ceramic work zone EDMs, the decline also takes place, but considerably – 3 times – slower. Both quality and area of electrical insulation is incomparably higher and larger than in metal-plastic EDMs!

A ceramic machine not only lives longer, but also outputs more products within its life-span.

A ceramic machine costs almost the same as a metal-plastic one, but it lives longer and brings much more profit to its owner!

Wire EDM cutting speed (productivity) loss (%) within first 6 years of operation

mach speed loss ceramic vs nonceramic

In metal-plastic machines (non-Sodick), the surface area of insulators is extremely small.

in 6 years of operation, a metal-plastic non-Sodick wire-cut EDM loses up to 30% of productivity.

In metal-plastic machines (non-Sodick), the surface area of insulators is small. In machining, the exuded and excreted EDM chips (sludge) deposit on the plastic surfaces and are absorbed by the insulators themselves. Chips are an unavoidable by-product of EDM machining. The quality of electrical insulation degrades with time, and degrades very quickly: in 6 years of operation, a metal-plastic Wire-Cut EDM loses up to 30% of productivity (cutting speed). Chips settle on ceramic structures of the Sodick ceramic Wire-Cut EDMs just as well. But, firstly, the area and volume of electrical insulation in Sodick ceramic machines are incomparably much larger – the supporting structures themselves are insulators! And they are in fact high quality, high voltage insulators ->10 14Ohm•cm. Secondly, Sodick ceramics have an exceedingly higher chemical resistance!

Even if the initial performance of a Sodick Wire EDM is the same as competing non-Sodick machines, in a few years a non-Sodick machine will be significantly inferior to a Sodick Wire-Cut EDM. Non-Sodic metal-plastic machines lose productivity 2.5 – 3 times faster than it subsides in Sodick EDWs with ceramic work zones.

Non-Sodick metal-plastic Wire-Cut EDMs lose their cuttting-speed 2.5 to 3 times faster than Sodick Wire-Cut Electrical Discharge Machines with ceramic work zone bearing constructions

керамик FineXCera - 3600мм, 440кг

Over the past years, Sodick has been working to improve the properties of its FineXCera® ceramics. In particular, the coefficient of thermal expansion of the most popular SA610 ceramics has become even smaller – from 4.7×10-6/°C to 4.5×10-6/°C and even 4.4×10-6/°C. Sodick is working on technologies of manufacturing  particularly large-size and extra large-size ceramic parts. In the near future, such parts are likely to be seen in new oversized (XXL – XXXL – XXXXL) Sodick EDMs.

The Industry’s largest sintering furnace capable of sintering of the largest size ceramic parts.

піч для випалу кераміки

Video presentation of Sodick ceramics (in Japanese):

Joint development of Sodick’s large high-precision ceramic parts + other unique components from Sodick creates comprehensive “large precision equipment”

Innovation-Technical Centers "SodicoM"