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We’ve Got Answers

The experts at SST have compiled a comprehensive list of the most frequently asked questions we hear. If the answer you’re looking for isn’t below, please contact one of our knowledgeable support agents via our Customer Support page, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

​​​​​​Wire EDM FAQs

I normally cut with .25mm (0.010”) brass wire. I am now getting jobs with cuts that are 2”, 3” and 4” tall. Should I go to .30mm (0.012”) brass wire?
Yes, you can. But…
a.   If you don’t already have .3mm guides you will have to purchase them
b.   EDM wire is sold by the pound, .30mm (0.012”) wire gives you 30% less wire length when compared to .25mm (0.010”) wire
c.   cutting a wider kerf will shorten your filter life

A better alternative might be to go to a .25mm (0.010”) coated wire. Start with your brass settings, then when you’re comfortable (on newer machines) push the Slide Bar in your control to the right. Your control will pick hotter settings and you will cut even faster. On older machines lower the SV (servo voltage) and lower the Off time one notch at a time. This should not affect your slot width. You may find that even shorter work pieces will cut faster too.
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Coated wire is usually more expensive than brass. How can I justify the extra cost?
Consider this, with coated wire you will typically cut 15% faster. Therefore, a 10-hour job with brass wire will take 8 ½ hours with coated wire. Let’s say you cost your machine at $75.00 an hour. Saving 1.5 hours of cut time, times $75 an hour = $112 worth of machine time saved. The extra cost for the coated wire is approximately $10.00. Subtract that $10.00 from the $112.00 worth of machine time saved, and you put approximately $100.00 in your pocket. This logic only works if your machine is busy and won’t sit idle at the end of this cut. You can probably ship 7 jobs in a week instead of 6. Even if you cut only 10% faster you still save $60.00.
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Why does SST sell so many different coated wires?
We sell different wires for different machines, materials, height of cut, finish requirements and flushing conditions. Check out the best wires for your machine and the recommended wires for various materials to find the perfect choice for the job at hand.
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What is done with spent DI resin from a tank that goes to SST?
Spent DI resin is recycled or regenerated. Each DI resin tank contains a mixture of resin charged with both anion and cation. At our regeneration facility 40 cu-ft batches are separated, cleaned, rinsed, blended together and put back in a cleaned resin tank.
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How many hours can I expect per location on my power feed contact?
40 to 60 hours.
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I get short filter life when cutting aluminum. Is there anything I can do?
If possible, cut steel for a couple hours on new filters first. The steel slag will help keep the aluminum slag from blinding off the filter media. Using 10-micron filters can also help.
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What grade of graphite electrode cuts best?
Graphite with a smaller grain size is best. We suggest a 5-micron grain size material such as SuperGraph SG-50.
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When I hole pop a start hole in aluminum, sometimes my wire machine can’t pick up the hole and often the cut won’t start. Why is this?
The water from the hole popper has caused an oxide layer that is non-conductive. Hone or ream the hole to remove the oxide layer.
When cutting aluminum, a lower conductivity setting will yield better quality water thus minimizing oxide and allowing faster cuts.
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How can I get the best water quality for cutting carbide in my wire EDM machine?
Use two virgin resin tanks in series with a conductivity light monitoring tank #1. When the light turns red, remove tank #1, put tank #2 in the first position and put a fresh tank in the second position. Replacing all the water in the machine each month is beneficial.
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I am getting slime and bacteria in my wire machine. What can I do?
Install an ozone generator. One unit can service two machines. It will get rid of the slime in the water tanks, flush hoses and solenoids. Eliminating this slime will extend filter and resin life.
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What is the best way to clean parts coming out of a wire EDM machine?
Glass beading-100 grit.
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How should I clean my wire guides and how often?
Every 500 hours put the wire guides into an ultrasonic cleaner using jewelry cleaner as a solution. The unit should have a basket and heat to allow for the most thorough cleaning.
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What is an important consideration when purchasing a new machine?
Buy a machine from an OEM that has good customer support after the purchase.
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​​​​​​Purchasing FAQs

Do I need to register for an account before I can purchase SST supplies?
In order to access our complete parts and supplies catalog, you’ll need to register for an account. If you choose to browse as a guest, we have a limited assortment of products that are available for you to purchase.
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I’ve already established an SST account. Am I able to order online and have my account billed?
Yes. At checkout, you have the option to select “Bill my account.” You may also make the purchase via credit card.
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Do SST prices include taxes?
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What forms of payment do you accept online?
We accept Visa, Master Card, and American Express.

If you created an account with us and have an approved line of credit, we are able to bill your account per the terms established.
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​​​​​​Shipping FAQs

How are shipping costs calculated?
The shipping costs are calculated based on the order weight and the delivery address.
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Can I use my own shipping company?
Yes –we ship collect.
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How quickly can I expect to receive my order?
In general, orders received before 2:30pm ET will be shipped the same day. Once shipped, your order will typically arrive within 1 to 2 business days.
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Do you ship outside of the U.S.?
We ship to anywhere in the U.S.
For Canadian orders, we ship directly from our Windsor warehouse.
For orders shipping to Mexico, we ship directly from our Mexico City, Mexico warehouse.
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