Augers are critical for drilling into surfaces in order to convey materials. To get the most out of your auger, however, you need to know what kind of blades—also called auger flighting—you should use for the job. There are two primary processes used in the production of auger flights referred to as helicoid and sectional. Let's take a look at helicoid flighting versus sectional flighting augers to help determine which type of blades will benefit you the most.

Why Do Auger Flights Matter?

To help drive home the importance of different flights and why you need to consider their differences, you should understand the importance of their role. The blades of your auger are the part of your auger that’s in constant contact with the material you’re conveying. To ensure the job is done efficiently and effectively, the type of flight you use needs to match the job’s needs. Incorrect or worn-out flights have a significantly more difficult time managing the material you’re conveying, which in turn slows down the process and over-taxes your machinery. When you don’t have the right auger flights, it can lead to a domino effect of the rest of your machines and equipment becoming more worn-down and overheated due to being forced to work harder. This can potentially cause your equipment to break far faster than its intended lifespan.

Furthermore, there is an incredible variety of flights available for you to choose from, so understanding the two primary processes of most flights is incredibly beneficial. Understanding how a flight was processed can help you determine if it will be capable of fulfilling the needs of the job or allow enough flexibility and customization to fulfill certain niches.

Helicoid Flights

When comparing helicoid flighting versus sectional flighting augers, you’ll notice that both are made using a helix design. With that in mind, helicoid flighting augers are easily identifiable by the fact they are created with a continuous helix made from a single piece of carbon or stainless steel.

The process of creating a helicoid flight involves using a rolling machine with cone-shaped dies. The rolling machine and dies are set to a specific ID and OD dimensions to mold a strip of carbon or stainless steel into the desired shape and dimensions needed for the job. During this compression process, the helicoid flight develops OD edges that are thinner than the uniformity of sectional flights.

The finished product is a smooth conveying surface that provides low friction and, as a result, low resistance to product flow. This also makes helicoid flights useful for mixing and agitating material but is best applied in housing for material transport. Helicoid flights are more time and cost-effective to produce in comparison to sectional flights, but are also less flexible in terms of design, materials used, and material thickness as a result.

Sectional Flights

As the name suggests, sectional flights are blades individually formed from steel plates and arranged into a helix. In order to create each section, the fabrication process is a bit more involved. To begin, a steel plate is cut into a donut shape with the specified inside diameter (ID) and outside diameter (OD) dimensions.

Next, a press shapes the donut-shaped steel plate into the form of a helix. Each helix is an individual component that is joined to create a series of flights or a continuous helix. The series of flights or continuous helix is then attached to a shaft to create the final formation. For consistency, each sectional flight retains a uniform thickness from the ID edge to the OD edge.

The major benefit of sectional flights comes from the fact they’re a lot more flexible in design and material thickness than helicoid flights. This allows for more niche applications that fit a client’s specific needs but requires more handling to create a finished auger.

Another benefit, and the most common reason a sectional flight may be used, is that sectional flights can be created in larger sizes than helicoid flights can. The flight dimensions of sectional flights are only limited by the formability of the base material, so a wider range of sizes is always available to you and your needs.

Auger Flighting Materials

Another important aspect of choosing between the two fabrication processes is the kind of material you’re using. For example, stainless steel is very easy to work with, allowing superior malleability for greater customization without compromising the strength and durability of the material. Abrasion-resistant steel, however, is the exact opposite. This steel can be incredibly difficult to shape and form, but the incredible tensile strength and resistance against wear and tear are well worth the struggle.

If customization is a priority, then a material like stainless steel may be your best choice. Not only is it easy to shape into the desired dimensions, but stainless steel has the added benefit of being incredibly corrosion-resistant. This property helps prevent conditions like rust and decay from taking hold and rendering your flight useless. As such, this may be best suited for highly-customized sectional auger flights, especially if the necessary dimensions are very demanding and specific. For more heavy-duty industrial applications, however, you may want the abrasion-resistant steel. This will help ensure that the auger flighting won’t wear down nearly as quickly, but the option may only be available for very standard auger flighting designs like the helicoid helix.

Custom Flight Manufacturing

If you can’t entirely determine which type of auger flighting would be best for you, then you are more than welcome to contact the experts of Jeffrey Machine. Our experts can not only help you determine the right solution for you, but we can manufacture customized auger flights with our fabrication and welding services. Specializing in utility and foundation augers, we understand the needs of industrial applications and what types of auger flights work best for any scenario.

Get in contact with us today for high-quality and timely delivered utility and foundation auger flights! With years of expertise and only the finest equipment, Jeffery Machine has cultivated a reputation for crafting some of the finest drilling equipment in the world. When you choose us, you’ll never choose wrong.

Helicoid Flighting vs. Sectional Flighting Augers