2010 R&D 100 Winner
TriboMAM_M4_SciencesA wide range of commercial and industrial products require precision hole drilling. This drilling is typically done using computer numerical controlled lathe (CNC) machine tools, and the rate and cost of manufacture are tied to the speed of drilling.

TriboMAM, from M4 Sciences LLC and Purdue University, both of West Lafayette, Ind., is an industrial drilling system for computer-controlled machine tools that increases the speed of this precision drilling by up to 500% over alternative technologies. The system is based on the theory of modulation-assisted machining, which involves the introduction of a sinusoidal motion into the physics of mechanical drilling.

Driven by an electrical signal to a piezoelectric actuator, the sinusoidal motion separates the drill from the workpiece up to 1,000 times per second, causing the formation of small metal chips while simultaneously allowing machining coolant to penetrate the area. Managed by a programmable micro-controller and an electromechanical tool holder, both patented for TriboMAM, the machine uses the metal chips to prevent binding and drill breakage, while the improved lubrication reduces friction and temperature. These are the main rate-limiting factors in mechanical drilling.

Computer-controlled modulated precision drilling

M4 Sciences LLC
Purdue University School of Industrial Engineering

Development Team

The TriboMAM drilling system for Modulation Assisted Machining Development Team:
Srinivasan Chandrasekar Purdue University, School of Industrial Engineering
James Mann, M4 Sciences LLC
Wilfredo Moscoso, M4 Sciences LLC
Christopher J. Saldana, M4 Sciences LLC