Some aspects of drill performance

  • David P. Upton

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


High speed twist drills are probably the most common of all metal cutting tools and also the least efficient.
In this study, detailed research was undertaken into aspects of drill performance and ways in which drilling could be improved in short hole depths of up to two diameters.
The work included an evaluation of twist drill geometry and grinding parameters. It was established that errors in point grinding lead to increased hole oversize and reduced drill life.
A fundamental analysis was made to establish predictive equations for the drill torque and thrust using modified orthogonal cutting equations and empirical data. A good correlation was obtained between actual and predicted results. Two new techniques for extending twist drill life by the use of coolant feeding holes and also the application of titanium nitride coatings were evaluated. Both methods were found to have potential for improving drill performance.
A completely new design of carbide tipped drill was designed and developed. The new design was tested and it compared favourably with two commercially available carbide tipped drills.
In further work an entirely different type of drill point geometry was developed for the drill screw. A new design was produced which enabled the drilling time to be minimised for the low thrust forces that were likely to be used with hand held power tools.
Date of AwardJan 1987
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorR.H. Thornley (Supervisor)


  • twist drills
  • drilling
  • carbide
  • metal cutting

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