Cold heading, also known as cold forming, is a highly efficient method of manufacturing metal parts with net or near-net shapes. The process involves using a slug, which is cut from a continuous wire coil, and a cold heading machine that employs a series of hammers and dies to form the part. This process generates little to no waste, resulting in significant material cost savings. Additionally, the volume of the initial slug is similar to that of the finished part, as the material is shaped into the die rather than being cut from a blank. The cold heading process enhances the grain flow of the material and produces a stronger part with smooth, continuous surfaces.
Compared to metal-cutting operations, cold heading is faster and can produce large quantities of parts with tolerances as close as +/- .002″ without requiring secondary operations. Cold heading dies, which are typically made of tool steel or tungsten carbide, are crucial components of the process. Precision-engineered to create the desired shape and size of the finished part, these dies are custom-made for specific applications and designed to withstand the repeated blows of the cold heading process.
The cold heading process is used to manufacture a range of small to medium-sized metal parts, including bolts, screws, nuts, rivets, and pins. This cost-effective and efficient method of manufacturing requires minimal material waste and can produce large quantities of parts quickly and accurately. Overall, cold heading dies play an essential role in enabling the production of high-quality, precision-engineered metal parts for a diverse range of applications.