Swaging is a metal forming technique that involves hammering the end of a rod or tube to a specific shape. This process is a low-cost and highly efficient way to point, reduce, form, or otherwise alter the appearance of rod and tube. It can be performed on hot or cold-worked metals and is also often used to flare or bell the ends of tubes for specific types of fittings. Swaging produces a high quality finish and is an economical method to produce products with minimum material waste compared to other forming techniques.
While swaging can be used on many different types of materials, it is most commonly performed on steel and copper tubes and bars. There are several types of swaging machine available depending on the desired application and range of force required, from lower volume low-force units to higher volume, high-force units that can perform multiple swaging operations concurrently. Unlike other forming processes, swaging produces no chips during operation.
Depending on the type of swaging machine and application, swaging can produce a variety of shapes. For example, swaging can be used to produce round, square, rectangular, or polygon sections. It can also create tapered sections and splined surfaces. In addition, swaging can be used to make holes in parts through the length of the part.
The swaging process is used by many industries. For instance, it is often used to assemble recreational ropes course cables and sailing rigging. It is also a common way to attach components to wire cable. In addition, it is used to swage casters for furniture legs. Swaging can be done on-site, making it a convenient alternative to welding or bolting components together.
A key to the success of any swaging operation is the use of properly designed and manufactured tools. This is especially important when performing swaging operations on large diameter tubes, as the pressure from the tool can be enough to cause the workpiece to collapse or deform. It is also important to ensure that the tooling and swaging dies are clean, free of contaminants, and lubricated prior to operation.
Among the most expensive components in a swaging machine are the dies and hammers, which experience the most stress due to their contact with the work/part being formed. They must be regularly inspected and replaced as needed to ensure proper performance. The swaging process is a noisy one, which may require a sound enclosure to minimize the noise levels during operations.
A swaging machine is an ideal solution for companies that need to modify the diameter of tubes or rods without changing the overall length. It is also a popular choice for assembling marine-industrial terminals, as it can quickly and easily swage MS-type terminals to standard galvanized or stainless steel cables. While this process is fairly straightforward, it can be challenging to master and requires a great deal of training and practice. However, with a little effort, it is possible to achieve a high production rate with this type of equipment.