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An Introduction to Cold Forming Machine

Posted on May 5, 2021

Cold Forming Machine

Cold forming is the most widely used forming method for better surface finish, better control in dimension, and fewer costs due to the elimination of heating and cleaner processes. Unlike other cutting processes that also aim to shape the parts, no chip is created in the cold forming process.

What Is a Cold Forming Machine?

A cold forming machine, also called a cold roll forming machine, is designed for cold forging and deforming the coiled wire under high pressure, which is operated at room temperature. The coiled wire will be cut to the desired length and conveyed to the tooling area, successively passing through a series of dies. The cold forming machine is also known as a cold forging machine or cold forging press. 

The materials that can be shaped and disformed vary in diameters and lengths. General cold forming machines have a material length capability ranging from 2 mm to 30cm or even more. Also, they have are available for coiled wires whose diameters range from 0.2cm to 5cm. With a variety of tools and dies that can be used to form the shapes of metals, you can choose to only shear relatively small amounts of material by piercing or trimming. 

How Does a Cold Forming Machine Work?

As the workpieces are positioned properly, the cold forming machine will begin to push the upper shaping dies, lower dies, or shaping plates to work against the metal pieces with high pressure. Subsequently, the metal materials will be squeezed to create the primary shape and then complete the following shaping through a series of tools, retaining the processed shape after removed from the cold forming machine.

During the cold forming process, the metal materials are forced to the elastic limit but not beyond the tensile strength, or the metals will be fractured. The cold forming machine is usually in a horizontal form, and the entire process will be operated at room temperature, which is the most obvious distinction from warm/hot forming processes. 

Squeezing, bending, drawing, and shearing, which are the different forming techniques that can be used in cold forming machines, are easier and cost-efficient to be performed over than performing in hot working machines. 

The types of feeder and conveyor are also varied, and the choice depends on the usage and the metal types. Cold forming machines are popular in many industries, so they are widely applied to the production of automobile or machine components.

Why Use Cold Forming?

Cold forming is the most widely used forming method for better surface finish, better control in dimension, and fewer costs due to the elimination of heating and cleaner processes. Unlike other cutting processes that also aim to shape the parts, no chip is created in the cold forming process. 

By definition, cold forming is to press and shape the materials without continuously heating and operating at a high temperature and also requires no heating of the initial slug. “Cold” and “without heating” here do not include the annealing process, which refers to the heat treatment that enhances the ductility, and relieves the hardness of metals. Annealing mostly processes at intermediate stages in cold forming.
Compared to hot working/ warm forming, cold forming has better dimensional accuracy. Also, scales and chips are not created in cold-forming machines. This feature ensures contaminations to be eliminated or minimized. In addition, without chips, cold forming also reduces waste with near-net shape tools. The savings of raw materials becomes a huge advantage, especially when producing larger volumes of cold-formed parts or when processing relatively expensive metals like gold, nickel, copper, nickel, tantalum, and palladium.
The weight of the raw materials is typically limited to a maximum of 22 kg. In common cold forming machines, the materials weigh less than 5 kg. Metals that are suitable for cold forming include alloy steels, carbon steels, aluminum, brass, copper, lead, nickel steels, bronze, and also precious metals.

Another advantage of cold forming machines is that the process not only saves the materials but also significantly reduces the working time. The production cycle of cold forming is much faster, especially on multiple station production. The feature and also other benefits above-mentioned all make cold forming machines popular forming devices.

Disadvantages of Cold Forming Machines

Although there are many benefits cold forming can provide, the cold forming process is less suitable for plastic products forming due to the features of the plastic flows, as the operator might need higher pressures to perform the forming techniques. The requirements of harder dies and heavier machines make cold-forming machines only suitable for mass production of relatively simple shapes. If the operators need to produce customized profiles, the achievable shaping levels are limited compared to other machining methods. 

Another disadvantage of cold forming is the elastic spring back which occurs after the workpieces are processed and removed from the machines. Metals with low ductility are less suitable in cold metal deformation.

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