Thread Whirling Inserts
This Manufacturing 101 discusses thread-whirling inserts and how they work. Thread whirling is a machining process used to produce high-precision external threads on screws. They are commonly used in the production of aerospace, and medical components, such as bone screws.
Definition: Thread-whirling inserts are carbide-inserted tools that are used in the thread-whirling process. Each insert typically features 2-3 cutting edges, that are fixtured within a holder or cartridge, and then spun around the part programmatically to produce the finished thread. The cutting edges are designed to create precise and accurate threads in various materials such as stainless steel, titanium, and Inconel.
Thread Whirling Process: Thread whirling is a process that uses a rotating tool to produce threads in a workpiece. The tool is mounted on a whirling head, which rotates around the workpiece. As the whirling head rotates, the thread whirling inserts cut into the material, producing the thread form. The inserts are designed to produce a specific thread form, and they are available in various sizes and designs.
Advantages of Thread Whirling: Thread whirling offers several advantages over other methods of producing threads. It is a highly precise and accurate process, producing threads with tight tolerances and high surface finish. It is also a faster process than other methods, producing threads in a single pass in a matter of seconds. Additionally, thread whirling can produce threads in difficult-to-machine materials, such as A286 stainless steel, cobalt-chrome and 6Al4V titanium.
Applications: Thread whirling is used in many industries, including aerospace and medical. It is commonly used in the production of precision components such as screws and bolts, as well as in medical applications such as bone screws and dental implants. Thread whirling can produce threads with a wide range of thread forms, including metric, unified and other custom thread variations.
Replacement: Like all cutting tools, thread-whirling inserts require replacement. The cutting edges of the inserts can wear down over time, affecting the quality of the threads produced. Regular replacement of the inserts ensures that the thread-whirling process remains precise and accurate.
In conclusion, thread-whirling inserts are cutting tools that are used in the thread-whirling process. They produce precise and accurate threads in various materials and offer several advantages over other methods of producing threads. Thread whirling is used in many industries and is commonly used in the production of precision screws. Replacement of the inserts ensures that the thread-whirling process remains precise and accurate.