Broaching tools are used for the purpose of creating custom parts, and these parts must generally be engineered to a high degree of precision and quality in order to be useful in the industries which demand them. In addition, it is generally necessary to produce a large volume of these parts, so any broaching process which is used must be repeatable and sustainable through long production runs. That means a high-quality broaching tool must always be used, and these tools will impart successive cuts at very high speeds, with most of the tools having a multi-tooth design so as to apply just the right cuts.
Types of Broaching Tools
There are two basic categories of broaching tools, with those being push broaches and pull broaches. Another way of categorizing them would be to consider them internal broaches and external broaches, but the main thing to remember is that there are really just two kinds. Push and pull broaches both use the same kind of strategy when called upon to machine various materials.
A push broaching tool has to be short enough so that it can withstand tremendous amounts of pressure without buckling or breaking, whereas a pull broach can be used either vertically or horizontally, and manages to create accurate cuts when any component part is forced across its teeth. Internal broaches create internal holes in parts for a number of different applications, and these are used in a wide variety of industries.
Internal broaches are often used when it’s necessary to create either simple components or some very complex components at high speeds. External broaches are used when the situation calls for creating defined edges or in other cases, exterior contouring, such as when you’re creating built-up designs to be used as inserts, sections, or indexable tool bits which require a dynamic broaching design.
Broaching Tool Components
There is a whole slew of precision parts that go into the composition of a typical broaching tool. Any company which is involved with the manufacture of a broaching tool, or which has a repair service for broaching tools, must have a good understanding of each of these parts before they can effectively create, repair, or service any broach which is brought to them.
Some of the most common parts used to create a broach include cutting teeth, the rear pilot, the front pilot, the tooth land, pitch and gullet, chip load, sheer angle, chip breakers, and side relief. Most of these components might sound strange to the average person on the street, but broaching tool manufacturers are well acquainted with each of these terms and understand how each one of them needs to be serviced.
Servicing and repairs come into play because broaching tools are almost always being used at high speeds so as to create a large volume of parts for a client. That means broaching tool teeth can easily become damaged while in use, or they can become extremely dull even after a short period of time. Remember that the cutting teeth for a broaching tool are usually cutting into soft metals, and that’s why it’s so easy for them to become dull in so short a period of time.
If you’re a company that makes use of broaching tools, it would be a good idea to have a regular maintenance schedule in effect so your broaching tools can be serviced and kept operating at a high level. When it becomes necessary to carry out repairs on your broaching tool, you’ll probably have to call in the professionals who are familiar with all the delicate procedures which are generally required in order to repair a broaching tool.
Not many companies have the expertise in-house to carry out their own repairs on broaching tools, although servicing is a different story. Servicing can and should be done regularly by your in-house personnel, assuming they understand the functionality of your broaching tool and know which areas call for the most attention.
How Broaching Tools Work
Depending on the kind of broaching tool you might be using, it will be possible to carry out a whole range of precision machining with either hard materials or with softer ones. Broaching has some similarities to each of the processes such as shaping, reaming, boring, and milling, and in some cases even competes directly with these other processes. However, when it comes to high-speed, long production runs, there are really no equivalent processes that can match up well with broaching.
As opposed to ordinary machining processes, broaching makes use of all levels of cutting teeth in a single tool, or at least in a string of tools. The processes for rough cutting, semi-finished cutting, and finished cutting are all combined into one broaching process, which makes your precision cuts much easier to manage. Each one of these steps is carried out one after the other, and in very quick fashion, and this is why broaching is so popular when it comes to the machining of precision components.
Each broaching tool must be mounted on a broaching machine which is highly reliable and well maintained, so the tool itself doesn’t come to harm while in use. You can use a horizontal, vertical, chain, or turn broaching machine, based on which kind of material you’re working with, the kind of broaching you’re hoping to accomplish, and whatever your budget can afford.
Standard Broaching Applications
Although broaching tools and machines are prominently used in a great many industries, they are used more often in industries such as firearms, the automotive industry, aerospace industries, and also the medical field. Because they have such wide application, it’s very important that broaching companies have a good understanding of industry standards.
That way they’ll be able to provide the best possible parts and the best possible servicing for any broaching needs which are required. Standard broaching applications may call for either plastic, soft metal, or hard metal workpieces, and whatever is being worked with, the broaching machine will have to be customized so as to accommodate the exact specifications of any given industry.