A Test of Strength: Orbital vs. Hot Upset Forming

Determining The Best Process For Your Part

Posted on 04/24/2019 | by The Orbitform Blog Team


When it comes to assembling your parts, there are many factors that must be considered, including strength of the joint, appearance, hole fill, and more. Furthermore, there are many fastening and forming processes that can be used, each with their own advantages. How do you decide which process is the best fit for your application needs? At Orbitform, our assembly experts have 30+ years of experience solving some of the toughest assembly challenges. We believe the best way to determine which process provides the best outcome is to test sample parts in our Solutions Lab.


Application Review

One automotive manufacturer turned to Orbitform's assembly experts to design the best system to assemble their seat latches. When our applications engineers reviewed the assembly prints and part requirements, we saw two potential solutions - orbital forming and hot upset forming. Their pin was made of solid carbon steel and heat treated to a hardness of 29 Rockwell C, which lent itself more towards hot upset.

When forming a hardened material, cold forming processes such as orbital forming require higher forces to form and may result in cracking of the material. With the hot upset process, the material is heated to become malleable. Downward force is then applied, and the material collapses under the pressure. While we believed hot upset would prove to be the better process for this hardened material, testing sample parts would be the best way to determine which process was best fit for the application.


Testing Samples

Orbitform tested sample parts in our Solutions Lab using both orbital and hot upset forming and found that the material could be formed with both processes. With orbital forming, the force required to form the pin was at the maximum capacity of our B-840 at 100 psi, which is our largest pneumatic orbital forming bench machine. The customer evaluated both samples and found that the pin formed with hot upset had increased hole fill and higher strength. The pin formed with the orbital process resulted in small cracks of unknown depths that could result in part failure. For these reasons, the customer chose hot upset forming for their application.

There are many processes to choose from when it comes to assembling your parts. The experts at Orbitform stand ready to help. Over our 30+ years, we have seen numerous applications. When process advantages overlap, we can test your samples in our Solutions Lab to ensure the resulting assembly meets all of your application requirements. Give us a call today to help you determine the right assembly solution for your desired outcomes.