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What Is Thread Milling?
Thread milling is a metalworking operation used to cut internal and external threads of different sizes through the circular ramping movement of a rotating tool. The thread pitch is created by the lateral movement in one revolution. Different from tapping, thread milling is mainly applied to larger workpieces, however, solid carbide thread mills can also produce small threaded holes.
Thread Milling provides a better quality thread than tapping as it offers better chip evacuation. Tapping uses a tool the same size as the thread, forcing the chip through the thread for evacuation. Thread Milling tools are flexible. They can do internal and external threads, and can cut to different diameters, so long as the pitch is the same. You can carry out threading in difficult to machine materials. Due to the superior cutting conditions, they can thread hardened steels up to HRC 65, Titanium and even more! They are very secure due to producing short chips and having a low cutting force. The workpiece is less likely to get damaged as the diameter is smaller than the thread. Using a tool smaller than the thread ensures the thread is properly machined with the correct clearance needed to evacuate the chips effectively.
One main advantage against tapping, is that tapping only starts making a complete thread profile on the third thread, whereas thread milling will produce a complete thread profile from the top to the bottom. The process can reduce machining time and save energy. High thread quality can be achieved without burrs.
At Protool, we supply some of the best performing thread mill cutters in the UK. Shop our wide range of Carmex Thread Mills today.
Here Are Some Of The Different Types Of Thread Mills:
MTD – 3 in 1 -Drill, Chamfer & Thread mill - Two fluted drill thread milling cutter with 45° chamfering. Ideal for mass production applications. High thread surface quality. Internal coolant. Optimized carbide grade for Aluminium and Cast Iron.
DMT – 3 in 1 - Drill, Chamfer & Thread mill - Short cycle time and high performance reduces machining costs. Suitable for both blind and through holes. Full Profile thread. No time lost for tool change, since drilling, chamfering and thread milling are done with one tool.
MTS – Mini Type - Can produce a wide range of threads and pitches and both External and Internal threads. Coolant-through the flutes is very effective for deep holes. Longer tool life due to special triple coating. Machining of hardened materials up to 45 HRc.
MTSB – Through Coolant Mini Type - Perfect for thread milling operations where chips are concentrated at the bottom of the thread and external coolant can’t wash the chips away or for complicated applications where external coolant is inefficient or can’t reach the machined area.
MTI – Single point mill thread. Same Tool for Internal and External Thread. Ultra-fine Sub-micron grade with PVD triple Blue coating on selected grades.
MT - Solid Thread Mills without internal coolant. Spiral flutes allow smooth cutting action. Shorter machining time due to multi, 3-6, flutes. Longer tool life due to special multi-layer coating. Excellent surface finish.
MTB – Through Coolant Thread Mills with internal coolant bore for blind holes. Spiral flutes allow smooth cutting action. Shorter machining time due to multi, 3 to 6, flutes. 2.2 mm and up cutting diameter. Longer tool life due to special multi-layer coating. Excellent surface finish.
MTZ – Through Flute Coolant Thread Mills. Spiral flutes allow smooth cutting action. Shorter machining time due to multi, 3 to 6, flutes. 2.2 mm and up cutting diameter. Longer tool life due to special multi-layer coating. Excellent surface finish.
MTQ – Long Reach Thread Mills that include relieved neck for deep work pieces. Spiral flutes allow smooth cutting action. Shorter machining time due to multi, 3 to 6, flutes. 2.2 mm and up cutting diameter. Longer tool life due to special multi-layer coating. Excellent surface finish.
FMT – Through Coolant (5-8 Flutes) - Fast Thread Mills with internal coolant bore. Spiral flutes allow smooth cutting action. Longer tool life due to special multi-layer coating. Excellent surface finish.
AMT - For aluminium - Optimized carbide grade for Aluminium, cast iron and stainless steels. Cylindrical shank (Weldon shank- upon request), with internal coolant bore. Uncoated, smooth cutting edge. High thread surface quality. Same tool for right hand or left hand internal threads.
SC – Solid carbide tapered end mill suitable for most materials. 4 Flute for effective chip evacuations. Offering an excellent surface finish.
Hard Type (H) – For hardened steels & super alloys (Hastelloy & Inconel, etc).
CMT – Thread, Groove, Rads, Chamfer, etc. - Solid carbide thread mills designed specifically for the machining of hardened materials up to 62HRc. These tools provide high performance, improved cut and an excellent surface finish. High temperature alloys. Titanium alloys. Super Alloys (Hastelloy, Inconel, Nickel Base Alloys).
SR – Standard indexable thread milling - Same toolholder and insert can produce both RH and LH threads. A single insert & toolholder can produce a given thread on many diameters (External & Internal). Most inserts are double sided, having two cutting edges. Longer tool life thanks to a special multilayer coating process.
SRH – Spiral mill thread - Spiral fluted toolholders hold 1 to 9 inserts in a comparatively small cutting diameter. The unique clamping method enables optimal indexability. This is a general purpose grade, which can be used with all materials.
D Thread – Extra long reach - Improved productivity due to multi-insert toolholders. Partial Profile, standard or U-type inserts for a wide range of threads. Inserts with three cutting edges, reduces tooling costs. Low cutting resistance due to the single point inserts.
Thread Whirling - Thread Whirling is a fast and accurate way to thread long, small diameter parts in exotic materials such as titanium, stainless steel and Inconel. Whirling inserts and holders can produce a wide range of medical parts such as dental implants and bone screws.
Bright - provides a smooth, polished finish on the tool. It increases chip flow in softer materials like aluminium.
Titanium Nitride (TiN) - is a multi-purpose coating which increases chip flow in softer materials. The heat and hardness resistance allows the tool to run at higher speeds than uncoated tools.
Titanium Carbonitride (TiCN) - is harder and more wear resistant than TiN. It is used on stainless steels, cast iron and aluminium alloys.
Aluminium Chromium Nitride (AlCrN) - has higher-heat resistance than AlTiN. It is commonly used for machining aircraft and aerospace materials, nickel alloys, stainless steel, titanium, cast iron and carbon steel.
TiCN PLUS Titanium Carbon-Nitride (TiCN) - plus Titanium Nitride (TiN) is an all-purpose finish designed to increase tool life by two to four times more than TiN coated tools. The heat and hardness resistance allows the tool to run at higher speeds than uncoated tools.
Thread mills are versatile cutting tools that have a number of benefits when used for creating threads on a workpiece. One of the main benefits of using thread mills is their versatility, as they can create both internal and external threads on a workpiece, without the need for multiple tools. This can greatly increase efficiency and productivity as it reduces the need to change tools during the machining process.
Another benefit of thread mills is their ability to work with a wide range of materials. This makes them suitable for a variety of industries and applications, such as aerospace, automotive, and manufacturing. They are also suitable for creating threads in hard-to-reach areas, as the compact size allows them to access tight spaces.
Thread mills also provide a high level of precision and accuracy, which is essential for creating high-quality finished parts. They are designed to provide a steady, controlled cut, which results in a consistent thread size and location. This is particularly important in industries such as medical and aerospace, where precision and accuracy are critical.
Additionally, thread mills are known for their durability, they are made of high-quality materials such as solid carbide, which can withstand high cutting loads and maintain a sharp edge for a long time. This reduces the need for frequent replacement, and can save on costs in the long run.