What Are Cold Headed Parts?
Cold heading is a manufacturing method that employs cold forming techniques to produce standard and custom fasteners and components quickly and efficiently. Parts and products produced through this method are referred to as “cold headed”.
The cold heading process involves the use of a cold heading machine that contains a series of specialized hammers and dies. Pre-cut wire—also known as a slug—is inserted into the machine, where the hammers and dies form it into the desired part shape. As the name suggests, no heat is required for cold heading operations, and all of the part shaping can be done on cold metal.
Some of the key characteristics of the cold heading process include:
- Little to no material waste.The initial slug is cut to approximately the same volume as the end product, and the forming process is performed by a die rather than by cutting the raw material into the desired shape and form. These process qualities allow virtually all of the raw material to consumed in the shaping process.
- Versatility. Cold heading can be used to produce a variety of parts and products, ranging from small fasteners (such as screws, shoulders, lugs, and washers) to larger metal components.
- Reduced production cost. The cold heading process is much more cost effective than the machining process, making it an attractive economic solution.
Solutions for Enhanced Performance
Compared to fasteners formed through other manufacturing methods, cold headed fasteners offer superior performance. This characteristic stems largely from the rearrangement of the raw material’s grain structure that occurs during the cold heading process. This alteration of the material results in end products that demonstrate greater durability and tensile strength.
Sealing hardware that is produced through cold heading methods also exhibit enhanced sealing capabilities. At APM Hexseal, our sealing screws are cold headed to ensure they protect sensitive equipment from external contaminants.
Advantages of Using Cold Headed Fasteners
Using the cold heading process to form fasteners offers a number of advantages, including:
- Less material waste. As discussed previously, cold heading produces little to no material waste. In practice, this translates to significant material savings ranging from up to 60–70%.
- Greater tensile strength. Due in part to optimized grain flow, cold headed components typically offer a higher degree of tensile strength than parts produced through other manufacturing methods. This process quality allows for the manufacture of more durable and reliable parts and products.
- Better production efficiency. Cold heading allows for faster production speeds, making it suitable for high volume production runs. Additionally, the process enables manufacturers to consolidate multi-part assemblies into single-part units, which can result in significant material, labor, and production savings.
- Broader design versatility. Cold heading accommodates designs of all shapes, sizes, and complexities. Depending on the dies used, even highly complex geometries can be produced to extremely tight tolerances.
Learn More From the Experts at APM Hexseal
At APM Hexseal, we design and manufacture a wide range of sealing fasteners and hardware. Like all cold headed parts, our sealing screws are strong, durable, and cost-effective.