Machining complex pieces that have interlocking components can be a real challenge. The most common way to do it is by cutting threads. However, these need to be extremely accurate if you want to produce a leak-resistant seal.
Now, there are many methods to create perfect threads no matter your chosen standard or pitch. Many use tapping tools, which is a more traditional method. Introduce your roll-tap into the perfectly matching hole and the tool will create the thread in a single pass. However, there are many problems with tapping pipe threads that make it an inefficient process.
First of all, taps must be of the exact size of the hole so it engages the material and creates a tight thread. This usually does not leave enough room for the chips to come out, which is a big problem when working on blind holes. Chips get trapped in the bottom of the hole and do not allow the tool to complete the pass.
A second problem is that, when working with hard materials such as titanium, you run the risk of having your tool break into the piece. This can cause a huge disruption in your production schedule and, believe me, you don’t want to have to go fishing for that broken head which by now might already be an integral part of the piece.
To avoid these problems and get a perfect fit every time, you want to thread mill pipe threads. Carbide thread mills are usually thinner than the ID of the hole. So you can program your CNC to use a single pitch thread mill to create different pitches depending on the project without a problem. While they can be a bit slower, they have their advantages. You are not limited to a single thread pitch per tool. Instead, you can program your z-axis on your machine to achieve the desired pitch. You can even create threads with varied diameters inside the same hole, something impossible with tapping as you need a different size tap when you change hole sizes.
If a lot of your work focuses on specific pipe thread sizes or standards, you should get a full-form carbide thread mill of the appropriate size. These allow you to create complete threads in one pass, thread mill pipe threads have a better thread quality and a smoother surface when compared to tapped threads. Solid carbide tools also allow you to machine smaller threaded holes and can produce left and right-handed threads.
One big advantage thread mills bring to the table is that they can create both male and female pipe threads, without the need of changing tools.
If you are serious about thread mill pipe threading, you need the best quality tools for your shop. Visit Online Carbide and check their wide range of solid carbide single pitch and full form thread mills for those who want extremely precise results. Send an email to [email protected] and find out more about their tools and incredible prices.