Common Coatings For Protecting Drill Bits

A priceless commodity in machinery-related industries, and possibly one of the most standard tools found there, drill bits can be used to pierce glass, porcelain, solid wood furniture, metals, and more. For nearly any given situation, there is an appropriate drill bit. One of the things that make a drill bit suitable for a particular job is what the bit itself is made of. Its material. Every bit will not work in every instance. That’s why it’s vital to match the material being drilled to the material of the drill bit in order to achieve the desired result.

Protective Coatings Used on Drill Bits

Whether you’re trying to make sure that your drill bit doesn’t rust due to frequent exposure to moisture (or saltwater), or if you’re trying to lessen friction and wear, some of the best protection you can give your drill bits is a thermal spray coating. Here are some of the various types of coatings used to protect drill bits:

  • Cobalt – if there is a material that high-speed steel cannot cut, like (for example) stainless steel, cobalt is used. Compared to high-speed steel, it is not as susceptible to higher temperatures, and it is thereby unaffected by usage where elevated levels of heat are frequently a problem. Unfortunately, these coatings tend to be a bit on the brittle side, which might be their only drawback.
  • Zirconium – this is not necessarily something that is commonly used for drill bits. That is not to say, however, that it doesn’t do a great job when used to coat them. It does, in fact, work extremely well. For materials like steel, which is hard but exhibits brittle characteristics, the strength can be increased by the use of zirconium nitride. Its makeup makes for improved precision drilling because it decreases friction significantly.
  • Titanium – because it is so strong, many are surprised by how light this corrosion resistant metal is. Titanium has a high heat limit and an excellent fatigue limit, similar to steel, but somewhat less on both counts. The longevity of titanium makes it a good fit for use in large, repetitive runs. As drill bit coatings go, it is extremely versatile, and it cuts a broad spectrum of surfaces including but not limited to various types of irons and steels, as well as plastic and wood.

And then there are the big-boy drills like those used in offshore drilling operations. Even though these are drills on a gargantuan level, compared to the drill bits used in machine shops and other private shops, the protective coatings used on them are as important as they are on the smaller drill bits. Maybe even more so. Corrosion and wear resistance is vital in operations of this magnitude and the unique challenges presented here require solutions that are long-lasting. Every day that drill isn’t running, money is being lost.

Abrasion and corrosion must be prevented at all costs, and that means using the best protective coating in existence. The experts at A&A Coatings know this and can protect not only gigantic masters of machinery but the little drill bits in your shop as well.

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