Taps specifically designed for difficult-to-machine materials such as stainless steel and heat-resistant super-alloys occupy a special place among the solutions offered by the Japanese company Yamawa, one of the world leaders in the design and manufacturing of threading tools, specific.
The ISO S material group of heat-resistant superalloys includes nickel, cobalt, iron, and titanium-based alloys. Due to their high resistance to heat and wearing and their toughness, super-alloys are used in many demanding contexts such as the aerospace (parts production) and medical (prosthetic fabrication) industries. Titanium-based alloys combine low weight and high heat resistance and are increasingly used for turbine blades production for the energy industry.
The machining of these materials is extremely challenging due to their poor thermal conductivity: most of generated heat transfers both to the tool and the workpiece instead of going lost through chips. Tool life shortens significantly, and the workpiece deforms hence compromising the accuracy of machining. Superalloys tend to harden and generate higher cutting forces that speeds up wearing of cutting edges; also, they tend to weld: the formed built-up edge damages the tool with unacceptable results on thread surface finish.
The group of ISO M materials that includes stainless steels (minimum content of chrome of 12%) and other nickel and molybdenum-based alloys features a similar behavior. Again, these materials are characterized by poor heat dissipation, and the tools are subjected to wear chipping and built-up edge formation.
Yamawa’s portfolio, with a complete catalogue of more than 9000 product items, includes high-performance tapping solutions specifically designed for ISO S and ISO M materials that guarantee quality and reliable threads such as the Blue Ring Series of taps for stainless steel. Among them, it is worth mentioning the SP-VA taps for blind holes. It is the best solution for low-speed machining on drilling machines and machining centers for stainless steels such as the AISI 304 and AISI 303. It can be also used for chrome steels, chrome-molybdenum steels, and other ductile materials with tendency to harden while machining. The con-eccentric thread relief guarantees high cutting performances and processes stable and secure. With the recent broadening of the Blue Ring Series, Yamawa has added the VA-SP NPT type for stainless steel pipe fittings and the VA-SP E(1.5P) with short chamfer and the oversized type ISO3(6G) is also available.
For ISO M and ISO S materials, Yamawa also proposes the ZEN and ZET taps. ZEN taps – part of the Orange Ring series – are recommended for applications on nickel-based super-alloys while the ZET taps (Pink Ring series) are specific for titanium-based alloys. Thanks to the specific design and surface treatments they undergo, these taps guarantee precise and high-quality threads, reliability and longer tool life in the most challenging applications.
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