Thermal Melting Drilling: Principles and Applications

Thermal melt drilling, also known as thermal drilling, has revolutionized the traditional process of drilling and fastening, making it easy to solve the previously challenging problems of tapping thin sheets or tubes in a matter of seconds.

The thermal melt drill uses tungsten carbide material and undergoes the most advanced heat treatment process, enabling it to maintain high hardness and wear resistance while being subjected to a strong vertical extrusion force at a high temperature of 600℃ and a high rotational speed of 1500~3000 revolutions per minute.

You can watch a demonstration video below first.

The hot melt drill is made of wear-resistant and high-temperature-resistant cemented carbide material. When the tool contacts the workpiece, high speed and proper axial thrust (feed force) produce intense friction between the drill bit and metal, reaching a temperature of 600 ~ 800℃ instantly.

The metal in the area near the drill bit quickly softens. By continuing to apply axial pressure, it quickly extrudes a convex platform and a lining with a thickness of about 3 to 5 times the initial sheet metal thickness on the upper and lower surfaces of the workpiece. The entire process takes only 2 to 6 seconds.

Advantages of hot melt drilling

1. Improves production efficiency: the process of drilling and die forming the lining takes only 2 to 6 seconds, replacing the tedious welding or pressure riveting procedures to produce nuts with the shaped lining that can be directly extruded with threads.

2. Improves product quality: simplifies the process, easy to operate with high precision hole position, and the extruded threads have high tensile and torsional strength.

3. Reduces production costs: easy to operate and master, no need to purchase additional equipment, replacing expensive welding processes.

4. Clean and environmentally friendly, without debris.

5. Saves material.

Specifications of hot melt drilling:

According to the thickness of the workpiece that needs to be drilled through, there are two length specifications:

  • Short drills: suitable for penetrating workpiece thicknesses of 0.8 ~ 3mm;
  • Long drills: suitable for penetrating workpieces with thicknesses greater than 3 ~ 12mm.

According to the surface requirements of the workpiece after hot drilling, there are two specifications:

  • Standard hot melt drill: while penetrating the workpiece to stretch and form the lining, it also forms a convex ring on the surface of the workpiece.
  • Flat mouth hot melt drill: while penetrating the workpiece to stretch and form the lining, it cuts off the convex ring on the surface of the workpiece, leaving the surface smoothly.

Applications of hot melt drilling

Automobile parts industry; sheet metal, air conditioning, radiator and other industries; furniture, medical equipment, fitness equipment, etc.; racks, containers, etc.

Hot melt drilling can be adapted to almost all thin-walled metals (except tin or zinc), such as ordinary steel, stainless steel, low carbon steel, aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, titanium alloys, and other materials with ductility. It can also process galvanized workpieces.

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Founder of MachineMFG

As the founder of MachineMFG, I have dedicated over a decade of my career to the metalworking industry. My extensive experience has allowed me to become an expert in the fields of sheet metal fabrication, machining, mechanical engineering, and machine tools for metals. I am constantly thinking, reading, and writing about these subjects, constantly striving to stay at the forefront of my field. Let my knowledge and expertise be an asset to your business.

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