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# Introduction to Dimensional And Geometric Tolerance

In the design and manufacture of engineering products a great deal of attention has to be paid to the mating, assembly and fitting of various components.

INTRODUCTION TO DIMENSIONAL AND GEOMETRIC TOLERANCE

General Aspects

In the design and manufacture of engineering products a great deal of attention has to be paid to the mating, assembly and fitting of various components. In the early days of mechanical engineering during the nineteenth century, the majority of such components were actually mated together, their dimensions being adjusted until the required type of fit was obtained. These methods demanded craftsmanship of a high order and a great deal of very fine work was produced. Present day standards of quantity production, interchangeability, and continuous assembly of many complex compounds, could not exist under such a system, neither could many of the exacting design requirements of modern machines be fulfilled without the knowledge that certain dimensions can be reproduced with precision on any number of components. Modern mechanical production engineering is based on a system of limits and fits, which while not only itself ensuring the necessary accuracies of manufacture, forms a schedule or specifications to which manufacturers can adhere.

In order that a system of limits and fits may be successful, following conditions

must be fulfilled:

1.    The range of sizes covered by the system must be sufficient for most purposes.

2.    It must be based on some standards; so that everybody understands alike and a given dimension has the same meaning at all places.

3.    For any basic size it must be possible to select from a carefully designed range of fit the most suitable one for a given application.

4.    Each basic size of hole and shaft must have a range of tolerance values for each of the different fits.

5.    The system must provide for both unilateral and bilateral methods of applying the tolerance.

6.    It must be possible for a manufacturer to use the system to apply either a hole-based or a shaft-based system as his manufacturing requirements may need.

7.    The system should cover work from high class tool and gauge work where very wide limits of sizes are permissible.

Nominal Size and Basic Dimensions

Nominal size: A 'nominal size' is the size which is used for purpose of general identification. Thus the nominal size of a hole and shaft assembly is 60 mm, even though the basic size of the hole may be60 mm and the basic size of the shaft 59.5 mm.

Basic dimension: A 'basic dimension' is the dimension, as worked out by purely design considerations. Since the ideal conditions of producing basic dimension, do not exist, the basic dimensions can be treated as the theoretical or nominal size, and it has only to be approximated. A study of function of machine part would reveal that it is unnecessary to attain perfection because some variations in dimension, however small, can be tolerated size of various parts. It is, thus, general practice to specify a basic dimension and indicate by tolerances as to how much variation in the basic dimension can be tolerated without affecting the functioning of the assembly into which this part will be used.

Definitions

The definitions given below are based on those given in IS: 919

Shaft: The term shaft refers not only to diameter of a circular shaft to any external dimension on a component.

Hole: This term refers not only to the diameter of a circular hole but to any internal dimension on a component.

Basics of Fit

A fit or limit system consists of a series of tolerances arranged to suit a specific range of sizes and functions, so that limits of size may. Be selected and given to mating components to ensure specific classes of fit. This system may be arranged on the following basis:

1.   Hole basis system

2. Shaft basis system.

Hole basis system:

'Hole basis system' is one in which the limits on the hole are kept constant and the variations necessary to obtain the classes of fit are arranged by varying those on the shaft.

Shaft basis system:

'Shaft basis system' is one in which the limits on the shaft are kept constant and the variations necessary to obtain the classes of fit are arranged by varying the limits on the holes. In present day industrial practice hole basis system is used because a great many holes are produced by standard tooling, for example, reamers drills, etc., whose size is not adjustable. Subsequently the shaft sizes are more readily variable about the basic size by means of turning or grinding operations. Thus the hole basis system results in considerable reduction in reamers and other precision tools as compared to a shaft basis system because in shaft basis system due to non-adjustable nature of reamers, drills etc. great variety (of sizes) of these tools are required for producing different classes of holes for one class of shaft for obtaining different fits.

Systems of Specifying Tolerances

The tolerance or the error permitted in manufacturing a particular dimension may be allowed to vary either on one side of the basic size or on either side of the basic size. Accordingly two systems of specifying tolerances exit.

1. Unilateral system

2. Bilateral system.

In the unilateral system, tolerance is applied only in one direction

+ 0.04         -0.02

Examples:   40.0   or      40.0

+ 0.02         -0.04

In the bilateral system of writing tolerances, a dimension is permitted to vary in two directions.

+ 0.02 Examples: 40.0

-  0.04

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