Magnetic (mag) drills are portable drills designed to cut metal. One common type of mag drill utilizes AC power to drive both the drill and the electromagnetic base. When power is supplied and the drill is activated, the electromagnetic base causes the drill to be magnetically affixed to a metal work surface. The electromagnet force is strong enough to support the drill being affixed to the work surface; and, to oppose any drilling forces occurring as a result of the drill bit engaging the work surface. For mobile applications, direct current (DC) powered mag drills are an alternative as they remove the need for wired power. However, one of the shortcomings of a DC powered mag drill is that the reduced power available from the batteries precludes successful use of electromagnets.
Navy researchers have developed a mobile mag drill with sufficient cutting power and a permanent magnet. The use of a permanent magnet means that power does not need to be used for the electromagnet and can be allocated to the drilling function. A novel lubrication system allows the drill to be operated on a vertical plane. This greatly expands the utility of the drill to surfaces beyond the bench.
- Safe – no chance of loss of magnetism with the permanent magnet
- Self-lubricating, even on non-horizontal surfaces
- US patent 9,669,539 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Navy researchers