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Carbide Drills

Carbide Drills for high speed drilling in the steel processing industry


All composite materials consisting of brittle-hard carbide particles (mainly tungsten carbide and possibly other carbides such as titanium carbide or tantalum carbide) and a suitable ductile binder metal (cobalt) are classified as hard metal. Hard metal therefore is a generic term for an extremely high-performance group of materials with many variants. Since the associated manufacturing process is called sintering (fusing two or more materials pressed into powder form under vacuum and high pressure), these hard metal materials are also called sintered materials.

The outstanding characteristic of all hard metals is their extreme hardness combined with ductility, a good abrasion resistance and a high heat resistance. The service life of carbide drills is significantly longer than the service life of HSS drills due to their high heat resistance, this can be increased even further with a special surface coating.

Carbide drills by nenok for high performance drilling lines in the steel processing industry

The generic term carbide drill comprises both drills with carbide cutting inserts (as with KSEM Kennametal) or carbide cutting body inserts as well as solid carbide drills.

Three high-performance drilling systems with internal cooling dominate the market for profile and flat steel machining.

  • KENNAMETAL drill system with the product ranges KSEM, Ken-TIP, KSEM PLUS and KenTIP FS
  • Guehring HT 800 WP interchangeable-plate drilling system for bores in the diameter range from 11.00 mm to 40.00 mm interchangeable-plate system
  • Hartner Multiplex interchangeable insert drilling system for bores in the diameter range from 10.00 mm to 210.00 mm

The selection criteria for the use of a solid carbide drill or a drill with carbide cutting inserts depends a lot on the respective field of application, the stability and performance of the machine, cooling, diameter range and procurement costs.

Carbide drills with exchangeable cutting body or cutting insert

In the steel processing industry carbide drills can be used only with modern drilling lines. The carbide drills with cooling channel and exchangeable KSEM cutting inserts are perfectly suited for the latest drilling line technology for processing flats and structural steel within the steel and metal processing industry. Due to the extremely high cutting performance of the modern carbide drill technology it is possible to realize extremely short drilling cycles and a remarkable high profitability. The standard program of nenok tool offers KSEM carbide drills with exchangeable cutting inserts in diameter from 12,5 mm up to 40 mm. The use of a SK 40 tool mounting is possible up to a diameter of 32 mm. Larger diameters require a larger tool mounting.

Carbide drills as solid carbide drills VHM

Solid carbide drills are more expensive to buy than carbide drills with replaceable inserts because they are made entirely of the high-quality carbide material. On the other hand, solid carbide drills are more precise and more efficient. In addition, these drills can be reground much more often. However, solid carbide drills are often only worthwhile up to a diameter of 20 mm. In addition, the carbide drill with replaceable carbide insert is cheaper or more economical when used in steel construction production.

Examples of carbide drilling operation on modern plate processing machines

KSEM Kennametal Carbide drill bit

Solid carbide drills

As solid carbide drills are fully made of wear-resistant hard metal they can be reground many times. Another advantage is the composition of the tool in one piece. The standard program of nenok tools offers solid carbide drills with cooling channel and FIRE coating with diameters from 6,5 mm up to 20 mm.

solid carbide drill of 18 mm with fire coating
Solid carbide drills from Nenok

Carbide drill reprocessing

The reprocessing of used carbide drills is economically depending on the degree of wear. The solid carbide drills are reground by specialist companies and, if possible, receive a new surface coating. When used without a new surface coating, the performance is limited due to the lack of coating on the cutting edge of the tool compared to a new drill. Cutting body inserts made of carbide (KSEM series) can only be reground once or twice, these also receive a new surface coating if possible.

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