Production Drilling with Carbide Offers Choices that Affect the Bottom Line

When drilling reasonably close tolerance holes in materials conducive to using solid carbide drills, you have some choices; uncoated or coated, split point, notched or four facet point, flute length and helix angle and coolant through or solid.

Carbide

Material and depth of the hole will simplify some of your decisions, and the machine tool used for the drilling job will determine if coolant feeding is an option.

Shallow drilling in non-ferrous materials and mild steels is extremely productive as long as the setup is rigid and adequate coolant flow can remove the heat generated by the cutting action.  The point configuration provides a self-centering action, and short flute length eliminates the need of a bushing. Surface feet is typically three times faster than HSS drilling, with slight reduction in the feed rate.

Deep hole drilling up to ten times the diameter can be accomplished by using non coolant feeding drills with slight difficulty, as these drills tend to wander at severe depth.  The optimum for these applications, however, is using a coolant feeding carbide twist drill with AlTiN coating to reduce abrasion and withstand the heat.

Putting coolant at the cutting edge under high pressure is the feature that sets this style tool’s performance apart. The cutting edges stay relatively cool and the chips are forced up the flutes, eliminating the need to continually extract the drill to clear chips.

If you have coolant through the spindle, verify with the manufacturer that you can produce adequate volume and pressure based on the size of the drill. 

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