What Are the Key Differences Between Crimping & Swaging?

An industrial hose is an assembly that consists of a hose, stem, ferrule, couplings, and fittings. In order to safely compress and deform such products to a specific hose length or diameter, two processes can be used: crimping or swaging. Though it may seem counterintuitive to change the physical composition of a hose, the swagging and/or crimping process is a critical part of the hose assembly.

Swaging and crimping are typically used for describing the process of radial compression which deforms and reshapes round objects and reduces their diameters. It is easy to get confused between the two terms as they are often used interchangeably. However, there is a significant difference between crimping and swaging, and where each of these processes is used. In this blog, we shall discuss what exactly crimping and swaging are, and what the differences are between the two methods.

What is Crimping?

Hose crimpers are used for joining deformable metal fittings placed on flexible hoses with the help of a crimping tool. The process of crimping can be accomplished with the help of both powered and unpowered equipment. These tools range from easy-to-use handheld devices to freestanding machines built for high-volume operation and precision.

To complete this connection, a crimper applies force to the outer diameter (OD) of the tube with 360 degrees of contact. This compression is usually applied once or twice with a rotating die that aids in preventing buckling. At the end of this process, the shape of the entire circumference and length changes. Additionally, more force is needed to reduce the diameter of ferrules because compression takes place all at once.

What is Swaging?

The swaging process includes a speedy succession of hammer strikes used for forming and diminishing the diameter of a metal, and involves the process of modifying a rod or wire. The swaging process includes gradually pushing a hose and its fittings through a set of dies. The dies open and shut quickly, reducing the diameter of a ferrule and compressing the hose in the stem serration. This ultimately transforms the fitting and permanently attaches it to the hose.

While swaging, fittings can be connected to countless other components, including various tubing, wiring, hoses, and rods, using less material is used in this process. This is because the material in swaging is hammered to displace it longitudinally, instead of being chipped away. Swaging also saves you from the cost of labor, as many machines have integrated material handling systems and feeders which can be operated single handedly.

The Key Differences Between Crimping & Swaging

The fundamental difference between swaging and crimping is that swaging results in reduced ferrule size as it moves towards the fitting, while crimping transforms the shape of the circumference of the hose. In the oil, composite, and petroleum industries, the swaging process will be more beneficial. On the other hand, industrial applications rarely need such high-pressure-rated hoses. Therefore, crimping is the best possible solution for industrial applications. Though crimping machines and equipment can be heavy on your budget, these machines are automation-friendly and can also be easily integrated into any automated line, making them a more viable and efficient option.


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