Broaching is a machining process that uses a tool called a broach to remove excess or unwanted material from a product being machined. Usually, broaching processes are performed on metal materials, though they may sometimes be used on plastics as well.
Quick links to Broach Fabrication Information
Applications of Broach Fabrication
Broaching tools are typically used to machine the surfaces of products like splines, keyways, fasteners and small mechanical items. Broaching is an excellent process with which to engage for a number of reasons, one of the biggest ones being the fact that broaches can be custom fabricated. Broach fabrication can be done to exact specifications for specific applications, or it can be a bit more broad, depending on the needs of the customer.
Broach Fabrication Equipment and Processes
In general, broach fabrication processes may be organized by the purpose or some other aspect of the broaches being fabricated. Common ways which broaches are categorized include: use (internal or surface), motion (stationary, push or pull), function (burnishing, roughing or sizing), construction (built-up, solid or shell/hollow), and purpose (single or combination). From these categorizations, they fabricate semi-standard broaches. Broaches are most commonly divided into two large categories: surface and internal. Surface broaches are fabricated to treat materials on a surface level. They are broken down into several categories of their own, including slab broaches, slot broaches, contour broaches, pot broaches, and saddle broaches. Meanwhile, the categories of internal broaches include solid broaches, shell broaches, modular broaches, and cut-and-recut broaches.
Slab broach fabrication is embarked upon to create general purpose tools used to cut into flat surfaces. Slot broaches, on the other hand, are fabricated with the purpose of cutting slots of varying dimensions into surfaces at high production rates. For large scale jobs, slot broaches work faster than milling, so slot broach fabrication is worth the time of those manufacturers looking to create many cuts at once. Contour broaches, as their name implies, are designed to service contoured, convex, cam, and irregularly shaped surfaces. Pot broach fabrication is a little more involved, as pot broaches are more complex than many of their cousins. Pot broaches are named after the fixture in which they are mounted, which looks like a pot. This pot holds multiple broaching tools concentrically over the whole span of its length. To work, the pot broach is held in place as the workpiece is pulled or pushed through it. This results in a cut to the outside diameter of a cylindrical workpiece. Pot broach fabrication has largely replaced the production of hobbing machines for use with external spline and slot cutting and involute gears. The last of the surface broaches are straddle broaches. Using two slab broaches, straddle broaches cut parallel surfaces on opposite sides of a workpiece simultaneously. Saddle broaches make perfect cuts in just one pass and they hold closer tolerances than independent cutting broaches.
Internal broaches are fabricated to cut a material beyond its surface. Broach fabrication commonly yields internal broach types including: solid broaches, shell broaches, modular broaches, and cut-and-recut broaches. Of these, solid broaches are the most frequently fabricated. Solid broaches are simply constructed from one solid piece of material, while shell broaches have a hole in the center where they can be mounted upon an arbor. Shell broaches are used in applications where the broach must be replaced often, as they are easier to reproduce. Modular broaches are typically used for larger applications, where they offer greater flexibility and more economical fabrication. Their multiple piece configurations make them more flexible and less expensive both to build and resharpen than completely solid pieces. Finally, cut-and-recut broaches are used to cut thin-walled objects. They cut these objects in a three-part method that overcomes their tendency to expand during cutting and shrink afterward.
Factors to Consider When Using Broach Fabrication
Broach fabrication tends to have high initial costs, so to get the most out of the experience, manufacturers recommend that interested parties use this service only for large production runs. In addition, manufacturers suggest customers approach them with a blueprint of the application or a precise outline of requirements. Find a top-quality broach fabrication specialist today by browsing the manufacturers listed on this page!