New Long-Length Drill For Automotive Powertrain, Hydraulic Parts


Automotive powertrain components are commonly drilled with steel tools originally designed to drill gun barrels. The resulting slow speeds and penetration rates have been a production bottleneck for years.
Kennametal Inc. is introducing a brand new solid-carbide Long-Length Drill, specifically designed for drilling small-diameter, deep holes into automotive crankshafts, camshafts, connecting rods, cylinder heads, cylinder blocks, and hydraulic blocks for anti-lock braking systems.

The new drill offers metal removal rate increases up to 100 percent over competitive gun and high-speed steel drills and a minimum of 10 percent better metal removal rates compared to competitive solid carbide products when drilling 15 and 20 times diameter deep. These increases equate to bottom-line customer savings in throughput, machine time and man hours.

The point has a four-margin design that helps maintain stability throughout the cut. These margins are located on the forward portion of the drill only. The diameter behind the flutes is slightly smaller in diameter providing more chip clearance and less contact with the hole wall. Its 135-degree high-positive (HP) point geometry reduces thrust necessary to create a hole and provides excellent centering ability, which increases accuracy.

“The four-margin design helps keep the drill stable and on course even when it passes through a crosshole in the workpiece,” said Chuck Petrosky, a Kennametal Staff Engineer in the Holemaking Products Engineering department. “When you drill a hole that deep, the substrate needs to have high torsional strength so it doesn’t fracture.”
The Long-Length Drill’s 12.5 percent cobalt submicron substrate and extremely hard physical vapor deposition (PVD) coating offers high durability, toughness, and wear resistance.

The drill’s state-of-the-art post coat treatment (polishing) reduces friction in flutes, on margins and the cutting edge, and its 30-degree helix helps convey chips from the hole very effectively. A specially designed core adds strength at the point and allows for deep, chip-accommodating flutes.

The new Long-Length Drill has two cutting surfaces, compared to one on gun drills, and because it’s carbide, it can be pushed harder and faster. Productivity is at least doubled.

In a recent automotive field test drilling piloted holes into steel crankshafts, a competitive drill produced 43 parts before losing effectiveness while the Kennametal drill produced 130 parts before being pulled for inspection with useful life remaining.

The new drill is available in standard diameters ranging from 3 mm to 13 mm and in standard lengths including 15 x, 20 x, 25 x and 30 x diameter. Custom drill diameters and lengths also can be provided.
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