STEM Drilling

STEM Drilling is ideal for making long, deep precision holes in hard corrosion-resistant materials.

This rare technology is an acid electrolytic drilling technique. It’s similar in nature to electric discharge machining (EDM) in that a high electric current is passed between an electrode and the part, through an electrolytic material removal process having a negatively charged electrode, a conductive fluid, and a conductive work piece. Unlike with EDM, however, no sparks are created.

High metal removal rates are possible with this process, with no thermal or mechanical stresses being transferred to the part.

STEM drilling enables shaped (i.e. not just round), simultaneous multi-hole drilling and is perfect for designs which require no recast layer and hence no potential weakening of the parent material.

It can produce a range of drilling profiles, including radial holes, trailing edge holes, film cooling holes, platform and tabulated holes – and creates minimal tool wear.

Drilling is safe, deep and precise, with depth to diameter ratios up to 300:1 and diameters as small as 0.5mm/0.020”.

We use this technology to produce turbine blades and vanes for both the aerospace and industrial gas industries.