Whenever you are interested in using fasteners such as the titanium carriage bolts, you will often need to pay attention to many things to determine whether they will perform optimally or not. Some of these include making sure that they are of the right size, made of the right materials and used in the right […]

Whenever you are interested in using fasteners such as the titanium carriage bolts, you will often need to pay attention to many things to determine whether they will perform optimally or not. Some of these include making sure that they are of the right size, made of the right materials and used in the right places.
However, one other factor that will affect the quality of the fasteners and will also influence how well they perform is how they are made. There are many manufacturing processes that can be used to make fasteners such as the alloy 20 hex lag bolts, and some are clearly better than others. One of these is the use of the cold heading process to create the bolts.

What is cold heading?

Cold heading is one of two ways of making a bolt from a piece of metal. The other is through screw machining, which involves simply cutting away material from a piece of metal until you are left with a shape that you can then add threads and a head to. As you can imagine, this is a process that can result in a lot of waste, particularly if you do not make an effort to recycle some of the material that has been produced after the process. However, it’s still one of the commonest and cheapest ways of making fasteners.

 
On the other hand, cold heading involves forcing a piece of metal into the desired shape without taking away any material. In a way, you can think of it as a form of molding, only that you use metal instead. The major benefits of using this manufacturing method is that you will be left with very little waste material at the end.
What is needed to create a fastener in this manner?
In order to manufacture bolts using cold heading, a specialized cold heading machine would need to be used. The choice of machine often depends on the material you will be working with as well as the type of fastener one wants to end up with.
Understanding the cold heading process
The first step in using cold heading to manufacture fasteners is obtaining a piece of wire. This is then manipulated into the desired shape through annealing in the cold heading machine. This is one of the most delicate parts of the process, and has to be done carefully in order to eliminate the risk of any cracking. Once this is done, the wire is then pulled through a box which has a hole in it, and the role of this is to reduce it to the desired size. One of the benefits of this manufacturing process is that you can achieve very high accuracy.
Of course, the actual process of cold heading is more detailed than this, but the basic principle is as above. In addition to very high levels of accuracy, one of the other benefits of cold heading is that it is cheap on account of the fact that it involves very little waste.

About the Author

Larry Melone
By Larry Melone
President

Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.

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