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Drilling is an operation of making a circular hole by removing a volume of metal from the job by a cutting tool called drill. Drilling machines are generally used to originate through or blind straight cylindrical holes in solid rigid bodies and/or enlarge (co-axially) existing (pre-machined) holes. The radial drilling machine is one kind of drilling machine classified based on the constructional feature of the machine. A radial drill machine or radial arm press is a large geared drill head that is mounted on an arm assembly that can be moved around to the extent of its arm reach. The radial, vertical and swing movement which the machine is capable of, enables to locate the drill spindle at any point within a very large space required by large and odd shaped jobs. There are some more versatile radial drilling machines as well where the drill spindle can be additionally swiveled and / or tilted.
Construction of a Radial Drilling Machine
The radial drilling machine consists of a heavy, round vertical column supporting a horizontal arm that carries the drill head. The arm can be raised or lowered on the column and can also be swung around to any position over the work and can be locked in any position. The drill head containing mechanism for rotating and feeding the drill is mounted on the radial arm and can be moved horizontally on the guide-ways and clamped at any desired position. These adjustments of arm and drilling head permit the operator to locate the drill quickly over any point on the work. The table of a radial drilling machine may also be rotated through 360 deg.
Powerful drive motors are geared directly into the head of the machine and a wide range of power feeds are available as well as sensitive and geared manual feeds. Depending on the different movements of the horizontal arm, table and drill head, the radial drill machine can be classified into the following three types:
Plain radial drilling machine
Semi universal drilling machine and
Universal drilling machine
Radial Drilling Machine and its Applications
Radial drilling machine is considered to be the most versatile machine among the drill presses. It is used primarily for drilling medium to large and heavy work pieces as it is easier to manoeuvre large work pieces with the radial arm drilling machine. Radial arm drilling machines cover a huge area which is solely dependent on the length of the arm. Other than just drilling of blind and through holes, radial drilling machines are capable of other operations such as boring, reaming, counter sinking, lapping, etc.