Swaging is a cold working process that uses compressive force to manipulate and form metal workpieces. It can reduce the diameter, create a taper, or add a point to a round workpiece. It can also impart internal shapes to hollow workpieces by utilizing a shaped mandrel. Swaging provides a high finish and eliminates the need for secondary operations which reduces costs.
Swages are primarily used in the forming of fittings onto other wire cable, rod or tubing components such as wire rope cables and hoses. The swaging process is more cost-effective than a comparable crimping method and offers the advantage of a high product finish and reduced time to assembly. This is because swaging does not require any additional finishing steps such as machining or sanding.
The swaging process is also capable of creating an internal diameter reduction and can be utilized in the manufacture of aerospace tube components and fluid control tubes. The process also ensures that the final product has a desired tensile strength and is free of voids. Unlike other cold forming processes, swaging produces no chips which eliminates the need for subsequent processing and increases the accuracy of the final part.
A wide range of industries benefit from swaging including recreation and commercial rigging, medical devices, logging equipment, marine applications, and even the automotive industry. It is also the preferred forming technique for items such as MS-spec fittings, ammunition casings, and cartridge heaters used in the renewable energy industry.
Swaging machines range from simple, portable, hand-operated devices intended for service level / piece work requirements to larger, powered machines which can be utilized for large scale production. The swaging tool itself has two primary components, the hammer and die. Depending on the application, the swaging machine can be fitted with a variety of dies. The stationary swager is capable of swaging a wide variety of cross-sections and shapes including fluted shapes and non-circular sections.
Rotary swaging machines utilize split dies that separate and close up to 2,000 times per minute. The machine is equipped with a spindle which contains rollers that surround the dies. The swaging tool is mounted to the spindle and driven by a series of hammers that contact the dies as they rotate. FENN rotary swagers can be fitted with 2-die or 4-die configurations. The 2-die configuration is commonly used for swaging smaller parts and components and produces a better surface finish. The 4-die configuration is more often relied upon for making pointing and is capable of making higher initial reductions on larger parts.
The swaging tool has been in use since 1900 and remains an efficient, cost-effective solution for forming wire, rod, and tubing components into their desired shape. The swaging process does not require any heat, which means it is safer than other cold-forming methods such as forging or stamping. Additionally, swaging produces no chips, which eliminates the need for a secondary machining operation and improves the accuracy of the final product.