Spiral-fluted taps sit among the most popular taps in the manufacturing industry. These tools have flutes that wrap around the tap’s axis in a helical or spiral configuration. As a result, they’re widely used for tapping threads in blind holes, pulling chips out of the hole, opposite the tapping direction and toward the tap shank.
The beauty of spiral-fluted taps is that they deliver quality cutting performance on all manner of materials. Despite this, they don’t have as much of a strong cutting edge as hand taps or spiral-pointed taps, meaning they’re not typically recommended for tapping materials over 45HRC.
Spiral fluted taps are typically used in conjunction with metals, meaning the materials can be classified into two types: ferrous and nonferrous. These tools are suitable for use on materials with stringy and curled chips. Meanwhile, should a material have chips that are slightly fragmented, great care needs to be taken in the tapping process. These materials include aluminium die-castings and cast irons, as spiral-fluted taps can eject chips.
Tapped Material Features
Copper/copper alloys – Taps can lead to welding and shrinking issues in internal threads, which can cause breakage.
Aluminium die-casting/wrought aluminium – In the absence of a high geometry and cutting performance, torn threads can be easily created. This can also lead to shrinkage issues.
Nickel alloys – Rapid wear and chip welding issues can be caused by the tapping of nickel alloys. Consequently, shrinkage issues in internal threads can occur, as well as breakage.
Titanium alloys – Rapid wear and chip welding can be an issue for titanium alloys, meaning chipped cutting edges and breakage can present themselves.
Structural carbon steels/low carbon steels – The high machinability rating of these materials can lead to material welding over the tool when tapping.
Stainless steels – The tapping of stainless steel can lead to the material welding over the tool and threads being torn. Similarly, chip ejection issues may occur.
Middle carbon steels – The high machinability rating means these materials are easily tapped.
Tool steels – The toughness and hardness of these materials mean tap wear can become an issue when tapping.
Alloy steels – The toughness and hardness of these materials mean tap wear can become an issue when tapping.
High carbon steels – As the carbon content increases, these materials become harder. As a result, rapid tap wear can occur.
Thermal refined steels – Tapping these materials may lead to tap breakage.
Due to the various requirements of each metal, tapping should be carried out with care. The use of our tools can help ensure safe practice.