Measuring Drill Bit Wear with Infrared Sensors and Optical Fibre

It is always of interest to workshop and factory owners and managers to monitor and understand the condition of the drill bit from time to time, in order to analyse drill bit wear condition and predict drill bit breakage. 


This is to ensure drilling parts are ordered and will be replaced promptly, in order to minimise work operation downtime. 


Understanding drill bit wear

Drill bit wear can come in many forms, such as chipping, flank wear, crater wear, outer corner wear, margin wear and chisel edge wear.


However, corner wear is found to be directly related to drill life. 


Drill bit corner wear increases as the number of drilled holes increases. 


The shape and surface roughness of the drill bit corners change drastically immediately before the drill bit breaks.


This is because the cutting edge is not sharp enough to cut the base material due to the wear of the outer corner, so the frictional force increases, causing the cutting surface of the tool to become more and more rough.


So, how does the infrared sensor come into play here?

Infrared light is reflected on the edge shape, surface roughness and wear of the drill bit while it is in rotation, and the reflection phenomenon is measured.


Changes in drill bit corner shape and surface roughness result in diffuse reflection, causing changes in the light intensity measured by infrared sensors.


Data collected on the rotation angle of the drill bit versus the intensity of the infrared light reflected from the circumferential surface of the drill bit are taken into consideration in the prediction of tool breakage. 


The advantage of this method is that the measurement device is low cost and is easy to install. 


The measured signal is resistant to ambient temperature and electromagnetic noise, because optical fibre is used as the signal transmission medium.


This system is also easy to implement for monitoring the condition of the drill bit, without the need to remove the cutting tool from the machine.


This measurement method does not require complex analysis of the measurement signal, as it does not require an expensive, high-performance analyzer.


Well, it is always worthwhile to utilise technology to boost productivity for your workshop or factory business!


Note: This infrared measurement on drill bit is not for Oil & Gas well drilling bit. This measurement method is for normal drill bits used in workshops and factories.

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