Forming Hardened Materials with Hot Upset


When speeding down the highway at 70 miles per hour, most people never think about the security of all the components on their vehicle.  A great deal of trust is placed on automotive manufacturers to supply safe vehicles.  This requirement has driven these manufacturers to increase the quality and safety of their assemblies.  Through the process of providing more robust assemblies, Orbitform has partnered with automotive manufacturers to design and build prototypes that meet these updated safety requirements. 

One customer approached Orbitform with the challenge to increase the strength of their striker assemblies.  The door and hood strikers were being orbitally formed using a mild steel as a striker, which created failures in the field.   The customer was looking to use a harder, more robust material. 

Leveraging Orbitform’s Solutions Lab and Technical Engineers, the customers engaged in a lab development to determine the best forming solution.  While orbital forming had been the previous answer, the hardened material quickly cracked upon forming.  Orbitform experts then turned to the hot upset process. 

The hot upset process is ideal for hardened metals.  The process uses heat and pressure to form the fastener.  As heat is applied to the part to bring it to a cherry red state, the material becomes malleable and collapses under pressure applied by the powerhead.  Upon forming the striker wires using this process, the striker wires formed without cracking and the new process was a success. 

Orbitform then worked with the customer to develop prototypes using several finished form configurations for safety testing.  With small batch capabilities, several rounds of prototyping were completed for the customer to test and find the ideal configurations.  While the process took several months and rounds of lab developments, the end solution was a more robust, solid assembly that would provide the highest level of safety for vehicles.

The Orbitform advantage means finding the right forming, fastening or riveting solution for your assembly.  Leveraging our six core processes and Solutions Lab, our experts are able to find the right process for your assembly.  Contact us today to find the best process for your assembly challenge.