1. Thermal Drilling:
Thermal drilling is a process that uses friction to produce bushings in metal tubing and flat stock.
The combined rotational and downward force of our special Thermal Drilling tool bit creates frictional heat. Temperatures can reach 900ºC for the tool, and 700ºC for the work piece.
The material is transformed into a "super-plastic" state, allowing the tool to displace material and form a bushing. The height of the bushing is roughly 3 to 4 times the original metal thickness.
These bushings are ideal for threaded applications, as the number and strength of threads is significantly increased. It is an excellent alternative to weld nuts or threaded inserts. The bushing can also be used as a support hole for welded, soldered or brazed connections as well as for a load-bearing surface.
The Thermal Drilling System can be used in most ferrous and non-ferrous metals including mild steel, stainless steel, copper, brass and aluminium, with material thickness up to 12 mm. In general, all malleable materials can be thermal drilled. Standard drills are available in any size up to 25.4 mm. diameter. Larger drill sizes are available on request.
No special equipment is required. A standard drill press, milling machine or CNC machining center is suitable. Thermal Drilling is also ideal for automation because it is a chipless process, produces accurate holes, and has a long tool life.
Thermal Drilling is also well suited for short run or prototype work because of its ease of use. There is absolutely no cutting involved during the creation of the hole.
2. Form Tapping: (Cold Forming)
For many engineers, the concept of "Form" tapping or cold forming can be a stumbling block in itself, simply because it is an entirely unfamiliar way of producing a thread. Forming taps however provide multiple advantages. For ductile work materials, thread forming can provide better size control and stronger threads while improving tool life and productivity.
Unlike thread cutting, no material is removed during thread forming. Rather, the process displaces the material to generate the thread form. Since the metal's structure is cold worked along the thread profile, the threads produced are generally stronger and have a smooth, burnished surface finish. Cold forming taps can be operated at higher speeds and feeds than conventional taps.
Forming taps must be applied in materials that cold form well. This includes steels, stainless steels, light metals, light metal alloys and other materials with tensile strength to 1200 N/mm². Generally, materials that produce a continuous chip when drilling are good candidates for thread forming.