SELF DRILLING SCREW
One of the most important commercial fasteners in use today is the Self-Tapping Screw and self drilling screw. Among the earliest “engineered” fasteners, Self-Tapping and drilling screws were made from hardened steel and its use was instrumental to the industrial revolution. Still in use today, there are now many types and styles of Self-Tapping and drilling screws made to perform specific fastening jobs.
Some self-tapping screws are also self-drilling, which means that, in addition to the tap-like flute in the leading threads, there is also a preliminary drill-like fluted tip that looks much like the tip of a center drill. These screws combine a thrilling-like action and the fastener installation itself into only one driving motion (instead of separate drilling, tapping, and installing motions); they are thus very efficient in a variety of hard-substrate applications, from assembly lines to roofing.
Self-tapping screws have a wide range of tip and thread patterns, and are available with almost any possible screw head design. Common features are the screw thread covering the whole length of the screw from tip to head and a pronounced thread hard enough for the intended substrate, often case-hardened
For hard substrates such as metal or hard plastics, the self-tapping ability is often created by cutting a gap in the continuity of the thread on the screw, generating a flute and cutting edge similar to those on a tap. Thus, whereas a regular machine screw cannot tap its own hole in a metal substrate, a self-tapping one can (within reasonable limits of substrate hardness and depth.