Cold forging (or cold forming) is a metal manufacturing process that is performed at low temperatures – often around 70° F. It is well suited to high volume manufacturing of miniature metal parts under 10 lbs.
In contrast to traditional forging where intense heat is applied during the forming process, cold forging uses extreme force to distort metal into the desired shape. Cold forming has a variety of advantages over other manufacturing methods, particularly when applied to small parts or difficult materials. By eliminating extreme heat from the equation, cold forming avoids re annealing or mechanically damaging the base metal. This lends itself well to the production of valve components, electrical contacts, fasteners, and other small geometrically complex objects.
ICS has decades of experience manufacturing miniature cold forged parts, and is well equipped to ensure you get the exact components you need for your project. Contact us today to learn more, or to get a quote for your next project.
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Benefits of Cold Forging Metal
Cold forging is generally performed by squeezing, bending, drawing, or shearing the base material to produce a finished product. This is in contrast to heat based forging techniques, in which the metal is deformed above its recrystallization temperature. This is an important distinction for a number of reasons, one of which involves the strength of the component immediately after the shaping process. In cold forming, the metal is shaped below its recrystallization temperature, which causes “work hardening”, which increases the tensile strength of the material. Because cold forging strengthens the material during manufacturing rather than weakening it, it is an ideal process for creating miniature parts with fins, threads, or teeth that are especially susceptible to deformation.
Low Waste (and cost)
Metal is expensive, and so is the energy used to heat it . Cold forging ensures you waste as little of both as possible. This near net shape process transforms a base metal (usually in wire form) into a specific shape using a series of die. As a contrast, look at the process for machining a miniature part such as a screw or pin, where a significant portion of the metal stock is removed during production. While this material loss may seem small, over the course of producing a large run of parts it can account for a significant quantity of scrap. This scrap has a direct monetary, environmental, and time-based cost associated with it, as it must be collected and reclaimed throughout the manufacturing process. Be eliminating this waste, cold forming produces your miniature metal parts faster, cheaper, and with less environmental impact.
Rapid High Volume Production
Cold forging requires fewer manufacturing steps, and those steps require significantly less time than heat based manufacturing methods. For example, CNC turning, milling, or screw machining are relatively slow processes that can produce a few parts per minute at most. Cold forming for small parts can produce up to hundreds of small parts per minute, depending on the size and complexity of the design. This time savings directly translates to cost savings by reducing the labor and machine hours required for your manufacturing run.
Commonly Cold Forged Parts
Cold forming is a versatile process that can be applied to a wide range of industries. While it can be used to produce larger parts, it is best suited to smaller components that weigh less than 10 lbs. Common applications of cold forging include the production of automotive parts such as suspension and ABS components, clutch hubs, gears, pins, and shafts. Micro parts such as screws, fasteners, and valve components are also good fits for cold forging, as they can be produced quickly and with much lower waste than alternative production methods. Additionally, cold forming is often used to produce conductive parts such as electrical contacts, as the metals involved are difficult to machine.
If you’re not sure whether or not cold forging is the right manufacturing process for your part, contact us today – our engineers would be happy to discuss your options and make recommendations.
Why Choose ICS for Miniature Cold Forged Parts?
Located in Rochester, NY, ICS produces the parts you need at prices that are competitive with overseas manufacturers – with none of the hassle associated with non US based production. We pride ourselves on making the design and manufacturing process the easiest part of your project. Our customer service is second to none, and our knowledgeable engineers will work with you from start to finish to ensure your components are produced on time and up to spec. Contact us today, and we’ll get to work to ensure the success of your project.
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