ABOUT BALAX INC.
Forming Taps, Cutting Taps, and Thread Gages
Balax, Inc. is a privately held corporation located near Milwaukee in North Lake, Wisconsin. Founded in 1958, Balax pioneered a design for cold forming taps featuring "Lead Form Geometry Correction", a process which reduces tapping torque by creating lead threads on pitch. The new taps, called Thredfloers, were said to be "BALanced AXially", giving rise to the company's name, BALAX.
Thredfloer Taps, with their low torque capabilities, soon found acceptance among US manufacturers across the country. Balax has since added other metalworking tools to its product line, including Thredshaver Cutting Taps, and Thread Gages.
All manufacturing processes are done in house at Balax, including blank making, heat treating, shank and square grinding, fluting, thread grinding and surface treatments. Balax also maintains a fully equipped tapping laboratory to test new design concepts for tapping torque, tapping speed, tool geometry, coolant or lubrication performance, pretap hole sizing, and material compatibility.
WHY CHOOSE BALAX THREDFLOER’S ?
BALAX stands for “BALanced AXially,” which is an important feature for all of our Thredfloer Cold Forming Taps. Balax Thredfloers are ground using our proprietary thread grinders that have a differential lead compensation device that produces cold forming taps with their lead crests exactly on pitch.
Other forming taps have lead thread cold forming teeth that are not ground on pitch. These forming taps actually cold-work the thread twice: (1) to form the inaccurate lead thread and (2) to move it on pitch. This creates an axial thrust on the tap which increases tapping torque and reduces tap life.
Balax Thredfloers form the thread exactly on pitch the first
time with no axial thrust, hence the name “BALanced AXially”.
All Thredfloers require less tapping torque and provide longer tap life than forming taps ground with conventional methods.
SEVEN MAJOR ADVANTAGES OF THREAD FORMING – VS – CUTTING TAPS
Forming taps and cutting taps produce threads that gage
identically and are interchangeable, but the similarity stops there. The way they produce threads is completely different:
Forming taps displace metal — cutting taps remove it.
1. CHIPLESS TAPPING
Since the thread is formed and not cut, there are no chips to interfere with the tapping process or to cause chip-removal problems in blind holes.
2. STRONGER THREADS
The grain flow of formed threads follows the contour of the thread resulting in greater thread strength. This is especially true for materials that work-harden such as steel and stainless steel.
3. BETTER THREAD GAGING
Forming taps rearrange the metal in the hole to create the thread. Because no metal is cut away, the possibility of producing oversized threads is greatly reduced.
4. STRONGER TAPS
The absence of chips eliminates the need for flutes, resulting in a solid, stronger tap.
5. LONGER TAP LIFE
Forming taps last 3 to 20 times longer than cutting taps because they have no cutting edge to dull.
6. MORE EFFICIENT PRODUCTION
Longer tap life, less tap breakage, and faster tapping speeds combine to reduce cycle time and machine downtime.
7. IDEAL FOR NON-LEAD SCREW TAPPERS
The ability to form their own leads makes Thredfloer Taps especially well suited for CNC machines or other machines
without lead screws.
A BALAX, INC. GUIDE TO TAPPING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
At Balax, we recognize the increased demands placed on our customers for improved quality and lower production costs. To accommodate these needs, you will find in this catalog new generations of high performance tools that will lead to "least cost tapped hole" by providing increased tool life, less machine downtime, and better thread quality. This catalog reflects our commitment to serve our customers by providing skillfully engineered, high quality, state of the art products made in the USA.
Material Specific Tap geometry
In-Stock Thredfloer and Thredshaver are optimized to tap a specific material with geometry and coatings engineered to provide maximum results.
Premium Tap Materials of Construction
In-Stock Thredfloer and Thredshaver taps made from premium powder metal tool steel. These taps are produced at higher Rockwell C values and offer increased wear resistance and toughness compared to standard taps.
Carbide Inserted Taps
In-Stock Thredfloer and Thredshaver taps that have the wear resistance of carbide while providing the core strength of HSS.
Special Design Features
Balax has introduced other important design features to its standard tap product lines that increase tap consistency and benefit tap life and productivity:
Controlled Tap Blank Dimensions with tighter tolerances than MCTI Industry Standards.
Controlled Tap Chamfers for bottoming applications with limited clearances.
CNC Controlled Tap Geometries for more consistent thread gaging and longer tap life.
Balax, inc. Tapping Laboratory
Balax is fully equipped to evaluate your future tapping projects and to help you make the decision whether to cold form or cut thread your part. Working with your part prints and actual material being tapped, Balax will provide you with the correct recommendation for pre-tap hole size, tapping torque, tapping speed, and tap lubrication. Based on all of this information, Balax will design and manufacture the optimum tap that will allow you to successfully production tap your parts from the very beginning.