FAQs

  • Why must the Flowdrills be lubricated?
    To reduce the effect of build up material on the tools surface and increase the tool life to its limits.
  • Are there cost savings with the use of Friction Drilling?

    Yes, Friction Drilling offers cost savings:

    • Lighter/thinner profiles: Since there is no material loss during friction drilling, the profile or material does not need to be thickened or reinforced to compensate for strength.
    • Process improvements: The use of friction drilling leads to more efficient processes.
    • Reduction of production errors: Precision in friction drilling reduces errors.
    • Shortened setup time: The setup time is significantly reduced.
    • Material savings: Friction drilling results in less material waste.
    • No more loose purchase parts: As Flowdrill offers a complete solution there is no need for purchase parts.
  • Which machines are suitable for Friction Drilling?

    I have a CNC, tube laser, or pillar drill machine: can I perform friction drilling on them?

    Friction drilling is possible on CNC machines, tube laser machines, and pillar drill machines. However, we advise against using a hand drill for friction drilling. We have specific toolholders available for each type of machine. If you want to know if your machine is suitable for friction drilling or are curious about what a new machine can do for you, feel free to contact us for more information.

  • What is a Friction Drill made of?

    A friction drill is made from a composite Tungsten Carbide powder. The shape of the friction drill is then pressed, and the form is sintered into a semi-finished product. This semi-finished product is processed into a final product in our factory in the Netherlands.

  • Which tap should I use after Friction Drilling, a cold forming tap or a cutting tap?

    What is cold forming tapping?

    After friction drilling, we recommend using a cold forming tap. Cold forming tapping, or roll tapping, deforms the material instead of cutting it. This provides several advantages such as chipless operation, improved productivity, and high thread strength. With cold forming tapping, the structural dimensional stability of the thread is enhanced.

  • How strong is a Friction Drill connection from Flowdrill?

    How strong is a Flowdrill connection?

    A friction drill connection from Flowdrill is known for its strength, depending on the material used. In general, a friction drill connection is stronger than alternatives such as clinch nuts or flange nuts. For example, a friction drill connection can effortlessly withstand a force of 2.7 tons in 2.0-millimeter-thick steel. This means it is stronger than an 8.8-grade bolt connection.

  • Up to what thickness can I perform Friction Drilling?

    Depending on the diameter, it is possible to perform friction drilling up to a thickness of 0.5 to 10 millimeters, based on ST235 mild steel. Note: the larger the diameter of the friction drill, the more power is required from the machine. If you want to know more about the possibilities of friction drilling on different metals, contact us.

  • How often should I use lubricant with Friction Drilling and tapping?

    For larger and automated productions, we offer an automated lubrication system. This system eliminates the manual application of paste or oil during friction drilling and tapping.

    How often should I use FDKS Paste with friction drilling?

    FDKS Paste is essential for successful friction drilling. FDKS Paste is a high-quality heat-resistant paste that plays a crucial role in optimizing the performance and lifespan of your friction drill by preventing material buildup. It is recommended to apply this paste with the included brush every 5 holes.

    How often should I use tapping oils with cold forming tapping?

    Similar to FDKS Paste in friction drilling, tapping oil should be applied approximately every 5 holes using the provided brush. The oil ensures optimal lubrication during cold forming tapping, increasing thread strength.

  • What is friction drilling used for?

    Where is Flowdrill used?

    Friction drilling is generally used to create a strong and robust connection between metal and another material. Friction drilling offers an excellent alternative to rivet nuts, weld nuts, and clinch nuts. Friction drilling is applied in many different industries, including automotive, heating and ventilation, furniture manufacturing, bicycle production, and metalworking. You can find us, for example, on-floor distributors for underfloor heating, HVAC systems, car chassis, sprinkler installations, order kiosks, and barbecues
  • Can Flowdrill assist me from A to Z?

    I'm having trouble setting up my tube laser, CNC machine, or pillar drill.

    Yes, Flowdrill is known for the service and quality it provides. We not only sell a friction drill but also ensure, through our technical knowledge, that you achieve optimal results for your project or product. If you have a project that doesn't align with one of our standard friction drills, we can create a custom friction drill, a special, for you. Over the years, we have created more than 500 specials. We're only finished when you're satisfied.

  • Can I make the bushing length shorter?

    How do I make the bushing of my friction drilled hole shorter?

    If you want to perform friction drilling, for example, on a tube with a small diameter, and you don't want the bushing on the inside of the profile to be too long, there is a handy solution. By using a pilot hole, you can ensure that the length of the bushing becomes shorter. This way, you maintain enough space on the inside of your profile.

  • Do I need a Flowdrill Starter Set?

    Is a Flowdrill Starter Set necessary for friction drilling?

    When adding friction drilling to your production process, it is essential to know that, in addition to the friction drill itself, some other accessories are crucial to achieve optimal results. Moreover, Flowdrill accessories significantly extend the lifespan of your friction drill and improve the quality of your friction-drilled hole.

    For your convenience, we have compiled a complete Starter Set, packaged in a distinctive red case. This set includes everything you need to start friction drilling right away. The starter set can be used for a CNC machine, tube laser, or pillar drill.

  • Can I achieve a flat finish on the top of my profile?

    Flowdrill Flat Finish.

    Yes, that is possible. This is known as a "Flat Finish" or a collarless finish. A flat finish offers several advantages over a standard friction-drilled hole. Thanks to the flat finish, you can seamlessly align the adjacent material with the surface of the material, known as "flush." A Flat Finish is often used in the furniture industry to guarantee a clean and neat appearance.

  • Is Friction drilling proven to be an effective technology?

    Alternatives for Rivet, Weld, and Press Nuts connections.

    Yes, friction drilling is a proven technology with a long history of success. The development of the first friction drilling machine began after World War II, and since then, Flowdrill has further refined and improved this technology. Today, friction drilling is used daily by thousands of customers worldwide as a reliable alternative to blind rivet nuts, weld nuts, and clinch nuts. Flowdrill also possesses a certified machine to determine the pull-out forces and maximum load and momentum in different materials, ensuring the quality and performance of our friction drills.

  • Where can I buy a Friction Drill?
    Where can I buy a Flowdrill Friction Drill?

    Depending on the location of your project, you have the option to order a Flowdrill friction drill directly from Flowdrill or from one of our respected partners. For more details and a comprehensive description of our partners, check our dealer page.

  • What materials are suitable for Friction Drilling?

    Which metals are suitable for Friction Drilling?

    Friction drilling is essentially suitable for all metals that are malleable and not brittle. This means that approximately 99% of the common materials in the metal processing industry are suitable for friction drilling. For a complete list of metals that are suitable (and some that are not), click here for more information.

  • Is my production line/machine suitable for Friction Drilling?

    What is the minimum machine power for Friction Drilling?

    It is not always necessary to have an expensive or complex production line to perform friction drilling. A 1 kW pillar drill with a speed of 2,400 RPM is already capable of creating friction-drilled holes up to size M6. Larger friction drills require a machine with more power. Want to know if your machine has the right power and can reach the maximum RPM? Request our datasheet.
  • How does Friction Drilling contribute to less waste and chips?

    Friction drilling minimizes waste for the following reasons:

    • Less waste: Chipless drilling means no material is lost, and no metal particles are released. Additionally, the use of friction drilling eliminates the need for foreign material as a fastening method, such as a blind rivet nut, weld nut, press nut, or nut.
    • No metal particles: Chipless drilling ensures no metal particles or chips end up in your end product. This is especially relevant for HVAC and sprinkler installations where metal particles can compromise the final product.
    • No addition of material: There is no addition of another material, making the end product easily recyclable.
  • How can friction drilling optimize my production?

    Friction drilling speeds up production for the following reasons:

    • Fast cycle: Friction drilling has a short cycle duration. An average cycle in 2-millimeter-thick material takes 2 seconds.
    • No manual handling: There is no manual attachment of blind rivet nuts, weld nuts, press nuts, or nuts required after friction drilling. This reduces labor hours and the chance of human error.
    • Automated thread tapping: Thread tapping can be fully automated.

    This means that with friction drilling, you can produce faster, and your "time to market" is shortened significantly.

  • What are the advantages of Friction Drilling?

    Friction drilling offers several advantages over rivet nuts, weld nuts, and press nuts. To simplify, here’s a list.

    Why is friction drilling a better choice than using blind rivet nuts, weld nuts, and press nuts?

    Advantages of Friction Frilling:

    • Stronger connection: with friction drilling, the material is deformed without compromising its integrity. In contrast to alternative methods that involve material removal, friction drilling reduces the risk of material failure.
    • Comparable/better pull-out forces and momentum: Compared to blind rivet nuts, weld nuts, and press nuts, a Flowdrill friction drill connection has comparable or better pull-out forces and momentum.
    • What is friction drilling and how does it work?

      What is friction drilling?

      Friction drilling is a chipless drilling process in which, through the generation of frictional heat, it is possible to create a hole in a profile or material without producing chips. The specially ground geometry of the Flowdrill friction drill gradually displaces the metal, resulting in a friction-drilled hole accompanied by a distinctive collar.

      How does friction drilling work?

      Friction drilling relies on local frictional heat generated by the unique vertical movement of the friction drill to form a hole in the material. With a Flowdrill Flowtap, you can then create threads (cold forming) in the friction-drilled hole; the friction drill connection serves as a robust fastening point.

    • Which materials can be drilled?
      Basically all bendable materials such as steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum and brass. It is also suitable for circular and square pipes, other profiles as well as sheets.
    • What is the minimum and maximum material strength?
      Min.: t=0,5mm possibly with optimum underlining. High speed RPM is required.
      Max.: t=12mm and more, it is necessary to have very high engine power.
    • How long does a standard Flowdrill last?

      CNC controlled: attempts in:

      • St37, 2mm, M8, Flowdrill 7.3 short: 8000 – 10000 drillings / Pc
      • In stainless steel possibly half
      • In aluminum approx. 15000 drillings / Pc. and more

      By hand similar amount of holes are accessible. Though to be taken into consideration in particular are:

      • Flowdrill diameter and tool length
      • Material thickness
      • Material type
      • Lubrication
      • Heat development
      • Vibrations
      • Speeds
      • Machine state and spindle state
      • Feed speeds
      • Ability for reproduction / exactness of the process guidance
      • Surrounding conditions
      • Application in bored holes
    • How does Flowtapping work?
      Flowtapping is also a chipless operation.  The thread shape is formed through the entire length of the bushing; therefore, a thread length of minimum 1 x D can normally be achieved.  The load of a cold formed thread exceeds that of a standard cut thread and provides a positive lifetime benefit as well.
    • Can a Flowdrill be used with a mobile hand drill?

      Theoretically yes - however as a rule, the necessary.

      Reasons for not hand drilling:

      • Inexact tools admission in the three-jaw chuck
      • Necessary spanning force is not sufficient
      • Necessary axial force may not be reached
      • Necessary speeds / engine power is not sufficient
      • Heat is not carried off and can damage the chuck
      • Danger of the drill slipping and with it of a breakage by manual axial guidance
    • What typical applications are there?

      In particular as a time and cost saving alternative with at the same time higher quality in comparison, e.g. to the sweat, press and rivet joins or other cut threads.

      The most varied application possibilities thereby arise in the whole metal processing industry; everywhere where sheet metals or tins are worked on and processed (see the ADS book).

      Typical sectors and application examples:

      • Automotive: Thread for O2 sensor in the exhaust systems
      • Sanitary: Connection for heater valves systems on manifolds
      • Steel furniture: Connection for the plastic roles
      • Spray arrangements: Connection of valve bodies
      • Facade constructions: Connection of glass holders, handrails and push clutches
      • Solar collectors: Brazed connection on capillary
    • What is the cooling fan for?
      The cooling fan acts as a large heatsink to reduce heat from travelling from the part to the machine spindle during the Flowdrill operation.  The cooling fan is installed on all Flowdrill toolholders.
    • How often should I lubricate?
      About every 3 to 4 drillings in steel, with all other materials apply the lubricant before every hole in a thin layer up and down the length of the drill (also see short instruction).
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