Design of a Pneumatic Tool for Manual Drilling Operations in Confined Spaces
Janicki, Benjamin William
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This master’s thesis describes the design process and testing results for a pneumatically actuated, manually-operated tool for confined space drilling operations. The purpose of this device is to back-drill pilot holes inside a commercial airplane wing. It is lightweight, and a “locator pin” enables the operator to align the drill over a pilot hole. A suction pad stabilizes the system, and an air motor and flexible drive shaft power the drill. Two testing procedures were performed to determine the practicality of this prototype. The first was the “offset drill test”, which qualified the exit hole position error due to an initial position error relative to the original pilot hole. The results displayed a linear relationship, and it was determined that position errors of less than .060” would prevent the need for rework, with errors of up to .030” considered acceptable. For the second test, a series of holes were drilled with the pneumatic tool and analyzed for position error, diameter range, and cycle time. The position errors and hole diameter range were within the allowed tolerances. The average cycle time was 45 seconds, 73 percent of which was for drilling the hole, and 27 percent of which was for positioning the device. Recommended improvements are discussed in the conclusion, and include a more durable flexible drive shaft, a damper for drill feed control, and a more stable locator pin.
- Mechanical engineering