Threaded Inserts for Additive Manufactured / 3d Printed Products or Prototypes

 

Tappex are often asked the question…

“Which thread insert should I use in my 3d printed prototype”

 

Before we answer this question, firstly perhaps we can consider…

 

Why use a Thread Insert?

 

With more and more manufacturers/OEM’s looking to utilise additive manufacturing processes/3d printing technologies, for both low to medium volume production and prototype parts, high quality fixings and threads are becoming a necessity in these plastic parts.

montage

Holes in plastics can be drilled and tapped to produce a thread, however the thread will likely be weak and there will always be the risk of cross threading.

Thread forming screws can be used, however they generally only allow the screw to be installed and removed a couple of times before the hole in the parent material fails, which means the screw can no longer grip and provide the necessary clamping torque.

Threaded inserts installed into 3d printed products can offer a better simulation of exact application conditions, thus allowing the user to establish if the thread size is large enough to meet the specified performance requirements.

 

How to use a Thread Insert

There are a number of insert styles that can be used with 3D printed prototypes.

Tappex – Trisert Self-tapping Thread Insert.

Trisert_brief

The most commonly used is the Trisert range of self-tapping inserts. The Trisert range of brass thread inserts are an excellent general purpose insert that offers both, very good rotational and pull-out performance and doesn’t require costly installation equipment to install. The Trisert self-tapping inserts will tap their way into most engineering plastics (filled or un-filled thermosets and thermoplastics). We also manufacture a range of case hardened Steel and Stainless Steel Trisert’s, should your application have environmental considerations. For more information on the Stainless Steel Trisert 3’s please click here.

For very low volume applications, Trisert thread inserts can be installed using a nut and bolt. For further information on how to do this click here.

Tappex manufacture (in-house) a range of hand tools to suit the Trisert range of thread inserts. Generally available from stock, our hand tools offer an in-expensive installation option for low to medium volume applications. The hand tools will ensure correct, consistent and repeatable installation of the Trisert thread inserts.

For more information on our range of hand tools, please click here, alternatively we have a you-tube video of the tool in action here.

Tappex Flexi-arm Installation Machine.

Flexiarm_Yellow

Tappex flexi arm with pneumatic screwdriver

The Trisert is also a good choice of insert, if volumes are likely to increase. They are very competitive in price and for higher volume applications, we offer the Tappex Flexi-arm installation machine. For more details of the machine click here, alternatively you can see the machine in action, on our You-tube channel here.

 

Tappex Multisert Thread insert – for cold press/ultrasonic or heat installation into thermoplastics.

Multisert_brief

Multisert inserts are also a general purpose insert and can be cold pressed, heat installed or ultrasonically installed into a wide range of engineering thermoplastics.

One thing to consider when planning to use Multisert insert, is whether the 3D printed product can be held flat whilst the insert is pressed/installed into the parent material. Sometimes it can be difficult to ensure that the moulding is held perpendicular to the insert, during installation.

 

Installation Tooling for Multisert Thread Inserts.

Heat Installer

Heat installation machine, exclusively from Tappex

 

Multisert thread inserts can be installed using a Fly press, Arbor press, Tappex heat inserter, or even in some cases a soldering iron can be utilised. For more information on the Tappex heat insertion machine, please click here. We also have a you tube video of the machine, in action, on our You tube page here

This is not something that we recommend, however, in some cases our customers have been known to drop an insert into an oversized hole in the parent material, with a drop of superglue.

Hole Dimensions

The Tappex website offers a guide to hole dimensions for each of the inserts that we offer. The hole size required in the material will vary depending upon the parent material. You will also need to take into consideration the tolerance for the 3d printing machine that you are using.

Whilst the website offers a good guide, we’d strongly recommend that you contact us directly to obtain a hole size drawing, specific to your chosen material.

hole design

 

What if I have any further questions or need assistance with my application?

As a UK manufacturer, trading since 1956, Tappex offer extensive technical support, from design stage, right thorough to series manufacture. In the first instance, small numbers of samples can be provided for prototyping purposes, and prior to manufacture we have in-house applications engineers that can perform pull-out, or application torque tests to confirm suitability of the thread inserts for your chosen application.

 

Where can I get high quality UK manufactured thread inserts from?

Tappex Thread Inserts are located on Masons Road, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 9NT. Click here to find us on Google maps…

We can accept card or BACS payments from consumers, or trade customers alike.

Tappex ship products, directly to OEM’s across the globe, alternatively we have a long established global network of technical distributors, of which you can find further details on our website here .

 

Alternatively, if you have any further questions, or would like to discuss your requirements with us further, please give us a call on +44 (0) 1789 206 600 or drop us an email to sales@tappex.co.uk.

 

 

The Tappex Group’s Website’s and Email Servers are back on-line!

We’re pleased to report that all of the Tappex Group’s websites & Email servers are back up and running with full functionality.

Please feel free to take browse using the links below…

Tappex Thread Inserts

Tappex US Site

Pressavon

Apologies for any inconvenience caused by our recent IT issues.

If you’d like any further technical advice or assistance please get i n touch by email : sales@tappex.co.uk or give us a call on +44 (0) 1789 206 600.

Tappex self threading inserts montage 2

Tappex Thread Insert Installation Tooling – for self tapping Inserts

The Original FlexiArm – Only available from Tappex Thread Inserts Ltd

Tappex flexi arm with pneumatic screwdriver

Tappex Double flexi-arm with pneumatic screwdriver

The Tappex FlexiArm and Desoutter screwdriver combination offer a simple to set up and easy to use solution for rapid installation of self threading inserts into plastics, metal alloys, wood or the latest engineering composite materials.

Quick & simple set up.

Simply insert a Tappex production driver (with 1/4″ hex drive) into the Desoutter pneumatic screwdriver and adjust the installation torque. Once the torque is set, the tool will reliably install thread inserts to the correct depth with consistent torque every-time.

Upto 3 arms can be fitted to a single mounting column, this allows you to install several different sizes of threaded inserts from one machine location.

The FlexiArm is fully adjustable, so ensures that the insert will be installed square to the workpiece.

The FlexiArms Ergonomic design, with counterbalanced and spring loaded arms ensures the resting position can be adjusted to offer the optimum operator comfort and speed of installation. With the weight of the driver being supported by the spring loaded arm, operator fatigue is greatly reduced.

Ultimate flexibility

The desoutter screwdriver is renown for being the best quality pneumatic screwdriver and that’s why we selected it for use with the Tappex FlexiArm. We offer both a 510 rpm auto or manual reverse and an 1100 rpm auto reverse. The FlexiArm has a range of upto 800mm and can install inserts into mouldings or assemblies at different heights with a single set up.

Increased Speed of installation

The FlexiArm can offer increased installation speeds compared to heat staking, cold pressing or ultrasonic installation. The machine is also compact enough to be installed alongside the moulding machine, allowing the operator to install inserts immediately after moulding, utilising the downtime during cycle time.

Reliability

Tappex provides a 12 month return to base warranty on the Desoutter Driver and the cast iron construction of the FlexiArm ensure that the product will stand up to the rigours of the shop floor environment.

For a video showing the Tappex FlexiArm in use, please follow this link to our Youtube Channel…

Alternatively If you would like to know more about the Tappex range of installation tooling or to book a no-obligation demonstration of the FlexiArm machine please give us a call on +44 (0) 1789 206600 or get in touch using the contact form below.

Application Torque – Thread Inserts for Plastics

 

It is not always possible to apply the same tightening torque to a plastic assembly as a metallic one. Often there are good reasons why it might be required to but the majority of plastics are relatively weak and all suffer from creep to a greater or lesser degree. However in a carefully considered application and with the right Tappex thread insert it is possible to work around, and sometimes achieve, the same tightening torques that may be applied in a purely metallic assembly.

Key to this consideration is the support offered to the insert. The plastic the insert is installed into is known. As a result it is possible to make a reasonable estimation of what pull out load and what radial torque it might withstand. If the insert is considered in isolation in the plastic the radial torque figure will give a misleading view of the performance capacity of the application as a whole.

TAPPEX_Specials
The application torque is entirely different and takes into account all the elements of the assembly and the interaction between those elements. It is a much more realistic view of the torque performance that can be expected. Considering an ideal situation, here the mating part would be metallic and has a hole in it that is slightly larger than the outside diameter of the bolt that is passing through it and into the insert in the plastic moulding. The metallic mating part is against the moulding face there is no gap or gasket.
In this situation, as torque is applied to the bolt, after the head of the bolt has contacted the mating part, a pull load will be transmitted by the thread helix to the insert. Initially the insert will resist this load until it reaches a magnitude that the plastic surrounding the features of the insert cannot withstand. The insert will move, the plastic flowing, allowing the insert to come into contact with the metallic mating part. It should be noted that this movement should be restricted to a maximum of 0.3mm by the correct location of the insert. This prevents it partially failing in the plastic, whilst providing a clamp condition for the mating part against the face of the plastic moulding. Once the insert is in contact with the mating part the situation changes, the insert can no longer move in the plastic, any further torque applied to the bolt generates tension. This tension forces the end face of the insert against the metallic mating part, the friction between these faces creates a clamp that resists the torque applied.

In addition it is worth remembering that friction between the bolt head and mating part and between the male and female threads results in losses. So only a proportion of the additional applied torque is converted into tensile load, this can be quite significant depending on the frictional characteristics. The contact between the end face of the insert and the metallic mating part is often the major component resisting the radial component of the torque applied to the bolt. In this ideal situation it will sometimes be the bolt or the internal thread in the insert that becomes the limiting factor. The application torque, in this instance, would be much higher than the pure radial torque that the insert alone will withstand in the plastic.

If you have an application you’d like our help with simply send us your details on the form below, alternatively you can give us a call on +44 (0) 1789 206 600 or send us an e-mail to sales@tappex.co.uk.

Tappex Thread Inserts – Coming to a US State near you!

Tappex have for many years supplied Threaded Inserts directly to a great number of OEM’s across the United States of America.

Following the recent success story that was the NIFMSE (National Industry Fastener & Mill Supply Expo) in Las Vegas…

Tappex in las vegas

 

Tappex received a great deal of interest from many US based technical distributors.

We are currently working our way through the list of potential distributors and look forward to bringing you more information soon.

For anyone that didn’t get chance to see us and would like to discuss becoming a technical distributor for Tappex Thread Inserts,

please do give us a call on +44 1789 206 600 or e-mail us on sales@tappex.co.uk.

 

We’d like to say A big thank you to everyone who came to see us at the show and indeed to everyone who made us feel very welcome.

Looking forward to next years show already!

Interplas 2014 – leading Industry event – Will you be there…?

 

Interplas-Exhibitor - email footer image.Interplas Exhibition 2014 – Stand Number G91

Tappex will be exhibiting at Interplas 2014 on 30th September to 2nd October.

 

Interplas is the UK’s leading plastics industry event, covering all of the manufacturing processes, technologies and services essential to the plastics sector.  

Tappex are a family owned organisation and the largest UK manufacturer of threaded insert fasteners for plastics, composite materials, woods and light alloys. Tappex are located in the town of Stratford upon Avon and our product has been manufactured here since 1956.

The Tappex product range consists of 23 standard product families with many variations and geometrical differences, offering a solution for materials including thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics, composite materials, structural foam, metals, light alloys and wood.

With a wealth of experience in manufacturing fixings for a vast array of industries including Automotive and Motorsport, Rail, Marine, Aerospace, Telecommunications and Satellites, Medical, White goods and farming. Tappex have the right solution for your insert application.

Come and find out more about Tappex, our product range and the technical services and support that we can offer your organisation. Meet our knowledgeable sales engineers, discuss your latest projects and try out our range of thread insert installation machines including the…

Tappex Heat Installation Tool… 

Heat Installer

and Tappex Flexi-Arm Pneumatic Screwdriver

 Flexiarm_Yellow

We look forward to seeing you there…

Latest blog post on Tappex self threading thread inserts for metal, plastics, composite materials and wood

Tappex® has acquired, since it was established in 1957, a comprehensive knowledge of the application requirements of Threaded Inserts fastening across global Industries. In recent years, in particular,  our range of self-threading inserts have been progressively developed to include new products necessary to meet the demands of the metals processing industries and more critical customer applications.

Such critical applications include: Castings, machined & sometimes fabricated parts produced from Light metal alloys i.e. Aluminium, Zinc & Magnesium. Our inserts have been extensively trialled and supplied to customers around the world, on land, sea, air & even in space. Our inserts are of the self tapping type installed into either cast or pilot drilled holes to suit customer’s product manufacturing processes.

TRISERT-3 brass inserts

TRISERT-3®

Self Tapping Plated Steel or Stainless Steel Insert. Self Threading / Post mould installation

The Tappex Trisert-3 has three cutting features to provide a balanced cutting action and reduced installation torque. The Trisert-3 is suited for critical applications and is available in two lengths, regular and long, and is based upon the Trisert Reduced Headed design.

Ensat Threaded Screw Inserts

ENSAT®

Threaded Screw Inserts

The use of self-tapping thread inserts has significant advantages over pre-tapped holes, moulded-in inserts and wire thread inserts. They eliminate close tolerance holes required for tapping directly into the base material, damaged tools and low productivity resulting from moulded-in inserts and the time consuming process of placing wire thread inserts into pre-tapped holes. The trisert 3 range offers engineers an easy to fit alternative to traditional thread repair products such as helicoils.

To find out more about our inserts please click the link to visit our webite…www.tappex.co.uk

Alternatively if you would like some advice or you have a design or application that you’d like to discuss with our applications engineers, please give us a call on 01789 206600, or drop us an e-mail to sales@tappex.co.uk