A swaging machine is an industrial-grade piece of machinery that’s used for sizing, forming and assembling metal wire, rod or tube. The process involves hammering the ends of the workpiece, forcing them through an underlying die to reduce their diameters. It’s also used to form shapes like long, steep tapered sections, splines or contoured surfaces. The process can be done manually or automatically via a machine. In the past, all swaging was done manually, but swaging machines are now available for automation.
The process is quite versatile. It can handle work pieces that have a maximum diameter of 150 mm and even small ones with an extremely tight radius of 0.5 mm. It can produce as many as 30 parts per minute, depending on the complexity of the workpiece shape and the means adopted for handling them. It also provides greater control over the wall thickness than other forming processes.
There are three primary types of swaging: through, external and combination swaging. Through swaging is commonly used to make components such as fluid control tubes and aerospace tubes. In this case, the entire length of the tube is reduced to a precise diameter in the swaging process. This is unlike conventional cold forging which typically requires an intensive, but less dependable secondary operation to complete the job.
In the swaging process, an internal mandrel is usually used to control the wall thickness. This allows for a more uniform result than what can be achieved with an external mandrel. In addition, swaging is often more effective for materials that have low ductility at room temperature such as tungsten and molybdenum.
Rotary swaging machines are typically used for pointing, sizing and forming metal wires and rods. They’re usually equipped with a series of forming dies backed by hammer blocks. When the spindle within the swaging machine revolves, it produces a centrifugal force that tosses the hammer blocks against the swaging dies. This compresses the swaging workpiece and gives it its desired shape.
The mechanical design of the ESCO Mark 87 swaging machine leverages relatively low 2000 PSI hydraulic force to deliver up to 200 tons of swaging force. This lower system pressure results in fewer maintenance issues and longer component life. The machine’s open jaw design provides easy access to the workpiece so that the operator can see and fully control the swaging process.
The swaging tool consists of an automatic hammer that is mounted to the base of the machine, and a pair of dies that are situated below the hammer. A swage is then placed around the end of the cable or rod, and it’s inserted into the swaging dies. The swage is then swaged with the hammer to form a sleeve that’s welded to the end of the rod or cable. The swage sleeve will then prevent the end of the rod or cable from coming loose. The swage sleeve can be made of any material such as steel or aluminum.