Production Machining

DEC 2017

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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By Chris Koepfer Two New Twists on Thread Whirling F ew thread production processes are as efficient as thread whirling. Although not a new process, its popularity has grown as a primary process choice with the development of thread whirling tooling for single- spindle Swiss-type machines becoming more readily available. read whirling on general-purpose machines such as CNC Swiss-types provides an inexpensive alternative to investing in dedicated thread whirling machine tools. When it comes to producing OD threads in difficult- to-machine materials such as Inconel, titanium and stainless steels, few processes can compete with thread whirling. In the thread whirling process, the blank to be threaded extends from the machine spindle, or through a guide bushing, and is rotated at low rpm. A ring-shaped toolholder, mounted on a whirling attachment, contains indexable insert cutters, evenly spaced around the periphery of the ring. e attachment is canted to create the pitch of the thread to be produced as the blank is fed through the cutter. e attachment and spindle are rotated in the same direction, but the attachment rotates at a much higher speed than the spindle. As the cutting tool "whirls" or orbits about the blank, each of the inserts, in turn, takes a bite out of it. e inserts then impart the thread's specified geometry to the blank. Sliding headstock machines take advantage of the Z-axis feed capabilities of the machine to allow radial cutting feeds without deflection because the cutters are close Thread whirling as a metalworking process dates to the 1940s. Recently, developments in production speeds, based on this increasingly popular process, are impacting thread manufacturers. :: Orthopedic devices such as these bone taps are efficiently manufactured using thread whirling techniques. New developments in thread whirling are making the process even more efficient. CUT TING TOOLS 30 PRODUCTION MACHINING :: DECEMBER 2017

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