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Titanium has a big impact

Titanium has a big impact

Weight and Balance: Titanium use lightens and rebalances this impact wrench for ergonomic comfort.

Auto mechanics who wield air tools for much of their day want those tools to be both powerful and lightweight. A new impact wrench from Ingersoll-Rand (IR, Annandale, NJ) fits the bill on both scores.

The IR2135TI .50 wrench, a half-inch model, delivers 700 ft-lb of traditional torque output and can, in six seconds, loosen a 1.25-inch nut tightened to 1,000 ft-lb. "It's the most powerful drill in its class," reports Michael McCalley, Ingersoll-Rand's worldwide product manager for Vehicle Service Solutions. Ingersoll-Rand's air tools already boast plenty of power, but the design team refined the air passages and added Kevlar vanes to get a bit more juice out of the company's proven air motor designs.

To cut weight, Ingersoll-Rand engineers fashioned the drill's hammer case out of titanium. This substantial component houses the hammer mechanism and must bear the brunt of a 6-ft drop test on concrete. After evaluating other lightweight materials-including aluminum and reinforced plastics-IR opted to change the case from a deep-drawn steel to a cast titanium alloy (3-2.5). In doing so, they trimmed more than half a pound from the new wrench, which now weighs in at 3.95 lb.

As a side benefit, the weight reduction also improved the balance of the wrench. And the casting, because it allows sharper radii than drawing, also helped the design team come up with a space-efficient hammer case that's about 9% smaller than previous models, according to Pat Livingston, engineering manager for impact products.

In making the hammer case out of titanium, the design team identified their best possible chances for a big weight reduction. The hammer mechanism itself, one of the beefiest systems, actually needs its mass in order to generate the wrench's force. "It was off limits," says Livingston. And much of the drill housing had already made use of lightweight composite materials. "They were as lightweight as they could be," he says.

Contact: Pat Livingston, Ingersoll-Rand Business Development Center 1467 Route 31 South, PO Box 970 , Annandale, NJ 08801 Phone: (908) 238-7114, E-mail: [email protected] Enter 509 at

TAGS: Materials
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