Capitalizing on the Advantages of Thread Whirling
Thread whirling technology is often a good fit for difficult-to-machine materials, and the advanced capabilities of Swiss-type machines contribute to its efficient use in the production of bone screws and other demanding applications.
The production machining environment sees threaded parts on a regular basis. As the demand for high-value threaded parts with high length-to-diameter ratios continues to rise, the thread whirling process is gaining steam. The technology is often a good fit for difficult-to-machine materials, and the advanced capabilities of Swiss-type machines contribute to its efficient use in the production of bone screws and other demanding applications.
But to make the most of thread whirling, a shop should be sure to consider all aspects of the application, from machine and tooling capability, to insert design, to programming options. A while back we took an in-depth look into the process in the article “Thread Whirling Basics.” This information is a good introduction to what a shop should examine when putting the process to work.
In the article, Jeff Dei, president of Carmex USA, describes the process: “Thread whirling uses a holder equipped with multiple inserts that is mounted into an attachment capable of helical angle adjustments and high speed concentric rotation. The workpiece, which is advanced at a slow rpm, engages the cutting head, which in turn is advanced longitudinally. The combined rotation of workpiece and cutter, and the angle of the tool head, produce the thread pitch required.
“Since thread whirling employs multiple inserts, the part is created in a single pass and in a shorter time than with single-point threading. High feed rates, likewise, shorten cycle times. Thanks to the multiple cutting edges, the process delivers high surface quality and accurate geometry. Cutting is clean with faster chip removal, and proper cutting edge geometry delivers higher concentricity.”
Check out the article for a good summary of the important considerations for implementing this creative technology.