Hydra Clarkson

Materials Analysis and Research Services CIC

Hydra Clarkson, a world leader in cutting tools, based in Sheffield, approached the Materials Analysis and Research Services Centre of Collaboration (Materials Analysis and Research Services CIC) to investigate ways to improve the life of cutting tools sold for use in the dry-drilling of aerospace and automotive alloys.

The Materials Analysis and Research Services CIC were developing a range of new nanoscale PVD coatings which combined high hardness, low friction and chemical inertness. Research was undertaken to apply the coatings to Hydra Clarkson’s cutting tools and analyse the impact on tool life. Tests were carried out dry-drilling “sticky” alloys and advanced Metal-Matrix-Composite (MMC) materials, using coated and uncoated Hydra Clarkson cutting tools. The Centre was able to demonstrate that the innovative coating managed the heat generated during dry-drilling, removing the need for a coolant or lubricant. The resulting data showed that the coated tools had significantly improved life, producing 130 holes compared to 1 to 2 holes with uncoated tools, and outperformed competing coatings by a factor of three.

Hydra Clarkson can now offer customers a superior product, with end users benefiting from reduced production costs due to improved wear and extended tool life, and the ability to dry-drill more accurate holes. The elimination of the requirement for coolant or lubricant will reduce disposal costs and ultimately benefit the environment. The research programme has also led to a patent application which is currently pending.

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Benefits of working with the Materials Analysis and Research Services CIC:

  • Enhanced market reputation
  • Superior, higher quality product
  • Anticipated increase in sales
  • Increased customer satisfaction

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