How To Drill A Stainless Steel With A Drill At Home

How to drill a stainless steel

How to drill a stainless steel depends primarily on the thickness of the stainless steel product:

  • A sheet of stainless steel with a thickness of no more than 2 mm can be drilled using conventional metal drills. In this case, the rotation speed of the drill of the power tool should be no more than 100 rpm;
  • Holes in a sheet with a thickness of more than 6 mm are made in two stages and special cutters are used. First, the metal is drilled with fine equipment, and then the process is completed with a finishing drill.
  • For drilling stainless steel, drills made of alloys containing cobalt are used. over, the higher the cobalt, the better for the drilling process.
  • Stainless steel can be drilled with victorious drills.
  • In some cases, feather-shaped drills are used for thin stainless steel.

During drilling, watch out for chips. If it darkens and becomes shallow, then the cutting edge of the tool is dull and overheats. In this case, work must be stopped.

How and how to drill a stainless steel?

Stainless steel, due to its unique characteristics and properties, has found wide application, both in industry and in everyday life. Drilling in stainless steel may be required to make process holes. For example, in order to create a bolted or riveted connection of individual structural elements.

How to drill a stainless steel

Drilling stainless steel in industrial and home conditions

Drilling of stainless steel can be carried out both in industrial and at home. For this process, you can use special industrial machines or conventional power tools, such as an electric drill. Drilling machines are used in production. At home, the need to drill a hole in stainless steel may arise during repair work.

Stainless steel differs from conventional metal alloys in its high toughness, which means that when drilling stainless steel, the cutting tool can quickly overheat. Therefore, drilling in stainless steel has its own characteristics. Stainless steel is drilled with special drills and a cooling lubricant must be used.

How to work with stainless steel equipment

To connect elements made of stainless steel, not only drilling, but also welding can be used. Welding electrodes for stainless steel must meet certain criteria and requirements in order to ensure a high-quality and reliable weld.

When drilling stainless steel equipment, in addition to choosing the right tools and cooling lubricants, it is necessary to observe the drilling modes and know the technology of drilling stainless steel.

How, for example, can you drill a stainless steel sink? First of all, you need to understand that you should not drill already installed equipment. It needs to be dismantled. The sink is laid on a horizontal surface and the place where it is necessary to make a hole is marked with a core. After that, a tube with a coolant is installed in the place of drilling and a hole in the stainless steel is drilled through this so-called “bath”.

How to properly drill a stainless steel at home

In order to drill various types of stainless steels at home, special drills and liquid cooling are used. This allows you to improve the workflow and obtain a high-quality metal hole without damage to the power tool and the main surface of the material. Such metal is drilled both on industrial machines and with the usual construction electrical appliances according to a pre-drawn template.

Features of stainless steel and the choice of drill

Stainless steel is widely used in household and industrial applications. It is a high-quality metal alloy that is resistant to corrosion and various aggressive environments. In everyday life, this material is often used for the manufacture of plumbing fixtures, countertops, pipes, etc. In the process of repair or construction, sometimes it becomes necessary to drill one or another part made of this metal.

An important nuance when drilling stainless steels, along with the correct selection of coolants and work technology, is a high-quality drill. Many experts to this day prefer the time-tested and very durable cobalt (CO-5) options, which are also suitable for making holes in heat-resistant metals or cast iron without the need for preliminary alignment.

These models were previously made on the basis of steel alloys with 5% cobalt in their composition or from high-strength steels of the R-18 type with the addition of this chemical element.

Most often, the majority of domestic manufacturers simply cover parts with a “golden” layer of cobalt, but at the same time it is contained in the workpiece to a minimum or not at all. This technology allows to achieve improved sliding parameters, but does not add any strength to the rod.

On the market there are analogues of “real” cobalt versions of foreign production, the characteristics of which correspond to DIN standards. 338 or 336, and the marking contains the abbreviation HSS-C or simply NHSS. These types of drills are also made from high-strength steels with a mandatory m of at least 5% cobalt in the alloy composition (among the manufacturers it is worth noting such companies as Bosch; Ruko; Gross; Hagwert; Hilti, etc.

Their advantage is the high hardness of the material from which they are made and a specially blunt angle of sharpening of the tip, which makes them suitable for working with all kinds of “heavy” metals. The only drawback may be the price, which is noticeably higher than that of conventional options for standard drills.

How to Drill Stainless Steel Like a PRO

Steel crowns and conical drills for stainless steel

In addition to cobalt options of various diameters and strengths for stainless steel, other drills made of metal alloys of high hardness with the most sharp sharpening for dense materials are also used, which, as a rule, is made only on one cutting side. The choice of drill and working tool depends on the grade of stainless steel, the thickness of the workpiece being processed and the selected technological process.
If it is necessary to make a large hole (from 14 mm in diameter and above.) Use special ring drills or crowns. They have additional clamping equipment, chuck and drill head in various sizes, which according to the tables correspond to inch and metric standards for pipe and other popular stainless steel products.

With small values ​​of thickness (1-2mm), you can drill out the stainless steel with a simple steel drill, but only if its cutting part is sharpened at an angle of 120 degrees. In this case, the power tool is set to the lowest possible speed (100 rpm) in order to prevent breakage of the cutter, as well as overheating and failure of the tool itself.

For drilling processing of sheet, food and especially thin stainless steel (less than 0.9 mm), special stepped or conical drills for metal are used. Their peculiarity lies in the fact that the working part of the part is made in the form of a spiral with annular transitions of various diameters.

This allows you to accurately determine during drilling which hole was made in size at a certain stage of work. In such cases (with a very small thickness), these types are able to replace a whole set of parts for stainless steel, including round crowns and ordinary drills with various types of sharpening.

Application of cooling and lubricants

Drilling holes in products that are made of stainless steel with a standard metal drill and using simple technology is not recommended due to the special structure of the alloy, which is characterized by high toughness. The use of a conventional drill leads to the fact that in the process of work there is an excessively strong heating of all the elements that participate in it, which can negatively affect the working tool and the finish quality.

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To avoid difficulties with self-drilling and make a hole correctly and as smoothly as possible, use high-quality coolants, which at the same time act as a lubricant.
On an industrial scale, there are powerful drilling machines and equipment that is equipped with an automatic fluid supply system. Some craftsmen equip old or home-made mills with a similar device, building it on the basis of a pump from an automobile pump or other suitable option.

A common and gross mistake of novice craftsmen is dipping the drill in water while working. That is, first a hole is made dry, then the red-hot rod is dipped into a cold solution. It is absolutely impossible to do so, this reduces the properties of the part, and at a certain stage the workpiece will break, it also concerns the working tool itself.

The composition that is used when drilling stainless steel is most often produced on the basis of a mixture of technical oil or other types with high viscosity and colloidal sulfur, ground into powder (which is often used for fumigation in horticulture and viticulture.). These two elements are mixed with each other in equal proportions and get the cooling material necessary for high-quality work. A more efficient cooling option is a solution based on sulfur and fatty acids. The latter are easy to obtain on their own using the following technology:

a small piece of standard brand laundry soap is crushed to a powdery state;
add hot water (70-80 degrees) to the container and mix everything properly;
a few drops of technical acid (hydrochloric) are added to the slightly cooled solution;
after a few minutes, when characteristic fatty bubbles form on the surface, they are “quenched” with a large amount of chilled or ice water.

Home drilling rules and tips

In order for the hole to turn out smooth and of high quality, several simple rules are used that allow you to perform work on stainless steel with high quality, namely:

When drilling parts that are located in a horizontal plane, the drill is pushed through a rubber washer or other material of suitable size and properties (for example, a plastic plug), which, in turn, is filled with a cooling compound and installed directly above the place of the required cut. Or additionally spray the area with universal metal products in the form of aerosols.

For vertical surfaces, a paraffin bead can be installed, which is a good lubricant. To facilitate work in any plane, experts recommend making preliminary markings (axial risks) or a special template with already marked contours.

Regardless of the type of part, thickness and other parameters, a household power tool or machine is adjusted using adjustments to the minimum feed in revolutions (100-450 rpm). This will allow you to drill evenly and accurately. The indicator of a correctly selected speed is long and uniform metal chips that arise during operation.

If the thickness of the steel product is more than 7 millimeters, the procedure is performed in several technological steps. First, a small preliminary hole is made with a suitable drill (for example, 4-5mm), and then carefully drilled to the required parameters. This allows you to get the most even and neat edges, which is especially important when working with food or sanitary stainless pipes.

Drilling stainless steel at home is not difficult if you have theoretical and practical ideas about it and choose reliable power tools and a set of quality drills. Do not forget about the constant cooling of the metal, safety precautions and technological breaks.

Features of working with concrete pavement

First, select the drill. If the wall is made of concrete or brickwork, it is better to give preference to the victorious nozzles, since this tool turns the material into crumbs at the drilling site. But it is not suitable for other surfaces, for example, if you drill wooden boards with them, the fibers will tear, and the hole will turn out to be sloppy.

When drilling a concrete surface, it must be borne in mind that there will be a lot of dust, therefore it is necessary to prepare a vacuum cleaner to collect debris from the hole. This, of course, does not guarantee absolute cleanliness during work, but it allows you to reduce the amount of dirt.

Before you start drilling, you need to check if there are communications in that place. Damage to electrical wiring will result in the injection of additional funds into its restoration. Before the wall needs to be ringed, you can use a signaling device or a metal detector.

Now you can go directly to drilling holes in the concrete wall. To begin with, we outline the place where the future hole will be with a construction pencil. We start drilling at a low speed, this will improve the accuracy of the work. After that we increase the speed. The serlo should enter the surface at one angle so that the drilling direction does not get confused and the hole is of the desired size.

If a hole is made for a dowel, it must be longer than the dowel itself so that it can be installed flush with the wall and does not protrude.

It all depends on the attachment

Before starting the repair, it is necessary to draw up a small estimate for the installation work in order to understand what kind of equipment will be needed in the process.

All drill bits can be divided according to the type of work:

  • for making holes;
  • for corner drilling;
  • drill stops;
  • for grinding;
  • for cutting;
  • for polishing;
  • mixer attachments.

And also by the type of material on which the work is taking place:

  • concrete;
  • tile;
  • wood;
  • metal.

Also important factors are the length of the tooling and the alloy from which the nozzle is made.

For what work you may need drilling:

  • laying of plumbing lines;
  • chipping walls for laying electrical cables;
  • drilling of socket outlets;
  • shallow openings for wall cabinets and shelves.

Large diameter work

At the beginning of the work, they outline the area in which the hole should be formed. It is important to observe the dimension here. When the hole diameter is 100 mm, the circle needs to be drawn about 20 mm. This is typical for situations where the drill deviates from the working circle. Even a small shift can damage the surface if you do not take this into account from the very beginning. Make sure that the drill goes through the walls. Only in such a situation can you be sure that the hole will be made correctly.

How to drill wood surfaces

Wood is the easiest material to drill. But there are also some features of the technological process that must be observed so as not to spoil the surface and not to break the equipment. Speed ​​parameters depend on the type of wood flooring. Loose specimens can be drilled easily. The following types of equipment for wood can be distinguished:

  • flat or feather;
  • twisted, they are single-spiral;
  • crowns, also called core drills;
  • cylindrical nozzles of the Forstner type.

Choosing a drill. As a rule, for small holes (less than 1.2 cm), metal tooling is used, if a larger diameter is needed, you will have to fork out for a specialized wood drill.

For large holes, ring crowns must be used. For drilling blind areas, Forstner-type crowns are perfect.

Particular attention must be paid to drilling the timber. Despite the fact that it is very convenient to fix, its thickness often becomes a negative factor that complicates the work. If the timber is of a standard size, then, as a rule, drills up to 25 mm are taken. The drilling process always takes place at low speeds.

How to smoothly drill concrete with a drill

First you need to know for sure that you have selected the correct nozzle. It is always necessary to drill at low speeds. Usually, the tool is in operation for 10 or 12 minutes. During this time, it is guaranteed that it will not overheat and accidentally break. If the drill bit of the tool accidentally remains in the wall thickness, you must carefully remove it. Force cannot be used. Perhaps the drill will break and its fragments will remain in the thickness of the wall. If necessary, the drill can be easily detached from the nozzle.

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The drill must be held strictly perpendicular to the surface. If this is not followed, there is a risk of damaging the drill and sometimes leaving a dent. It is also important to take care that drilling dust does not get into the eyes. For this, protective glasses are purchased. Gloves can also be used to prevent slipping of hands during the process. Only a person with strong enough hands can drill the surface well. Because the process requires a lot of effort.

Selection principles

Most cases involve the use of punchers. This tool always has more power in stock, it allows you to punch even very thick walls. With this tool, you can always drill large areas in diameter. It is advisable to use it in the following situations:

  • when you need to make a hole up to 10.12 mm;
  • when many holes need to be drilled. over, the size of each of them is supposed to be large enough;
  • when working on coatings in which foam is present.

All craftsmen should be aware that drills can be classified according to their impact power. Some models can be used for drilling concrete pavements, others are designed for use with specific attachments. It is important that the alloy from which the attachments are made is of high quality. High quality alloys. guarantee that the drill will not fail for a long time.

How to drill a brick wall

Drill brick with a drill. a simple process. An impact drill is used for work. If drilling is hammerless, then the drilling process can be delayed for a long time. It is very important that the tool runs at high power. The quantitative indicators of revolutions per minute are also important. Indicators over 2,000 revolutions are considered the most acceptable.

Of course, a puncher is used to perform better work. If it is not at hand, then high-power drills are used. You don’t need any to drill a hole. then special knowledge. The main thing is to follow a number of simple recommendations, which were mentioned above. Sometimes you can stumble upon a burnt stone. It will be quite difficult to form a cavity in it. Such a brick is determined by the dust generated during operation. It becomes a pronounced black hue.

To form holes in burnt rocks, you need to turn on the drill at low speed and set the percussion function. The instrument must be pressed very hard for the impact function to work properly. It is also important during work to ensure that the drill does not overheat. A severely overheated drill will cause the edges of the drill to wear out quickly. For such purposes, a diamond-coated drill is most often used. Thus, the grip is most effective. This leads to significant savings in physical strength and energy.

Sometimes situations arise when the hole that has been made needs to be made of a significant diameter. For example, this could be a ventilation outlet. It will be very difficult to organize such work with an ordinary tool. You will need powerful equipment and large crowns.

Drilling tips

There are a few simple tricks that allow you to quickly and efficiently drill a hole in stainless steel. Let’s list the most common ones.

  • It is better to drill horizontal surfaces made of stainless steel by first passing the drill through a lubricating and cooling liquid poured into a rubber washer or a plastic plug installed directly above the location of the future hole.
  • If it is necessary to drill a hole in a vertical stainless steel surface, then a ball made of paraffin can be fixed in the place of drilling, which will provide lubrication of the cutting tool.
  • Regardless of whether you will drill stainless steel using a household electric drill or industrial equipment, it is better to carry out such a technological operation at low speeds of the cutting tool (100-600 rpm). The use of even a very high-quality fluid for lubrication and cooling will not be able to provide a high-quality result of drilling stainless steel, carried out at high speeds.

An indicator of the correct selection of the drilling speed of stainless steel is long chips

In order to get a more detailed idea of ​​how to properly drill stainless steel parts, you can study this process by video.

Problems with drilling at low speeds do not arise if a machine or drill is used for this, on which the option to adjust this parameter is provided. If there is no such option, then the stainless steel can be drilled as follows.

  • The electric drilling tool starts up in literally 1-2 seconds.
  • After a short start, the drill switches off immediately.

Such a simple technological method allows to ensure low rotational speed of the cutting tool, which, in fact, is required for high-quality drilling of stainless steel.


Drilling holes in stainless steel with a conventional drill may fail. This is explained by the fact that steels belonging to the category of stainless steel are characterized by high toughness, therefore, their drilling, especially at home, is accompanied by significant heating of the cutting tool and, as a result, its failure.

In order to efficiently and quickly drill stainless steel, taking into account all of the above, it is necessary to use a cooling material, which, in addition, must have good lubricating properties.

If you often need to drill stainless steel, it makes sense to equip the machine with a home-made system for supplying liquid lubricant (an automobile pump is suitable as a pump)

The most common formulation used as a coolant and lubricant for drilling holes in stainless steel is a solution of machine oil and sulfur. To prepare such a solution, both colloidal sulfur and sulfur for fumigation, which is often called the “sulfur color”, can be used.

In the event that the sulfur at your disposal is a fine powder, it can be immediately mixed with machine oil without special preparation. If you purchased lump sulfur, you must first grind it.

Drilling in stainless steel can be made more efficient by using a homemade sulfur and fatty acid cooling lubricant mixture for this operation. To do this, you need to do the following:

  • grind a bar of laundry soap (you can use the cheapest one);
  • mix crushed soap with hot water and stir the mixture thoroughly;
  • add technical hydrochloric acid to the resulting solution;
  • wait until fatty acids begin to rise to the surface of the resulting solution;
  • then add a large amount of cold water;
  • remove the hardened barrel of fatty acids from the surface of the solution, which are later used to prepare the lubricating-cooling solution.

The fatty acids obtained during the preparation of the drilling fluid are mixed with sulfur in a 6: 1 ratio. Using a solution made according to this recipe, you can easily drill a stainless steel product, which even differs in considerable thickness. Naturally, when performing such a procedure, one should adhere to certain technological recommendations.

How to drill a stainless steel at home, photos, tips

The question of how to drill any stainless steel at home usually does not arise if you use special drills for stainless steels for these purposes. Along with such drills that allow you to quickly and efficiently form a hole of the required diameter, it is necessary to use special cooling compounds, as well as strictly maintain technological parameters.

In production, for drilling stainless steel, industrial machines are used with a coolant supply. In the home workshop, you have to learn some tricky tricks.

Drill selection

If you need to drill a stainless steel product, the choice of drill, along with the selection of the appropriate lubricant and coolant, as well as the technology for performing the operation is the most important procedure for determining the quality of the final result. Until recently, cobalt drills were used to drill stainless steels.

Cobalt drill for drilling stainless steel, cast iron and heat-resistant steels without preliminary centering

Cobalt drills, which were equipped with cylindrical shanks, were produced from R6M5K5 alloys, and in some cases from R18 steel, in which the amount of cobalt was limited to 5%. The advantages of drills made from an alloy containing cobalt in its chemical composition are that this chemical element gives the tool a high hardness, which allows it to easily drill any stainless steel product. The regulatory document in accordance with which such tools were produced was GOST 10902-77.

These drills are no longer commercially available and are not easy to find on the market. Meanwhile, modern manufacturers produce many analogs for working with stainless steel, the quality of which is at a high level. If you choose from such tools, you can pay attention to drills of foreign production, which bear the HSS-Co marking. They are produced according to DIN 338 and are made of steel containing at least 5% cobalt. In fact, the material from which they are made is analogous to alloys of grades P18 and P6M5K5.

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Cobalt drills feature a more obtuse sharpening angle for easier centering at the start of drilling

Drill edge sharpening is different for soft and hard metals

If you need to drill a hole in stainless steel, use a few guidelines that will allow you to perform this procedure without any problems.

If you are going to drill a hole in stainless steel, but have never done it before, you should not limit yourself to theoretical information. It is also advisable to watch a video on this topic, which is easy to find on the Internet. In addition, when tackling such a difficult task, it is advisable to stock up on high-quality cutting tools and appropriate equipment.

Drill selection

A conventional drill for metal is able to cope with the task. The only condition in this situation is the correct degree of sharpening of the cutting tool. Without theoretical justification, drill manufacturers, together with representatives of machining enterprises, found out that the optimal range of sharpening angle would be a take-off of 116-118 degrees. The use of drills with brazed special steels and alloys is also justified when it is necessary to make holes in large quantities and large diameters. Most often used will win. The drill design should be suitable for the metal processing. At the enterprises, toolmakers got out of delicate situations by sharpening victorious drill bits for concrete with a diamond wheel. However, such manipulations require certain skills and can be unsafe when drilling. The selection of a drill for cast iron is an important step.

There are two types of cast iron pipes:

  • SMU (both ends of the pipe are smooth);
  • and SME (one end of the pipe is smooth, the other has a detachable connection).

Before starting to use pipes, you need to make sure that the location that is chosen for them does not contradict building codes. It is desirable that there are no turns and inclines. Cast iron pipes must not be processed, only pipe cutting is allowed. Today, this metal in some industries is simply irreplaceable, which is why cutting and drilling cast iron is so important.


Tapping into a cast iron pipe

During the operation of a summer cottage or a country house, sometimes it becomes necessary to make a selection from the water supply system or an additional drain into the sewer under the washing machine.

This issue is solved using the “tie-in” method. How to insert into a cast iron pipe?

In most cases, it is possible to use a ready-made tee, the diameter of which is slightly larger. It is necessary to cut from it that part of the pipe where there is no branch pipe.

The pipe usually has to be cut lengthwise, drilled and welded to the rest of the pipe.

The flange is attached to the pipe along the entire perimeter by welding. This is quite difficult to do without special skills. In this case, you can use the use of sealant and clamps, which will allow you to insert into almost any pipe in the house.

Features of cast iron

Cast iron is an iron-carbon alloy that is characterized by low cost and good performance.

  • Gray cast iron.
  • Ductile Iron (Graphite Ball Grain).

The material is resistant to compressive loads, has good resistance to corrosion processes.

The disadvantages include significant fragility, due to which it does not tolerate shock loads poorly. In high-strength grades of cast iron, this disadvantage is not so clearly manifested, but at the same time they are much less amenable to processing. Therefore, cutting and drilling of cast iron is mainly used for its gray grades.

Methods for cutting cast iron pipes

In modern industrial conditions, there are many methods and various equipment that solve the issue of cutting cast iron.

In order to cut pipes, you can use a special device for cutting iron, a hacksaw for metal or a grinder with discs for metal.

In the production of cast iron, when it is necessary to cut castings, the following methods have been widely used, which use thermal cutting methods:

  • arc;
  • plasma;
  • electrical contact;
  • air-arc and others.

It is forbidden to cut the pipe with a gas burner, as well as weld cast iron pipes.

When cutting by the arc method, electrodes of the following brands are used: ANR-2, LIM, OZR-1.


The subtleties of working with cast iron

Compliance with simple rules will allow you to achieve the desired result, leaving the drills, tools, hands intact:

  • Control the load applied to the drill or machine without causing the drill to break. Cast iron products are mainly produced by casting. Shrinkage cavities and voids may appear. A drill falling into such a void breaks in 95% of cases. Risk of injury or drill bits in an unfinished hole.
  • Do not overheat the drill. Take a break from work. This will prevent the metal from softening and extend its service life.
  • To drill a cast iron bath, use a pre-diamond tile and glass drill. This is a simple move to exclude cracking of the enamel.
  • If the diameter exceeds 11mm, then the optimal solution would be to drill a drill with a smaller diameter, and then the required size.

With the right approach and care, drilling in cast iron is not an impossible task. The information presented in this article gives a complete idea of ​​how to drill cast iron, about all the nuances and subtleties.

What does it mean to drill?

Drilling refers to the process of creating holes in solid metal using a cutting tool. a drill. Now about how to drill a cast iron pipe.

Many people face this problem and do not know how to solve it. Gray cast iron can generally be drilled easily and does not require the use of coolant and lubricant.

But the pipes are different, and, in some cases, more effort is required. To do this, you should choose a drill for metal, having an angle of approximately 116-118 degrees, and when there are no special tools, you need to drill with the smallest drill, then use drills with a larger diameter, gradually increasing it.

  • When the drill burns, you can lubricate it with water. In order to drill cast iron, a hand drill is also suitable, the speed of which increases smoothly. Directly when drilling, the speed should be small, as well as the pressure on the drill.
  • In domestic conditions, it is recommended to use drills with victorious nozzles, such drills should be used at low speeds, observe the vertical force and often cool the cutting nozzle, it should not be allowed to overheat and blacken;
  • In industrial conditions, if it is necessary to drill a cast-iron pipe, machines with working tools are usually used, which have working surfaces with appropriate sharpenings.

Undoubtedly, they are equipped with a coolant supply that maintains the specified operating temperature. In addition to the question of how to drill cast iron, you need to think about the safety issue of these works. In the mass of the processed material, the presence of voids and other defects is possible.

This is often due to the amount of carbon in the cast iron and other components. These defects lead to the release of a large amount of dust and fine particles. In this regard, there are general safety rules:

  • equipment of the place of work with a ventilated hood;
  • using a respirator or cotton and gauze bandage;
  • use of protective glasses with closed side edges;
  • work in overalls, mittens and headwear.
drill, stainless, steel, home

It is also important to remember: before you drill a pipe, you need to make sure that there is no pressure in it and the liquid that it transports!