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Drilling a few thousand tiny holes in Ti2 tube

jools

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
I have some 45MM od x .9mm wall thickness grade 2 titanium tubing that I need to turn into a perforated tube with 1.25mm holes. 400 holes per part would be the minimum I'd like though a couple of thousand would be preferable (it's for gas flow).
Is this feasible on a mill or am I barking up the wrong tree? I've had quote for laser drilling them but it's just not feasible, but is doing this on the fourth axis a none starter?
If it's doable do you think it could be done on one drill? I've read a thread where a guy says he does lots of Ti drilling with a Guhring drill and gets a few thousand holes and I'm waiting to hear back from Guhring UK about this claim. Using one would be cost effective, using three per assemble would be a none starter.

Anyone any experience with this?
Pointers and tips welcomed :-)
 
I would just suggest, if you want a thousand holes in the part, account for the fact that you might go thru a few drills.

If the fact that you might have to buy more than 1 carbide drill causes the job to not be worth it, then you're not quoting high enough. Or if it is for yourself, wtf is kind of all I can say.

What happens if the carbide drill breaks in the part after a few hundred holes, is the part scrap?

You shouldn't have terrible difficulty with drilling that with HSS or Cobalt, if you find that carbide is too expensive?

If you want flow, make the holes bigger, and you'll need fewer holes, lol.
 
Can you fit the tubes in your VMC?
If so, I would use the 4th, center drill all, or at least one full row, then drill with the minimum stick out possible.
Drill life depends on how hard you push it......and don't cheap out on the drills.
 
you can buy perforated tube, admittedly ive not found 45mm after a 30-second Google, but 50mm up to 80mm was easy to find and cheap!
I've done this job with 6.35mm wall thickness on a lathe, 3mm flat bottom drills, about 400 holes per drill, the big job was deburring the holes....
 
Beat me to it!.
I found several options of 45mm perforated tube online. Makes sense to go this route if possible
 
I would just suggest, if you want a thousand holes in the part, account for the fact that you might go thru a few drills.
Not so useful
If the fact that you might have to buy more than 1 carbide drill causes the job to not be worth it, then you're not quoting high enough. Or if it is for yourself, wtf is kind of all I can say.
It's for myself and it's a part that needs making. Not sure why asking if others on a machining forum have any experience of this gets a WTF answer but it takes all sorts to make a world.
What happens if the carbide drill breaks in the part after a few hundred holes, is the part scrap?
This is a consideration and is why I was asking if people had experience in this. I'm not an idiot here, I've been making my own parts for years. I just have no experience with micro drilling titanium
You shouldn't have terrible difficulty with drilling that with HSS or Cobalt, if you find that carbide is too expensive?
You are the only person who has suggested to use HSS or Cobalt for drilling titanium. I can't see this being a viable option. Unless I fancied swapping drill bits every few minutes.
If you want flow, make the holes bigger, and you'll need fewer holes, lol.
This is not an option. I tried to spell it out in the OP what I needed.
 
Can you fit the tubes in your VMC?
If so, I would use the 4th, center drill all, or at least one full row, then drill with the minimum stick out possible.
Drill life depends on how hard you push it......and don't cheap out on the drills.
That's what I was thinking. I was hoping people could give me an idea of drill life. That way I can figure out if the part will be viable or if this is the wrong approach
 
you can buy perforated tube, admittedly ive not found 45mm after a 30-second Google, but 50mm up to 80mm was easy to find and cheap!
I've done this job with 6.35mm wall thickness on a lathe, 3mm flat bottom drills, about 400 holes per drill, the big job was deburring the holes....
Man I've searched and searched and searched. Asked suppliers all over the world, seen if China can laser drill it for me and trust me it's a no go.
The perforated tube I've found has massive (5mm) holes and would not form a barrier to hold the 1.5mm media in place.
 
I've found these before but the holes are too big. I think they're 5mm and I need <1.5mm
 
cnc punch a sheet (they make tools that punch multiple holes at once, so MUCH faster than drilling), roll and laser weld

it seems to me there are way too many problems with drilling, burr on the inside, vibration will probably be an issue for carbide tools, and machining time alone would kill any possible profit IMO, unless that is for a prototype
 
Not so useful
Point was, if the prospect of buying more than one 50$ carbide drill is going to break the job for you, you probably shouldn't do it.


You are the only person who has suggested to use HSS or Cobalt for drilling titanium. I can't see this being a viable option. Unless I fancied swapping drill bits every few minutes.
It's cp titanium, not 718 inconel. hss will cut it. I will admit that thin walled tubing probably has tougher machinability ratings than a thicker plate, but it isn't untouchable. For short run titanium parts with holes in them, I use HSS all the time. I just don't do a lot of holes less than 1/16 and i don't work with thin tubing.




If you buy one drill, you'll end up needing 2. If you buy 2 drills, you'll end up needing 3. If you buy 3 drills, you will end up only needing 1 drill.
 
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That's what I was thinking. I was hoping people could give me an idea of drill life. That way I can figure out if the part will be viable or if this is the wrong approach.
Well, it appears you have the tube, buy a drill bit and give it a go. You will find out soon enough if it works.
The approach, well you got to use whatever machine you have. So, if you want to do it yourself, run what you got.
If it's a one-off part, well, prototyping costs money, I do it all time.
If this part has any importance, I can't see the reluctance to try it????
Nobody can really give you the magic numbers to plug in and go, just start out with conservative SFM and feed.
Burr removal, maybe use a micro flap wheel??
 
Well, it appears you have the tube, buy a drill bit and give it a go. You will find out soon enough if it works.
The approach, well you got to use whatever machine you have. So, if you want to do it yourself, run what you got.
If it's a one-off part, well, prototyping costs money, I do it all time.
If this part has any importance, I can't see the reluctance to try it????
Nobody can really give you the magic numbers to plug in and go, just start out with conservative SFM and feed.
Burr removal, maybe use a micro flap wheel??
That's the end option but it's always nice to get any advice from someone who's done it before. Looks like it'll be a suck it and see situation.
 
cnc punch a sheet (they make tools that punch multiple holes at once, so MUCH faster than drilling), roll and laser weld

it seems to me there are way too many problems with drilling, burr on the inside, vibration will probably be an issue for carbide tools, and machining time alone would kill any possible profit IMO, unless that is for a prototype
I've looked into this too. None of the companies I approached had a punch for the size of hole and they all said it would be impossible.
 
CP2 is gummy and not very fun to work with, but I'm guessing there's a reason you're using it. I've heard of people getting very impressive tool life from Mikron Crazy drills in titanium, worth reaching out to them. But your thin walled tubing application seems like a worse case scenario for tool life, curved surface in an out and it's going to want to wiggle which carbide tooling won't like. Might be worth trying to reinforce it from the inside with a length of PVC pipe or something to give it a little more structure. I don't see a mill being a problem though. If the cycle time isn't a factor, you could bore them with an endmill. Might take a couple weeks though.
 
I've looked into this too. None of the companies I approached had a punch for the size of hole and they all said it would be impossible.
let me guess, you asked them to punch the holes in ready made tubes?
 








 
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