Introduction to Radial Drilling Machines

A radial drilling machine is a cylindrical geared electric drill head that is mounted on an axial armature that can rotate up to its full extent to bore into any substance. The main components are the drill head, column, spindle, and motor. This type of equipment is also referred to as a rotary vane pump as it rotates using an inner cylinder that contains a rotor, an impeller, and a stator. This type of machine has two main types; a vertical radial drill and a horizontal radial drill.

Working Principle & Components of Radial Drilling Machine

The working principle of a radial drilling machine is similar to that of a drill press. The only difference is that the drilling work lies on a vertical plane, hence the term ‘radial’ and the location on the bore being called ‘vertical’. The inner cylinder rotates on a vertical axis, but because of the nature of the shaft and the working principle, the work does not lie on a horizontal plane. This is known as ‘firing’ work. The inner vane rotates to move the drill bit to the desired location and a discharge happens when the shaft reaches its perpendicular position.

Another important component of a radial drilling machine is the column. These columns are designed for maximum performance with maximum torque. There are three types of column available in the market; an eccentric, a centrovertical, and a horizontal casing. The eccentric and centrovertical columns are known for their maximum performance.

The spindle or the rotary shaft is the core of a radial drilling machine. It is the most important part of the machine and is constructed from brass, steel, or even other materials to suit the application. Spindles are available in various shapes and sizes to ensure the optimum performance of the machine. Some of the more popular types of spindles include; ball, tapered, double-ended, single-ended and jack-knifed. These all are fitted with locking levers to prevent accidental changes in direction while drilling. The depth gauges are fixed into the spindle and help in measuring the exact depth of the hole during the drilling operation.

Important Information Related to Using Radial Drilling Machine

To operate the radial drilling machine safely, it should be well maintained and its alignment maintained at all times. The tool and work piece should be aligned properly so that there are no chances of unintended repositioning of the workpieces while drilling. The radial drill heads should be checked often for cracks and elongated holes as these could cause sudden depressions in the surface of the material drilled. These depressions could lead to corrosion of the drill heads and cause premature failure of the machine.

The drilling head on a radial machine is normally mounted above the work piece and extends outward. The spindle and drill bed of the machine are placed above the belt; the two sections of the spindle work in tandem to allow for rotation. A trolley or crane is used to transport the spindle and the work piece from the truck to the location to be drilled. To reduce fatigue wear and increase efficiency, the radial drill is usually equipped with ball bearings. The drill heads may be manually adjusted using knobs and levers; radial drill machines usually have variable-speed motors to give the user the option of selecting the right power level.

Written by Yash Shah

This blog is written by Mr. Yash Shah about various machine tools including lathe, drill, milling, tool room and sheet metal machines.

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