thread data

Engineering Thread Data
Threads See Health & Safety Notice Note: This information is produced for Model Engineers only. Commercial users should refer to the correct British or ISO standards as applicable. See Notes on British & International Standards Screw fittings, essentially a matching internal & external constant pitch and diameter helix (female & male) form an essential part of society as we know it. It remains the ONLY practical way of joining individual elements in a secure, cheap way that can be assembled & disassembled as often as required. All this with the minimum of skill & tools. Threads used in situations where gas or liquid tightness is required can be tapered so as to lock up & seal on engagement.(BSP) Threads were developed in many parts of the world, and as such produced a bewildering array of different standards. All attempts to "unify" the system only succeeded in producing yet another standard. Almost universal in the UK was BSF (British Standard Fine) BSW (British Standard Whitworth) & BA (British Association). As a leading manufacturer in the Industrial age British thread forms were exported around the world. The Motor Industry made an attempt to use the American " Unified Threads" (many UK car companies had strong US connections. Ford, Vauxhall etc.) but with the move to a European Union there has been a strong move to the Metric System (most of the large European car firms are indigenous, Audi, Fiat, Mercedes, BMW) etc. and it is almost 100% certain that in due course all the older mainstream threads will slowly fade away as the market for fittings and tools dies off, and costs rise to uneconomic levels. There is no signs of this as yet. (2005) America has been slow to embraced the Metric standards but will almost certainly go that way in due course. As far as thread development is concerned the Metric form is almost certainly the end of the road. Unless there is some unforeseen technical development the Metric thread will continue to replace all other types. Virtually all new equipment will use the metric measurement system which will in turn mean the adoption of metric threads. Any remaining threads will be " metricated " ie: reissued in metric dimensions as the old imperial units disappear into the history books along with the rod, pole & perch. The older threads are usually designated "non-preffered" As far as Model Engineering is concerned we can more or less do as we please. Much of our equipment is second hand and probably quite old and we have a need to be able to identify threaded items and fittings on a regular basis. We also have a thread of our own, the ME or Model Engineer thread. This is rather unique in only having two pitches for the entire range. 32tpi & 40tpi. and is based on the Whitworth form. Another curious feature of this thread is that you cannot buy commercial ME nuts & bolts, although steam & boiler fittings are very often ME. Check first. Another thread much used by model engineers is the BA thread. (British Association) An attempt was made some while ago to introduce a set of metric standards for model engineering work. These are not a further set of standards, only a recommendation of suitable sizes for model engineering work. They conform in all ways to the ISO standard. Taps & Dies are available.

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Thread Included Angle. Cordeaux. When screw cutting it is now possible to buy 2 of 13 8/16/2010 11:16 AM . Sometimes a flat. BA 47½°. Gas Threads. Acme 29°. 20 Degree worm. UNC. SF French.British Standard Cycle. Root & Crest Form A major part of any thread is the crest & root form. Thread Pitch Usually expressed in threads per inch (tpi) or as an absolute dimension for one single pitch. Holtzapffel' BSW. ANC 60°. This means that the nut screws on with a CLOCKWISE rotation. Production of a correct form.M. When working on rotating parts always check the hand of the thread or consult the correct instruction manual. Acme. BSF 55°. Use caution. The root & crest form may also vary on the male & female threads. French Metric. Swiss Screw. UNF. Where taps & dies are used the correct form is produced automatically. Loewenherz.E. Progress Threads. BSP. British Standard Cycle Thread (BSC) 60°. ANF. Royal Photographic Society. BSF & the Metric Fine & Coarse threads up to at least ½" or M12 sizes.S. ie 1mm. where the normal angular rotation would tend to tighten the nut. is for the average modeller virtually impossible. All the load is transferred to the thread crests and causes high stress levels. Royal Microscopical Society.2mm . 0. Other taps such as UNF. Pipe & Sparking Plug. Historical Archive If required information can be supplied on the following threads:. Usually but not always this takes the form of a radius. Apart from a number of specialist threads the included angles for the most common threads are as follows. Watch Crown. Most if not all of these threads are well & truly obsolete. A. Nomenclature Left/Right Thread Types Threads are normally Right Handed and unless otherwise stated this is the norm.html A model engineer should have facilities to produce the full range of internal and external ME & BA threads together with a selection of BSW. American 8. Left Handed Threads are used extensively in the Motor Industry to secure rotating parts such as Drive Shafts. Left Hand threads are of course the opposite. Elgin Watch. on the Offside/Nearside of the Vehicle. Multi-start threads are basically the single start form.12 & 16 pitch series. The standard allows for flat roots & crests (p/8 & p/4) It is possible to produce a "V" tool with a rounded root & let the crest remain as a flat. Square. It is not uncommon for Wheel Nuts to be Left or Right handed. The ISO Metric threads are however an exception. leading to slackening in service and premature failure. Left & Right Hand threads are used. Metric or ISO 60°. Waltham Watch. Watch Pendant. Very rare to come across these in model engineering. Briggs Pipe. but with the pitch doubled etc.75mm etc. German Metric & German Metric Fine. Gears etc. UNC BSP can be acquired as required. Système International.thread data http://www. Edison Lamp Cap.colinusher.. Do not be tempted to use male & female threads with differing V angles. as appropriate. French Standard.

Old British machinery. determine the number of threads in an inch. mid 50/60's UNF/UNC later models Metric. tools etc. 5) Look at the history of the item. Since an insert is required for each form & pitch this puts their use outside the reach of most modellers due to cost. Only the included angle varies and this is difficult to determine in the smaller sizes without special equipment.html ceramic tips that will automatically produce the correct root and crest radii. It is very difficult to establish what the thread angle is. (Optical projectors etc. The differences are usually only 1/10ths of thou. Easy to tell apart by the pitches. existing threads of known size etc. Continental ISO Metric etc. Thread Identification. This equates to a 1mm pitch & if the dia was 6mm this is almost certain to be an ISO Metric Coarse M6 thread (ISO is the International Standards Organization) Thread pitch gauges. Taps. The best way is to try a selection of taps or threads until one fits perfectly without any slop or undue tightness. 3 of 13 8/16/2010 11:16 AM . Another very good way is to use part of a new tap as a thread chaser & skim off the last few tenths & form the radii. It is only at 1/2 depth when the root & crest radii are the same. 4) Determining the size of internal threads by direct measurement is (for the average modeller) virtually impossible. Thread Data.5 approx. cut fingers. This point is usually but not always 1/2 the thread depth.thread data http://www. but easy to state what it is not. Application of the correct root & crest radii does of course reduce the Actual thread depth compared to the full Theoretical Triangular "V" depth. Effective or Pitch diameter. UNF/UNC. If possible make or buy a plug type For example 5/16" & 8mm are very close together (only 2. Old motor cars BSF/BSW. may be used. A 100% sharp "V" is undesirable as it may form the stress point for fracture and on bolts.) 1) The first step is to determine the diameter and see if the thread is (or may be) Imperial or Metric. On a parallel thread it is the diameter of an imaginary cylinder which would pass through the threads at such a point that both male and female thread were the same width. With one or two exceptions (Lead screws. Motor Cycle/Cycle BSC. Try rolling the thread form onto a piece of paper and measure the pitch with an eyeglass & dividers. Please note that the figures given in the charts have been worked out from first principles and will NOT be exactly the same as those quoted in the ISO standards. For example if is bigger than 47½° & smaller than 60° it is almost certainly 55° and so on. 3) If we can determine the thread included angle as 60° this clinches it. USA. Adding a small radius on the "V" tool with a stone is probably the best we can achieve.colinusher. Vice Threads etc. Instruments/Electronics BA. probably BSF/BSW. Lets say it comes to 25.) all the threads we meet are of the "V" form.5 thou !) 2) Next step is the pitch or threads per inch (tpi) If we ignore the fact that it may or may not be a metric thread. Unless you are working on safety critical or highly stressed components it will probably be OK.

80% full thread are very rarely quoted but must have been used in the initial calculations 3) It is often desirable for the internal thread to have the crests flat rather than have the full perfect radiused form. 4) When tapping hard material such as Stainless Steel an 70% full thread (female) used with a 100% male bolt may be 100% OK. Carbon taps are usually cheaper & manufactured to wider tolerances. Also consider modern coated taps. Tolerances are mainly the province of mass production & interchangeability. Health & Safety Notice I recently read a note in quite a large Car & Motorcycle restoration guide that UNC & Whitworth nuts & bolts were interchangeable. This is complete rubbish & whilst some sizes are superficially the same ie: Pitch & Diameter. The reason is quite simple.2 tap as less cutting length on the flutes reduces tap stress. 5) It may be virtually impossible to tap 100% full thread anyway without risking a broken tap.. For our one off's. There is no one drill size to tap a given hole !! 1) There may not be an exact drill size for the core diameter All taps are manufactured as "plus on basic" to allow for wear in production. Whenever possible. 7) Always use very sharp taps & dies & lubricate well. See Notes on the Data Sheets You may need to "unprotect" the data first. Thread tolerances can be a very complicated subject & need sophisticated gauging equipment. Figures such as 70%. the Thread Angle IS NOT.colinusher. use a jig to ensure that the tap is vertical. Class 2 is the normal specification. Use of a tapping jig will virtually eliminate broken taps. Taps are made in a range of tolerances. Tapping Sizes Some confusion often arises when different drill sizes are given to tap the same female thread. Use a No. 75%. By entering the required %age full thread a correct tapping size can be obtained.(60/55) This means that all the 4 of 13 8/16/2010 11:16 AM . 8) It is virtually impossible to tap a hole 100% vertical by eye. 2) In practice it is usual to drill & tap to give a thread which is not 100% full thread. tolerances must be mentioned. This prevents threads binding & prolongs tool life.thread data http://www. 6) As with all things mechanical. These charts are interactive and will give true thread details for any size required. Below is the formula for each thread and each type has a link to an WinZip Excel spreadsheet. if it fits to YOUR SATISFACTION its OK. We use the nearest one available. If in doubt drill a tad bigger and use a good fitting male thread with more thread length engaged. As the tap wears the thread moves towards nominal. Select your nearest (very close) drill size.html Tables of threads are usually given in handy reference books but it is not generally known that all threads are based on a set formula for each thread.

it is not a whole metric size nor is it the same as the equivalent Whitworth fastener. thread form and suitable diameter. Thread Data & Formulae BSW (British Standard Whitworth) P = Pitch = 1/Number of threads per inch (tpi) h = Angular Depth = 0.160083 x P 5 of 13 8/16/2010 11:16 AM . DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MIX THE TWO. Non of these methods are 100% reliable.thread data http://www.colinusher. Use a proper thread gauge if possible or try to measure the core diameters with the correct thread micrometer.html load is directed onto the thread crests and roots and not full flank contact. DO NOT USE in highly stressed applications where bolt failure could lead to an accident without full professional advice as to grade. This is unique to UNC fasteners. Also note that Stainless Steel fittings ARE NOT AS STRONG as HIGH TENSILE steel bolts etc. One way to tell a UNF /UNC thread is to look for joined up circles on the flats of the nuts/bolts.960491 x P D = Depth of Rounding = 0. If in doubt throw away. ie: OOOOOO This is NOT however a 100% guide. If in doubt always use the Manufacturer's correct part for the relevant application. Another way is to use the Across Flats dimension.073917 x P h/6 = Shortening = 0. If the fit is tight or loose it is probably an incorrect I have also noticed UNF/UNC forged into the head.

640327 x P r = Radius at the Crest & Root = 0.280654 x P Effective or Pitch Diameter = Major Diameter .137329 x P 6 of 13 8/16/2010 11:16 AM .160083 x P d = Actual Depth = 0.073917 x P h/6 = Shortening = 0.thread data http://www.960491 x P D = Depth of Rounding = 0.colinusher.1.137329 x P C = Core diameter = Major Diameter ..html d = Actual Depth = 0.640327 x P BSF (British Standard Fine) P = Pitch = 1/Number of threads per inch (tpi) h = Angular Depth = 0.640327 x P r = Radius at the Crest & Root =

thread data http://www.1.640327 x P 7 of 13 8/16/2010 11:16 AM .1..137329 x P C = Core diameter = Major Diameter .640327 x P r = Radius at the Crest & Root = 0.160083 x P d = Actual Depth = 0.colinusher.280654 x P Effective or Pitch Diameter = Major Diameter ..073917 x P h/6 = Shortening = 0.640327 x P ME (Model Engineer) P = Pitch = 1/Number of threads per inch (tpi) h = Angular Depth = 0.html C = Core diameter = Major Diameter .280654 x P Effective or Pitch Diameter = Major Diameter .960491 x P D = Depth of Rounding =

8 of 13 8/16/2010 11:16 AM .75 x Major Diameter For Model Engineering purposes nuts and bolts are obtainable with the hexagon heads one size less across flats.html BA (British Association) P = Pitch = 1/Number of threads per inch (tpi) h = Triangular height = 1.6000 x P (d) C = Core diameter = Major Diameter .60000 x P t = Shortening = 0.0.colinusher.1808346 x P Effective or Pitch Diameter = Major Diameter .2000 x P (2d) Nuts and Bolts across flats is nominally x P d = Actual Depth = 0.thread data http://www.2681688 x P r = Radius at the Crest & Root = 0. this gives a better scale effect.

thread data http://www.54127 x P Hs = Basic height of External Thread = 0.108253 x P H/4 = Shortening of minor dia = 0.61344 x P Note: The form of the Metric Series of Threads varies between Internal & External Threads. in particular the root and crest details.html ISO Metric Fine ISO Metric Coarse P = Pitch = 1/Number of threads per inch (tpi) H = Angular Depth = 0.541266 x P r = Radius at the Root = 0.1443 x P Hn = Basic height of Internal Thread = 0.866025 x P H/8 = Shortening of major dia = 0.216506 x P d = Actual Depth = This allows for 9 of 13 8/16/2010 11:16 AM .colinusher.

html flat (truncated) or radiused forms.1443 x P Hn = Basic height of Internal Thread = 0.108253 x P H/4 = Shortening of minor dia = 0.colinusher.541266 x P r = Radius at the Root = 0.216506 x P d = Actual Depth = 0. Unified National Fine (UNF) Unified National Coarse (UNC) P = Pitch = 1/Number of threads per inch (tpi) H = Angular Depth = 0.54127 x P 10 of 13 8/16/2010 11:16 AM .thread data http://www. This data base is far to small to fully cover this subject. Engineers requiring more specific information should refer to the relevant ISO Standards.866025 x P H/8 = Shortening of major dia =

6495 x P F = Width of Flat = 0.colinusher.) and National Fine (N.html Hs = Basic height of External Thread = 0.108 x P 11 of 13 8/16/2010 11:16 AM .125 x P A = Depth of Flat = series of threads. P = Pitch = 1/Number of threads per inch (tpi) H = Theoretical Depth = 0. It is very similar to the UNF and UNC threads but has a Flat Root & Crest.61344 x P United States Standard (USS) United States Form (USF) Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) This form also occurs in the National Coarse (N.thread data http://www.866 x P D = Actual Depth = 0.

prone to stress cracking. (V) Details for this thread were taken from Machinery Handbook 9th Edition (1938) pg 1146. P = Pitch = 1/Number of threads per inch (tpi) H = Theoretical Depth = 0. The top and bottom of the threads are theoretically sharp. It still remains a very easy thread to cut using single point tools. UNF/UNC etc. Due to the sharp root and crest on this form. as these have rounded crests and roots. The "V" thread is effectively obsolete.colinusher. thus reducing stress concentration. are no longer available. The sides of the thread form an angle of 60 degs with each other. The later UNF/UNC threads should be used where possible.thread data http://www. Taps and Dies etc.866 x P D = Actual Depth with Crest Relief 12 of 13 8/16/2010 11:16 AM . Cutting tools. but in practice the crest has a slight flat equal to 1/25th x Pitch. (D) See chart details. This thread has been noted on older Harley Davidson Motorcycles and is understood to have been used on older US Cadillac Automobiles.html Sharp V-thread. This is removed after the thread is cut. It is however NOT interchangeable with modern 60 degs Imperial threads. thus reducing the actual diameter slightly below it is in theory.

This represents the %age full thread. No part of this publication may be reproduced. Notes on the Data Sheets The data sheets can be downloaded as Zip files into an Excel Spreadsheet.thread data http://www. No responsibility can be accepted for errors or omissions by whatever cause. 13 of 13 8/16/2010 11:16 AM . This means that you can view any standard. Most of the older non metric threads have been designated as " non-preferred thread series " for many years. They should be avoided in new equipment etc. Back to Colin Ushers Model Engineering Home Page Text © Colin Usher 2009 Illustrations © Colin Usher 2009 All rights reserved. on Aluminum you may wish to tap 100% full thread. By entering the diameter & pitch all the other details self calculate. you are not able to make copies. All files are in the protected mode. recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the copyright holder. or transmitted in any form or by any means. Most large libraries now have Internet Access & seem to have an agreement with the ISO/BSI. but as far as I am aware. Less if you are a BSI member. stored in a retrieval system.colinusher. contain large amounts of data irrelevant to model engineers work. typically £30 for a single copy. Except for private & non-profit use. You can also use the data to give full details of non-standard threads such as the Myford Nose etc. eg. electronic.html A= Width of Flat = P/25 (Not in the Official Standards) N = Depth of Flat Notes on British & International Standards Hard copies of ISO/British Standards are very expensive. Thread standards are by their very nature complex documents and unless you are working in a standards room or are a manufacturer of tooling mechanical or photocopying. This can be altered to give a tapping size to suit the thread you require. Some files have a figure in red over the tapping size.

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