Unlike forging which uses heat to mold the tubing, tube swaging is cold-worked under high pressure, and is basically a deformation of the tube or pipe to attach to another tube or pipe and form its final shape. A mechanical or hydraulic tool compresses and reshapes the fitting, creating a permanent join between the previously unattached parts.
Tube swaging is one of the many specialized services of tube fabricating, and should be done by qualified personnel. Many industries require the use of pipes and tubing, and thus require the ability to connect tubes to create a flow system. Swaging and flaring tools easily merge wires and pipes, bending and fitting individual pieces together to create sealed joins.
Radial hammering is a process used to compress the pipes, adjusting the shape and diameter of the tube under repeated pressure. Tube diameters can be reduced in order to be fed through the die block and prepared for attachment. Tube flaring, a similar process to swaging, creates a funnel shape at the end of a tube that matches the fitting or component it is to be attached to.
Wires and pipes are easily joined together through the process of swaging as it bends and fits individual sections together to create a cohesive system. With the complicated system of tubes in many appliances and machines, it is important the ends of the tubes and piping fit together in a tight seal. Leaks can be hazardous and cause damage to the unit, and to the people using it.
Swaging is accomplished by using a tube die to compress one tube in order to reduce its diameter, it is then connected to another pipe or fitting and compressive force is applied to form a join. The inner diameter of the tube can be a different shape as a result of the compression. Swaging is the method commonly chosen for fabricating precious metals as there is no material lost during the process; rather it is simply a compression and reshaping of the existing material.
Tube swaging and tube end forming are used with various material alloys such as stainless steel, aluminum, steel, titanium, copper or brass. Common industries that utilize the process of tube swaging include aerospace, medical, automotive and commercial, and in a variety of commonly used machines and appliances.