Orbital Forming

By bsozak | April 20, 2015

This article outlines what orbital forming entails, what it can be used for, and how it is beneficial, including detailed images and diagrams. 

What is Orbital Forming?

UntitledOrbital forming is a process of coldforming that is quiet and non-impact, using around 80% less force than a standard press. This new process is replacing more traditional forms of riveting, staking, crimping, pressing, welding, and other fastening operations due to its revolutionary benefits. Untitled

Orbital forming uses a peen tool, which is mounted in a rotating spindle and is inclined at a slight angle toward the spindle’s center. The peen intersects the workpiece on a line of contact and gradually moves material to the desired final form.

The tool used within orbital forming spins a 3-6 degree angle. As as contact pressure is achieved, the tool simultaneously precisely forms material into the desired shape. The orbital process can form mild steel solid rivets from less than 1/16″ upto 1-1/2″ in diameter.

What Can Orbital Forming Do?

UntitledThis process is dynamic, robust, and precise, meaning it can do a number of different things. Some of the processes that orbital forming can be used for include:  crown, flare, swage, peen, roll, curl, broach, seal, retain and crimp material. Orbital forming also offers Untitledunparalleled repeatability, as well as fine control of final form and clamp force.

Benefits of Orbital Forming

There are many benefits of choosing orbital forming over other more conventional processes. Orbital forming has been found to accomplish the same amount of forming work with a fraction of the force of other processes like staking and pressing. Less force means less power consumption, allowing plants to save on power and run more efficiently. It can be used with a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, delicate, hard and more. Lastly, orbital forming can be used to replace loose fasteners and be applied with exacting process control. Overall, orbit forming works to fasten more successfully and efficiently when compared to other processes.

Orbital forming continuously creates high quality and visually appealing joints, including, for example, articulating joints. The process uses less downforce on the rivet, meaning there is  less rivet shank swell, allowing joints to articulate smoothly. These can be seen in multi-tool pliers, automotive door hinges, casters, etc. There is a wide variety of forming preen options that can be chosen from to best suit your aesthetic needs.

About the Author: Tom is a guest contributor from Orbitform, designing and building assembly equipment solutions for manufacturing.

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