What is Deep Hole Drilling?

A deep hole is defined by its depth-to-diameter ratio (D:d), and typically holes greater than 10:1 are considered deep holes. Deep hole drilling into metal has a range of applications across several industries, with its origins tracing back to the need for straighter, more accurate gun barrels, and expanding as other industries integrated deep hole drilling processes to improve their own applications.

Deep hole drilling consists of BTA drilling and gun drilling, with additional processes designed for specific tolerance objectives and generally performed on BTA-style deep hole drilling machines. Deep hole drilling is used in a variety of materials from aluminum to super-alloys, and is capable of achieving tight diameter control, straightness, and superior surface finish into workpieces.

Deep hole drilling processes work by using special tools and setups to deliver high pressure coolant, evacuate chips cleanly, and achieve depth-to-diameter holes into metal beyond what a common CNC machine can reach. This allows manufacturers to achieve their manufacturing tolerances and production requirements reliably, accurately, and efficiently.

Deep hole drilling is generally performed on dedicated deep hole drilling machines which are manufactured and assembled to optimize the processes for straightness and efficiency. Advances in technology allow CNC machining centers, equipped with high pressure, through-spindle coolant, to be capable of gundrilling up to a limited depth-to-diameter ratio. UNISIG produces highly capable BTA and gundrilling machines, with applications exceeding 400:1 D:d ratios.

Deep Hole Drilling Process

Rotating Tool

Typically used for non-symmetrical components, or round parts with off-center holes

Cutting speed is determined by tool spindle speed

Drill drift can be significant when compared to rotating workpiece, or counter-rotating process

Rotating Workpiece

Typically used for round parts with a deep, on-center hole

Cutting speed is determined by part, balanced to allow high rotating speeds

Drill drift is reduced compared to rotating tool only

Counter-Rotating Tool and Workpiece

Ideal process for round parts with a deep, on-center hole

Cutting speed is determined by a combination of tool and workpiece rotation

Provides optimal hole straightness and concentricity

Deep Hole Drilling Tools

Gundrilling is used for smaller hole drilling, typically 1 – 50 mm [0.04 – 2.00 in] in diameter

High-pressure coolant is introduced through the spindle and center of the gundrill

Chips are discharged through a v-shaped groove in the length of the tool

Gundrill tips are ground to achieve drilling goals and extend tool life



BTA Tooling

BTA deep hole drilling is used for larger hole drilling, typically 20 – 200 mm [0.80 – 8.00 in] in diameter

High-pressure coolant is introduced around the outside of the tool through the pressure head assembly

Chips are discharged through the tool center, through the drill tube and machine spindle

BTA drilling typically performs 5-7 times faster than gundrilling, and requires higher power

Additional extended diameters can be drilled on BTA machines with secondary deep hole operations, such as counter-boring

Deep Hole Machining and Other Processes

After drilling, additional machining methods can further improve deep hole concentricity, straightness, surface finish, and add complex features. These methods machine the inside surface of the hole, much like other external machining processes, and most can be performed on BTA deep hole drilling equipment.

Processes are typically performed on a workpiece with an existing bore, due to prior drilling or centrifugal casting. Many of these deep hole machining processes are optimized for specific applications, such as skiving machines for the hydraulic cylinder industry, or bottle boring for landing gear actuators.

source : www.unisig.com