Electro Arc
Why are Metal Disintegrators Sometimes Called Spark Eroders?

Spark erosion is the process of vaporizing metal using a high-frequency spark discharge.  Metal disintegrators are a subcategory of EDM, which is often referred to as Spark ErosionMetal Disintegration Machining  (MDM) is the process that Electro Arc machines use.  These machines are specifically used to remove broken bolts, taps, pins, screws etc. quickly      

"Spark Erosion" Applications:

Electro Arc Patented the Metal Disintegrator in 1942

If you are dealing with a broken screw, broken bolt, broken drill, or other broken tooling on a regular basis, you may have used a metal disintegrator to remove them.  Metal disintegrators are specialized EDM machines originally patented in 1942 by Electro Arc.   This broken bolt removal tool is essential in industries such as power generation, off-road vehicles, mining, aircraft repair, and automotive repair.

Remove your Broken Tooling wwth Metal Disintegration Machining

Spark eroders use the process of spark erosion, also referred to as spark machining, or die sinking to remove material from a part with electrical discharges.  This modern machining process is responsible for many of the manufactured processes that exist today. Electrical discharge machining (EDM) has a long history which has led to significant breakthroughs in technology. While EDM has a variety of applications, MDM has the targeted ability to remove broken bolts, broken pins, broken drills, and other broken tooling in minutes. Although metal disintegrators are in a sub-category of Electrical Discharge Machining called  Metal Disintegration Machining, the process is still considered spark erosion, hence the name spark eroder.  Part of this name has to do with the sparks that are created by this process, erosion obviously refers to the process which allows broken tooling to be removed with these machines.  The term spark erosion is more popular in countries like England and India. This term is used because the principal is more commonly understood under this name than “metal disintegrator”.  

In fact, Electro Arc used the term to refer to our own machines between 2008 and 2018.  Uni-Tek had a patent on the name “Tap-Zapper” which became associated with many of these machines as well.  Electro Arc kept the patent for a short time but also used the term to describe many of our AC metal disintegrating machines.  We find that these terms can be confusing and have made an effort to clarify each machine’s model and its features to help you choose the best metal disintegrator for your application.

Electro Arc Metal Disintegrators made in Michigan since 1947

Electro Arc is the original manufacturer of Metal Disintegrators based in Michigan.  The company’s founder, Harold Stark patented the AC metal disintegration process in 1942 and opened Electro Arc’s doors in 1947.  Stillion Industries purchased Electro Arc in 2019 and carries on the quality name that Electro Arc metal disintegrators have become synonymous with.

Electro Arc Metal Disintegrators Last a Lifetime

You can see one of Electro Arc’s original paper promotions above, featuring the following models: 

Model 2-S – Still one of our most popular portable models!  This basic metal disintegrator now features our Arc-er Head and portable design which make it perfect for use in small shops.

1-S (See below) – The model 1-S was the largest table top metal disintegrator offered by Electro Arc initially.  

2-SA – The model 2-SA was one of the first tabletop metal disintegrators offered by Electro Arc.  This self-contained unit is great for high production plants and tool shops.

3-S – The model 3-S originally offered with no built-in coolant tank offers great portability for use in confined spaces.

Not shown on this flyer, the Carbide Impregnator was another flagship product Electro Arc was known for between the 1940s and 1970s.  Electro Arc is the original and best manufacturer of metal disintegrators in the world.  Our machines are known for their durability and long-lasting design.  Now among over 40 configurations available, we are confident you will find an Electro Arc metal disintegrator is still the best value for your application!

The location and contact information is NOT correct in this vintage promotion

Over 75 Years of Michigan Manufacturing

As you can see, the original disintegrating head is different than our current Arc-er, IQ, and Servo disintegrating heads.  The features of Electro Arc metal disintegrators are the same great features allowing anyone to use our machines.  Electro Arc Metal Disintegrators have castors, the choice of AC or DC, and portable or tabletop, including the option to order a custom table top size.  Most models allow you to choose your KVA power rating.  Additional features include support options, head options, remote start/stop, and more!

In 2004, Electro Arc purchased Uni-Tek and integrated DC metal disintegrators into our product line.  Our most powerful machine, the Bolt Eater represents the heavy-duty application of metal disintegration with both portability and the power to remove large bolts!

Stillion Industries is proud to carry on the Electro Arc Metal Disintegrator legacy in Dexter Michigan! We continue to improve the metal disintegrator design and offer repair and refurbishing services for old machines. Learn more about Electro Arc’s history.

Electro Arc Portable AC Metal Disintegrators

How to Remove a Broken Tap Quickly

Electro Arc’s 3-S portable metal disintegrator is featured below. You do not need dielectric fluid to use Electro Arc machines, just coolant. The 3-S is easy on your pockets and convenient for you to use. Our metal disintegrators remove broken taps and drills without damage or coming into contact with the part. You can also use an Arc-er Head with other machine tools like the drill press in the video below:

What is a metal disintegrator?

You have probably heard a metal disintegrator referred to by many names including; tap extractor MDM machine, tap burner, tap zapper, and spark eroder. You can use these metal disintegration machines to remove broken bolts, broken taps, and broken drills without damaging your part. Cheap alternatives are available but can cause more damage or break easily. With an Electro Arc metal disintegrator, you get the precision, speed, and value without the headache of replacing parts on expensive equipment.

Broken tap removal service

You may experience broken taps in any situation, even when drilling and tapping a riffle, the risk of a broken tap is present. It may be tempting to use a simple cheap product like ex-out or Tap Magic, but as many of you know, this often makes the problem worse.

When you are working with broken taps it is important to remember that the center part is solid. Meaning the broken tap can be broken and essentially removed. Taps with a thread size smaller than M12 should be removed by breaking the center. In some cases, your tap will have a very large thread. If this is the case we advise that you divide it into halves for removal. You do not have to apply the electrode to the largest depth. When it reaches the desired depth just turn up the Arc-er head and begin to remove the debris. You can then continue the process of disintegration with your electrode. The power of a metal disintegrator is established by creating a series of electric arcs or discharges that erode the broken metals into smaller particles.

This produces sparks that move between the broken piece and the electrode cutting through the broken machine part.  A puddle is created by the spark (also known as the hot plasma) as a result of the workpiece being melted by the electrical discharge produced by the electrode. The small amount of dielectric is vaporized which creates bubbles around the spark.

Sparks illustrated

It is important to keep your work area clean. A slower removal rate increases the rate of tear which is related to the rate of removal. The head is located in the flush area which helps to speed up the time for metal removal. The result of the removal also affects the size of the spark. Big and long sparks lead to a bigger depth and a rougher surface. For a finer finish, smaller sparks, a higher wear rate, and low removal rate are required. There are copper alloys that have been designed to maximize the process of spark eroding and offer better wear resistance and improved machinability.

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What are the Many Benefits of a Spark Eroder?

At Electro Arc we know that time is important to you. How often can you get things done faster without sacrificing quality? Not very often.  You will find a different experience with Electro Arc’s metal disintegrators (spark eroders).  We have been providing the world with the highest quality EDM portable and table top machines since 1947. We are celebrating 75 years of local metal disintegrator production.

  • SAVE TIME WHEN YOU USE AN ELECTRO ARC METAL DISINTEGRATOR – You can remove broken taps, drills, and bolts in seconds. This doesn’t have to be a long process using a cheap machine that may even not get the job done. Other technology can take up to hours to get done.
  • SAVE MONEY – When you use an Electro Arc metal disintegrator, you can return to normal operations fast! You will save money that could be lost on downtimes, and salvage expensive parts that can be destroyed using a cheap disintegrator or spark erosion machine, or due to the broken bolt, tap, or dowel. Scrap fewer parts and take advantage of quick problem-solving that lasts for years.
  • QUALITY – All of our machines are made to order, 50-65% of the parts are machined right here in our shop. Every machine is assembled and tested here in Dexter, Michigan. you can count on faster, more efficient, and the most cost-effective method to remove broken tools, studs, taps, bolts, drills or fasteners. These machines leave the hole intact which will minimize damage to expensive parts.
  • DURABILITY – Electro Arcs’ reputation precedes us. Our machines are built to last, we have customers using machines that are 40+ years old! Our machines stand up to the rough environment of shops, factories, production facilities, and outdoor use in mines, on off-road machinery, and in military applications.
  • SUPPORT – We have logs of every machine we have ever sold. If we made it, we repair it. We sell accessories including molybdenum electrodes (also made on-site) to support your machine.

We manufacture DC and AC machines. Our metal disintegrators work well with all hardened metals like High-Speed steel tooling. Our portable machines are versatile and ideal for use in many fields to quickly remove a broken tap, drill, or bolt and continue normal operations. Our DC machines are great for Carbides and soft cast metals.

Table top metal disintegrator

Electro Arc