Poco Graphite The search continues: graphite or copper – which to choose?

Editor: Thomas Masuch

France – The debate between graphite and copper as the best EDM electrode material to use has been long-standing. Many argue that graphite is the preferred material while others stand firm with their preference for copper. Poco Graphite completed a test to find out.

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Copper and graphite electrodes differ in cost and technical characteristics.
Copper and graphite electrodes differ in cost and technical characteristics.
(Source: OPS Ingersoll)

Depending on the geographical region, the answer is most always the same. In North America, the preferred electrode material has shifted from copper in the beginning to graphite today. For Europe and Asia, some may argue that copper is the preferred material; however, the use of graphite in these regions is steadily increasing, Poco Graphite says.

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In the United States, graphite is the predominant material with at least 95% of electrodes being produced from this material. Steady increases in the use of graphite in Europe over the past decade have resulted in an electrode material ratio of 75% graphite. Asia follows closely behind with estimations of 45% graphite and the use of graphite continually rising.

With over 70% of the global market using graphite electrode materials today, the question is, what is causing this global change in the industry?

Graphite is produced with a wide range of material characteristics in order to allow matching of the electrode material properties to the EDM application. Less critical applications would use an electrode with large particles, lower strengths and economical price.