Fastening two or more objects is made possible with the help of threads, which come in a variety of materials such as metal, plastic, and fiber. Depending on the type of thread, its characteristics may be distinct.
Threads can be created in many ways, but the tap is the most popular tool for the job. Available in a range of sizes and shapes, these nifty implements are used to fashion threads of distinct sizes and pitches. This crafting process is referred to as threading.
To begin threading a material, a hole of slightly reduced size needs to be made first before threading can start. This is when the tap comes into play, where it is inserted and rotated to produce the desired cutting result. As the tap rotates, it penetrates into the hole while carving out its threads.
Once the necessary contours of threads have been fashioned from the tap, its job is completed and can be taken out of the aperture. Then, a die is put in its stead and given a turn in order to refine the threads’ gauge and give them a sleek exterior.
A range of unique taps and dies spanning various materials can be found throughout the manufacturing industry. Most commonly, a hand tap is used for the formation of threads in narrow holes, while machine taps, typically constructed from high-speed steel, are employed in the creation of threads in broader openings.
With the range of sizes in mind, tapping and threading tools aimed at most applications are divided into numbers 0 to 14 for their inch-based measurements and 0 to 36 for metrically based measurements. These designate the diameter of the tap and form the basis for purchasing.
Creating threads in a diversity of substances such as metal, plastics, and composites necessitates taps and dies. commonly, screw threads are used to secure pieces of metal together, yet other types of threads like pipe threads are utilized to join pipes and fittings while bolt threads link bolts and nuts.
When it comes to creating threads, two approaches are available – doing it by hand or enlisting the help of a machine. Hand threading allows for more control, but it is a slow process that is most suitable for dealing with limited quantities. On the other hand, harnessing the power of machines can make the process faster and more precise – a boon when making threads in bulk.
When selecting a tap or die, there are multiple points to contemplate. Topping the list is the kind of material to be threaded. Manufacturers offer several varieties, from high-speed steel, carbon steel and cobalt – each one equipped with specific features and suitable for particular purposes.
Often sought after for their considerable strength and durability, high-speed steel taps and dies are crafted from a hardened and tempered high-carbon steel. This is an ideal material for forming threads through more resistant surfaces, such as stainless steel and cast iron.
Cost-effective and yet still reliable, carbon steel taps and dies come at a lower price than their high-speed steel counterparts. This is because they utilize a milder form of low-carbon steel that, while not as tough as the latter, is more than enough for effectively threading softer substances like aluminum and brass.
Costing more than any other form, cobalt taps and dies are produced using a cobalt-alloy steel that is tougher than high-speed steel. These specialized tools are renowned for being able to thread through the toughest of materials – such as titanium and inconel – with ease and effectiveness.
When determining the size requirement of a tap or die, the essential defining factor is the diameter of the thread that is to be crafted. Tap and die purchases can be made in any size, from miniscule to colossal.
The spacing between the threads of a tap or die is known as the pitch – usually marked as 24, 32 or 40 threads per inch. This is a critical measure to be considered when utilizing these tools.
Finishing the list of essential considerations is the type of thread employed. Threads constitute a versatile tool, with the most commonly used variation being the screw thread, used to permanently attach two substantive components. Other applications include attaching pipes and fittings with threads specifically formatted for pipes, or connecting bolts and nuts through bolt threads.
For making threads, taps and dies are essential tools. With various types and components, selecting the correct tap or die can depend on the material to be threaded. Ensuring the right material is crucial when choosing a tap or die.