What is the swaging and swaging machine?
Swaging is the metal forming process that shapes or changes the diameter of the workpiece through a rapid succession of hammering and pressing via dies. The workpiece such as tube, wire, or rod is placed inside a die or a series of dies of the swaging machine and then hammered together to reduce the diameter of the workpiece. The set of dies provides radial blows that allow the workpiece to flow inward and be shaped in the form of the die cavity. The workpiece is held stationary and the die movement can be in-out type or rotary that strike the workpiece at a rate of up to 20 strokes per second. The tube thickness and internal diameter of the tube can be controlled with the use of mandrels. During the process, there is no material loss, it only incurs the deformation of the material. In this case, the swaging process is commonly used for precious metals. Most of the swaging processes are performed as cold forming processes, but it may also be done as a hot forming process in some cases.
The swaging machine is generally fall under two categories: tube/wire swaging and rotary swaging.
- Tube swaging process is similar to drawing wire that is used to reduce the diameter of a cylindrical workpiece by drawing a part. It applies radial and compressive forces on the outer diameter and places a mandrel in the tube that allows the shape of the inside different from the outer.
- The rotary swaging machine uses two or more shaped dies to hammer the workpiece into a small diameter or desired shape. A series of dies are mounted on the machine’s spindle which is located inside the cage containing rollers. This kind of swaging machine is used to produce a tapered end or add a point to the round workpiece.
Types of Swaging
Swaging can be further divided as external, internal, dual varieties, and combination.
- Internal swaging is most commonly found on hoses or tubes with fittings as it can provide grip on the mounting fittings to a hose. It is generally used to ensure that the flow area through the hose fitting is same or close to the inner diameter of the hose. This process can lower the risk of bacteria accumulation at the end of the tube or hose. Internal swaging also provide a strong mechanical adhesiveness that greatly reduce the turbulence.
- External swaging is exactly the opposite of internal swaging.
- Combination swaging is similar to external swaging but it involves welding the ends together and compressing the size of items to match the requirements.
- Dual swaging is using both the internal and external swaging. It also involves compressing both areas of the workpiece at the same amount.
Benefits of Using Swaging Machines
- Swaging process can provide the end product result in a high-quality finishing without the need for secondary operations. This helps you to save both time and money.
- Since the process uses the hamming and pressing methods to shape the workpiece, no material is wasted during the process, unlike other forming processes.
- The tooling and dies are highly flexible that can be changed quickly. The fittings also can be attached to a wide range of components such as tubing, hose, wire cable, and rod.
- The overall operating process is quite easy, a single operator is able to handle several machines with feeders and material handling system. Highly skilled and experienced operators are not essential for operating the machine.
- The use of mandrel during the process provides better control on the wall thickness
However, there are other disadvantages of using a swaging process that we should know. Firstly, the operation of swaging process is noisy which may affect the working environment and cause discomfort to the operator. Secondly, the process is limited by the the size & diameter of the die and rod.
Applications of Swaging Process
Swaging is widely used in the items around us. It can be applied on many products and different industries including automotive, medical, and military. The most common use of swaging is for producing tapering, clamping, the closing of the tube, and section steps. General hardware such as tool shafts, punches, handles, chisels, cable assemblies, or other architectural products is undergone the swaging process.
Here are some of the industrial components that are formed using swaging machines.
- Construction: Pipe fittings, lock bolts, decorative metal items.
- Aerospace: Fluid transfer tubing, control rods, wire rope cable and assemblies.
- Automotive: Steering components, emergency brack cables, drive shafts
- Medical: Optical instruments, catheter band assemblies, hypodermic needles
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