Environmentally Friendly Metalworking

Cold Forming

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Cold Forming: Introduction
Cold forming is a manufacturing process that plastically deforms metal using dies. It allows for high speed production, little to no material waste compared to conventional machining, and creates a stronger end product due to work hardening of the material. >> View Our Process Technology


 Advantages / Disadvantages


1. High efficiency material utilization (high yield) 

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The high material utilization of cold forging allows for significant reductions in material waste (scrap) compared to machining for the same geometry.
■ Material Yield Rate (multi-step rivet example)
Material Yield Rate

2. Higher speed, more efficient production  

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Cold forming allows for high speed manufacturing (around 100 parts/minute) while still maintaining high precision and complex product geometries. No heating of the material is required.
■ Production Speed (multi-step rivet example)   (Estimated Cumulative Production : Cold Forming vs. Machining)

3. Improved product strength by work hardening  

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Cold forming process design takes fiber flow lines (the crystal structure of metals) into account allowing for stronger more durable parts.
■ Fiber Flow Lines (multi-step rivet example)   Cross-section of Cold Formed Part Showing Fiber Flow Lines

4. Cost reductions through customized manufacturing processes 

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If a customer design(toleranc es, geometry, number of components required, etc) is practical using cold forming, significant improvements in part unit cost and reduced process complexity are possible.
■ Example of our Value Added(VA)/ Value Engineering (VE) through cold forming
  1. Forming dies need to be made (initial cost and lead time)
  2. Time required to set up and adjust production equipment for a particular part, so not well suited to small volume production runs (best for mass production)
  3. By nature, cold forming leaves radii on most corners and precision is not as high as with machining.

 Cold Forming vs Machining

  Dies Material Yield Processing Speed Strength Process Precision Possible Geometries Large Scale Production Small Scale Production Prototype Production Mass Production
Machining Not Neccesary ✔✔ ✔✔ ✔✔ ✔✔
Cold Forming Neccesary ✔✔ ✔✔ ✔✔ ✔✔ ✔✔

 Comparison of cold, hot and warm forming

  Hot Forming Warm Forming Cold Forming
Forming with material heated above its recrystalization temperature.
Forming done at temperatures between those for hot and cold forming.
Forming done at/ near room temperature.
1100°C ~1250°C
(2012°F ~ 2282°F)
(572°F ~ 1562°F)
Forming done at/near room
Required Loads Low forming loads required Medium loads required Large loads required
Level of Precision ✔✔
Quality of
Surface Finish
Level of Geometry
Ideal Production
Best for mid-to-small scale production Best for medium scale production Best for large scale production
Pros / Cons Because material is heated to above its recrystallization temperature, smaller loads are required to form material. Greater deformation is also possible allowing for very large or highly complex geometries. However, surface finish is often poor for steel products compared to warm and cold forming because surface oxidation and decarbonation occurs above 900℃(1652°F). The level of precision achieveable is also poor due to the expansion /contraction of metal as it is heated and cooled. Warm forming aims to combine the strong points of hot and cold forming. It allows for better surface finishes than hot forming, but temperature control is difficult. More complex geometries are possible than with cold forming, but precision is not as high. Because no heat is added to material, cold forming allows for high precision, high quality surface finishes, and high speed production. However, compared to hot forming the loads required to deform material are high and material deformability is low, thus requiring a high degree of manufacturing experience to achieve complex geometries. Tooling life varies by product, but it is common for tooling to last into the 10,000 parts range and higher.
Rolling Process
In the rolling process, a blank is placed between two dies and rolled until the pattern on the dies is imprinted onto the blank. Typically used as a secondary process, rolling is used to create many different geometries including screw threads, grooves, diamond knurling and more. Rolling differs from cold forming with other types of machines, but because dies are used to plastically deform the workpiece, it is still considered a kind of cold forming.


Rolling Process
[ Some Geometries Possible with Rolling ]
Rolling Process | Screw Threads Rolling Process | Grooves Rolling Process | Pointed tips Rolling Process | Rounded tips
Screw Threads Grooves Pointed tips Rounded tips
Rolling Process | Straight Knurling Rolling Process | Diamond Knurling Rolling Process | Spiral Knurling Rolling Process | Leadscrews
Straight Knurling Diamond Knurling Spiral Knurling Leadscrews

 Machined vs Rolled Threads

Rolled threads enable high-speed thread forming with no material lost as scrap and a stronger product overall because, unlike machined threads, the fiber flow lines of the material are left intact. Rolling also allows for lower costs and better turnaround time than machining.

Thread Machining vs. Thread Rolling
Our Process Technology
< Primary Processes >

Custom Precision Forming

Precision forming for custom parts with shaft diameters up to 25mm (approx.1 in).

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Micro-Precision Forming

Precision forming for micro parts with shaft diameters 1mm (0.04in) or less.

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Deep Drawing

Deep drawing for parts with thin walls or deep holes that would otherwise be difficult to form from round wire material.

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Forming for Long Parts

Forming for long parts (up to 1200mm (47in)).

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< Secondary Processes >


Combining machining with cold forming to achieve high precision difficult with forming alone.

Machining | picture


From worm gears and knurling to unique rolled geometries.

Rolling | picture

Bending/ Flattening/ Trimming

A wide variety of secondary processes such as bending, flattening, and trimming.

Bending/ Flattening/ Trimming | picture

Fastening/ Press fitting /Plastic Molding

Compound manufacturing that combines different materials through crimping, press fitting and/or plastic molding.

Fastening/ Press fitting /Plastic Molding | picture

 Processing Capabilities

Materials Possible with Cold Forming Pure iron, carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminum, titanium, Kovar, and various alloys. Many other metals possible.
Note: We are also able to perform tests to see if a material provided by the customer is forgeable.
Range of Base Material Sizes Possible Base wire material diameters between 0.2mm and 23mm (0.008in to 0.90 in)
Possible Part Lengths Part lengths between 1mm (0.04in) and 1,200 mm (47.2in) are possible.
Note: Please consult with us if your part is particularly long.
Tolerances / Precision Possible Tolerances in the μm (micrometer) range are possible.
Note: What tolerances are possible depends greatly on part geometry and material.
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