7 Golden Rules for working with IME Dielectrics

Correct handling of dielectrics begins with the proper storage of packing drums:

  • If the drums are stored out of doors, they should always lie down and never stand upright, so that no rain water can seep in.
  • When the dielectric is filled into the machine, suitable, clean pumps or containers must be used. Pumps that have been used for acid or caustic solutions destroy the best dielectric at once. PVC tubes are not oil resistant and will become rigid after they have been used for some time.
  • Anticorrosive agents, used to protect the machine during transport, must be removed before the dielectric is filled in.
  • Chlorinated hydrocarbons (e. g. trichloride, tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethane or Freon 12) are deadly for the dielectric. The electrical spark causes the hydrocarbons of the dielectric to combine with the chlorine atoms to form hydrochloric acid. A spark erosion machine must therefore never be cleaned with trichloride or a similar substance. It is better to use a few liters of dielectric for this purpose. Moulds that have been cleaned in trichloride must be absolutely dry before being mounted in the machine.
  • Acids, used to pickle the electrode, must not be allowed to get into the dielectric.
  • The hydraulic system of a spark erosion machine should be absolutely leakproof. Not more than 1– 2% additions of hydraulic fluid should ever get into the dielectric, as the large amounts of additives in these oils will otherwise lead to malfunctioning. Machines with electric servo motors do not have this problem.
  • Again and again, leaks in the water cooling systems of dielectric units lead to a „miraculous“ increase of the dielectric and to rusty tables. IME dielectrics separate quickly and completely from water, and so the water can be drawn off from the bottom of the tank, or the dielectric can be ladled out after about one day. The dielectric can then be used again.

If you adhere to these rules when working with dielectrics, they will last for about one or two years in paper filter units and for about 10 – 20 years in units with precoated filters.

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