The present study aims to investigate the fundamental electrical discharge machining (EDM) characteristics of silicon carbide (SiC) single crystal material. The EDM machining performances of SiC are experimentally studied and compared to that of steel. Die-sinking EDM of SiC by utilizing copper foil electrodes was proposed and investigated. It was found that EDM characteristics of SiC have a big difference from those of steel. The EDM speed of SiC is higher and the tool wear ratio is lower compared to that of steel material, although SiC has a higher thermal conductivity and melting point. Thermal crack caused by the thermal shock of electrical discharges was found as another main factor contributing to the removal of the material in EDM of SiC material. Also it is concluded that the new foil EDM method for slicing SiC ingot has potential for slicing SiC wafers in the future.
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