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Are you using the correct tap for your application?

Posted by D.P. on

Taps are mainly made of the following 3 materials:

  • High Speed Steel
  • Carbide
  • Powdered Metal

In addition to the different materials, there are several coatings depending on what is the requirements in your application.

Know which is the most suitable material for your working conditions with the following descriptions.

H.S.S. Taps

High-Speed steel taps

High Speed Steel (H.S.S.) has been one of the most popular types of taps because it maintains its dimensions while working with high temperatures and lots of vibrations. The main components of this taps are: Carbon Steel, Tungsten, Chrome, Vanadium and Iron.

H.S.S. Taps are excellent for soft metals such as:

  • Carbon Steel
  • Molten Iron
  • Copper
  • Magnesium

To cut Forged Iron, you can use a nitrated coating on the tap to resist this abrasive material.

Solid Carbide Tap

Solid Carbide Taps

By saying Carbide we mean that they are made of Tungsten Carbide, which is a type of steel. Solid Carbide is much denser than steel and has a greater resistance to friction and heat. Although it can work on abrasive materials, carbide tends to be more brittle to vibrations. For this reason it is recommended to use Carbide only in equipment that causes very little vibration when operating.

Carbide is more expensive than H.S.S. but under appropriate conditions it will maintain its cutting edge longer than H.S.S. taps. When using Carbide, you’ll consume less taps and save time by changing them less frequently.

Consider Carbide taps if:

  • You’ll use them in temperatures higher than steel.
  • You’ll be cutting with high speeds.
  • You want to make threads with a better finish.

Carbide taps can be used with a huge variety of materials:

  • Steels
  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Carbon Steel
  • Copper
  • Tempered Steels
  • Inconel
  • Nickel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Titanium

Powdered Metal taps

High Performance and SuperTuf

These taps are manufactured by combining H.S.S. particles with super metal micro particles. They have balanced properties that give the tap, hardness, heat absorption and resistance to abrasion.

They can be used to cut various materials:

  • Stainless Steel
  • Titanium Alloys
  • High Carbon Steel
  • Nickel Alloys
  • Tempered Stainless Steel

Carbide tipped taps

Carbo Clad Taps

These have Carbide cutting wires that inserted into the tap. They have durable carbide cutting edges with the advantage of having a greater torsional force by carrying the body of the steel tap. It allows you to have a good absorption of the impact that a solid carbide tap would have.

They are excellent in hard non-ferrous materials whether in aluminum, bronze or copper.

Once you know the main factors of your application, it will be easier to decide what type of tap will give you the results to look for.

Consider the following:

  • Equipment you’re using.
  • Cutting speed.
  • Tap design (Thread angle, thread height, etc.)