Swaging machine are used to create complex shapes in metal components and can be a cost-effective alternative to other forms of fabrication. These machines produce items with a high finish, which eliminates the need for secondary processes to complete the item. In addition, swaging provides greater control of the final geometry and mechanical properties of the product. These machines are available in various sizes with capacities ranging from 0.375 to 6 in. for tubing and 0.187 to 3 in. for solids. They are designed to use a shaped mandrel, which is forced into the hollow stock to impart the desired shape. They are generally used to flare or bell the ends of steel or copper tubes for specific types of fittings.
The swaging process is an incremental metal forming process that reduces the cross-section of the material. Its geometry and mechanical properties change during the swaging process depending on the material elasticity, lubrication conditions, and the geometry of the contact pair. The study of the influence of the geometry and plastic strain on the final material behavior could lead to a more accurate understanding of the swaging process and its governing parameters, which are crucial for its industrial applications.
A wide range of industries benefit from swaging, including recreational ropes course cables and sailing rigging components that require a swager for assembly. It is also commonly used to fabricate components for the renewable energy industry, such as cartridge heaters and superconducting materials. Swaging also helps to ensure that the aerospace industry receives high quality control rods and wire rope cable assemblies.
Unlike other metal forming processes, swaging does not heat the material. However, it is possible to swage metals at elevated temperatures to improve ductility and enable longer or steeper tapers. This is known as hot swaging and is useful for creating components that require large reductions or long or complex taper tapers. It is particularly useful for tungsten and molybdenum, which have low ductility at room temperature.
There are three fundamental types of swaging that can be performed: end forming, through swaging and tube swaging. End forming is the most common form of swaging. A single piece of tubing is inserted into the swager to a predetermined depth before being reduced to the needed diameter. This allows the component to perform subsequent operations, such as drilling, drawing or tapping. This method is often used to make fluid control tubes and aeronautical tube components.
Through swaging is when long lengths of cable, rod or tube are passed through the swager to a desired diameter. This is used to make components for the renewable energy and aerospace industries, as well as recreational ropes course cables. This is done by passing a fitting over the cable and then swaging it with the cold-force action of the machine.
The primary wear parts of a swaging machine are the dies and hammers. They must be kept in good condition to provide accurate and consistent swaging results. They are typically checked and replaced on a regular basis to ensure their proper functioning and to minimize downtime due to wear and tear. Manufacturers offer a variety of replacement parts for swaging machinery, including lithium-ion powered battery swagers that can be used to swage smaller cables and rods with less downtime than traditional hydraulic hand tools.