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Monday, September 05, 2016

Thin Walled Inserts - Threads Screwed into Threads

This post is a bit more "manufacturing focused" than CAD focused.  It was brought on by my most recent experience in design.

I wasn't exposed them as much as I would have liked in college, so I like to share that newly acquired knowledge of mine with the world out there.

So what have I learned about most recently?

Threaded inserts.  I've been spending a lot of time working with them in the last year or so.

A Fusion 360 rendering of a thin wall insert. 
Most of us have probably used helical coil inserts, which most of us know by their trade name, Helicoil.

Helicoil plus.jpg
By The original uploader was Boellhoff at German Wikipedia - Transferred from de.wikipedia to Commons by MichaelFrey using CommonsHelper., Attribution,

But recently, I had to use "thin wall" inserts, designed to meet the MIL-I-45932/1 standard.  If you like, you can download that standard here.

A real image of thin wall inserts. Image from Acme Industrial.
They're a new experience for me.  I hadn't worked with them before.  I had only installed the  aforementioned helical coil insert.

We use them to reinforce holes in aluminum castings.  Stainless steel inserts provide a more durable interface for the hardware to fit into, and makes it easier to assemble and disassemble without wearing the threads as quickly.

The thin wall inserts have the extra advantages of using standard threads, so they don't require any thread making tools.

They also work when there isn't a lot of edge distance to play with, such as a flange.  Where using too big of an insert risks weakening the interior all.

The downside is that, at least from what I'm told, these are tougher to put in.  You can't twist them in like a Helicoil.  They have to be threaded in, then the collar has to be expanded with a special tool, and a bit of skill is required to keep from damaging the surface, or the insert itself.

For the steps to install a thin wall insert, he's a nice "shop video" from Acme Industrial.

There are so many things to learn, and such little time.  I hope this little blurb is something you find helpful!

As always, here's the embeded Fusion 360 model that I always have so much fun including!

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