Rotary Swaging

What is swaging?

For anyone not directly connected to this specialist area of the engineering industry, ‘what is rotary swaging?’ and ‘what is swaging?’ are very valid questions.
 
Put simply, rotary swaging is a rotary hammer forming process in which a tube or bar is shaped. It involves several die segments impacting on the workpiece again and again in quick succession. Swaging sees tooling being produced which revolves around the workpieces as it is fed into the machine. The dedicated tooling has the relief form of the profile required machined into the internal section.
 
With the die segments hitting the component at a rate of more than 1000 strokes per minute, swaging is a highly accurate process which allows for great levels of precision in the parts produced.
 
By reducing the cross-sections of the material, we are able to use rotary swaging to transform the diameter of an object, either externally or internally. Using this process, we are able to apply either a ridge, a groove or change the shape of the tube or bar/wire.
 
The main application of rotary swaging is the production of circular, concentric reductions on one / both ends of the workpiece or in the centre section. The process may also be used in producing ‘irregular’ forms e.g. hexagonal, octagonal and square sections. We regularly use the process in this way for work in the electronics and aerospace industries.
 
Rotary Swaging as a process, can be dated back to the early 20th century, however, technology and advanced machinery have made the process much more efficient.
 
At Techniswage, we continuously invest in the latest machinery to assist us in increasing the capacity of our swaging services and the diversity of the industries that we are able to supply.
 

Typical swaging applications:

  • Automotive 
  • Aerospace
  • Furniture
  • Medical

Advantages of rotary swaging

The majority of components are formed in a cold state and as a consequence, the following are typical advantages of cold forming:

 
  • Reduced cycle and processing times
The production cycle and processing times are considerably shorter when using swaging rather than using a process such as machine cutting
  • Good surface finishes
Swaging will produce a smoother finish for your finished product, which will not be prone to the roughness which other processes can cause
  • Tight tolerances
Swaging allows for greater precision and tighter tolerances without affecting the quality and performance of the produced parts
  • A wide range of shapes
Rotary swaging provides the ability to produce a wide range of shapes and a wider range of possibilities than other cold forming processes
  • No material loss 
As swaging forms the material into the desired shape rather than being machined, it can be described as a near net shape process. This means the material is put to better use and there is no material loss, whilst the need for surface finishing is reduced which reduces time and production costs
  • Gains in wall thickness
  • Better grain structures
The swaging process improves the grain structure of the metal, which gives the part greater strength and its smooth finish
  • Better product quality
In addition to improving the strength and finish of the part, the swaging process will also improve the material’s physical properties including its compression, tension, bending and torsion
 
As a result of ‘work hardening’ from the rotary swaging process, cheaper materials may be used, with savings in material weight and wall thickness. Practically all metals are suitable for rotary swaging including low carbon, high alloyed steels and stainless steels, non-ferrous and precious metals.
 
Tolerances on 25mm Dia. Of 0.01mm with finishes of Ra 16u are achievable.

What are the main principles of swaging?

Swaging units consist of a) a ‘spindle’, with guiding slots which contain the ‘dies’, ‘hammer blocks’ and pressure plates. b) a cage containing ‘rollers’. C) the machine retaining ‘track’. The spindle (1) rotates normally 300-500 rpm., this rotation forces outwards the dies (2), hammer blocks (3). As the roller (4) in the hammer block (3) strikes the ‘Outer roller’ (5) in the cage (6) the dies are ‘hammered’ together thus providing the forming blow. The opening and closing of the dies allow the component to be fed into the swaging machine with little effort from the operator or automatic feeder.

The spindle (1) rotates normally 300-500 rpm., this rotation forces outwards the dies (2), hammer blocks (3). As the roller (4) in the hammer block (3) strikes the ‘Outer roller’ (5) in the cage (6) the dies are ‘hammered’ together thus providing the forming blow. The opening and closing of the dies allow the component to be fed into the swaging machine with little effort from the operator or automatic feeder.

If you are still asking the question ‘what is swaging?’, or if you would like to find out more about our services, do not hesitate to contact us. To do so, you can either complete our enquiry form or call us on 0121 553 2364 for an informal chat.