Swaging is a metal forming process which is used to produce a variety of products including wire cable, rods, tubes and hoses. The process involves hammering the workpieces to form the desired shape which can be done either hot or cold, although the latter is preferred as it hardens the material and provides a high finish. In comparison to other forming processes swaging produces no chips which means that less material is wasted.
There are three basic types of swaging, internal, external and combination. Each of these is known to offer different advantages depending on the application. Internal swaging is ideal for creating components such as lockbolts, which are heavy-duty cousins to structural blind rivets. This type of swaging is also used to create tubing end caps and a variety of marine rigging components, such as recreational ropes course cables and sailing rigging equipment.
This type of swaging is carried out using a specialized tool with a set of jaws that resembles a pair of pliers. They have a long handle to provide leverage and a single or multiple swaging positions. Those which have many swaging positions are capable of compressing various sizes of collars while those that have a single slot swage a specific size. Whether they are hydraulically or manually operated, these swaging tools are often designed to reduce on-the-job fatigue and make the job easier for users.
Rotary swaging, which is usually a cold working process, is primarily used to reduce the diameter of a workpiece or add a point to it. A swager uses two or four dies which are located within a cage containing rollers, all of which revolve as the spindle rotates. Centrifugal force then tosses the forming dies around the workpiece which causes them to hammer it. The swager can be found in 2-die and 4-die configurations, with the former being more commonly utilized for pointing applications and the latter better suited for larger initial reductions on bigger parts.
When utilizing a swaging machine, it is crucial to keep the jaws of the tool at right angles to the sleeve that will be compressed. The sleeve should fit snugly into the jaw grooves to ensure complete closure. After the swaging has been completed, it is important to check the collar diameter with a special gauge provided with the swaging machine. This will allow you to see if the swage is correctly completed and help you save time by eliminating the need for any subsequent rework or finishing of the collar. This helps reduce on-the-job errors and is a cost-effective option for businesses that require the use of swaging in their production line. A portable swaging tool is another alternative to consider as it offers portability while still providing the power and control necessary for a variety of projects. This type of swaging tool is typically hydraulically driven and has a pistol-shaped design that takes up little space in a truck or truck bed.