Characterizing Mist Distribution in Through-Tool Minimum Quantity Lubrication Drills Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract The mist distribution is a critical factor in through-tool minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) drilling since a small amount of lubricant is used. However, it has rarely been discussed because of the difficulty in measuring the mist flow experimentally. In this paper, an optical approach is developed to approximate the mist distribution by using high-speed images from multiple angles. Drill bits with two through-tool channel shapes (circle and triangle) and three helix angles (0 deg, 30 deg, and 45 deg) are 3D printed for mist distribution analysis. Furthermore, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is conducted to investigate the underlying physics behind mist flow variations. The results show that, in the circular channel, the mist is concentrated near the periphery; the low concentration region shifts away from the chisel point as the helix angle increases. For the triangular channel, the mist is concentrated near three vertices but is less affected by the helix angle. Furthermore, based on the CFD solution, high mist concentration tends to be in low-velocity regions and vice versa. This study confirms a noticeable difference of mist flow distribution in different through-tool channel designs.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Raval, J. K., Kao, Y., & Tai, B. L.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Raval, Jay K||Kao, Yi-Tang||Tai, Bruce L

publication date

  • March 2020