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An Introduction To Cold Forming And Its Benefits

Economically and efficiently produced durable metal materials are known to add significant value to construction and fabrication projects. The processes that create the size and shape of metal components needed for unique projects should ensure that all pieces are identical and durable. Cold form metal processing is a technique that produces custom shapes of durable metal parts both economically and to precise specifications.

What Is Cold Forming?

Cold forming is a forming/fabrication technique used to shape metal materials at near room temperature. Forming metal at cooler temperatures allows a high level of intricate manipulation while still retaining or enhancing tensile strength. Cold forming forces are very high (500 ton) which allows an infinite number of shapes to be created at very high production speeds. Parts can also be produced very economically, even at relatively low volumes, compared to additive or subtractive machining processes.

The pressure imposed by the forming process itself adds to the strength of the finished product, which is generally much closer to specifications than a hot form process can create. Consequently, cold form processing is much faster, less expensive and produces less waste than hot forming metal parts. Steel, stainless steel and aluminum alloys are all prime candidates for cold forming. Cold formed parts are used in the construction, aerospace, automotive and other major industries on a daily basis.

Advantages of the Cold Forming Process

As manufacturers experience an uptick in demand for their products, they begin looking for ways to streamline processes so they can continue to scale-up. Cold forming reduces the time and number of materials needed to produce consistent, quality metal parts. As such, cold forming and using cold formed parts has significant benefits over other metalworking processes.

While cold forming might seem like the more expensive option up front, this process actually eliminates the need for various secondary machining operations, reducing both lead times and overall expenses.

Here are some of the top advantages of the cold forming process:

Form More Complex Shapes

Cold materials form more substantial components because they do not have the fracture points or stress risers that are created in a machining process. The pressure applied to manipulate their shape actually makes them stronger than they were before the forming process due to the compaction of the grain structure.

Experience Higher Weld Speed and Volume

Because the cold form system (raw material dimensions, die shape, etc.) is set for the existing project, part creation moves automatically from input to final product very quickly, completing the maximum number of items in the shortest possible time. Automation also ensures consistency of quality across product lines, so duplicate runs to replace flawed or insufficient parts are unnecessary. Since time is money, time saved is money saved.

Reduce Flaws and Waste

Cold form processing ensures that a correct volume of unprocessed metal is utilized in order to form each part, wasting none of the raw material to complete the part. The result is a fully formed and functional piece crafted to the exact dimensions and specifications of the project.

When hot forming or injection molding parts an insufficient amount of raw material can result in a weak or malformed part. Conversely, injecting too much can cause malformations or produce "flash" (extraneous material out of the specifications for the part) which will need removal. Using raw metal in the appropriate shape and size for the project will reduce the incidence of flawed products. The cold forming feed process ensures that the correct amount of material is utilized for each part, wasting neither raw nor final product material.

The Benefits Of Using Cold Formed Parts


Because cold-formed parts are extruded, they are seamless and manufactured with a consistent grain flow in the direction of the extrusion. These features provide greater tensile strength to the finished product and, thereby, a longer life span. Cold forming also reduces the worry of fracture points. The extrusion process also provides a lighter-weight part, increasing the strength-to-weight ratio for each part you require. This balance is especially important when utilizing multiple parts for a finished product, such as building a bridge or constructing a large building.


Cold forming enables you to design parts that would otherwise require several different machines to produce. Additionally, you can often combine two separate parts into one perfectly molded piece, cutting down on on-site assembly time and further reducing the risk of stress fractures.


Cold-formed parts are consistent from the first piece produced in a run through the last piece produced. This precise product formation allows for greater interchangeability of parts within one run. In other words, if the first piece created fits perfectly, the last piece produced will also be a perfect fit.


You need to stay under budget for your project. Metal prices fluctuate. You can't control the market in order to stay under budget, but you can control the amount of raw material that you use and discard. Since there is no cutting involved, cold forming produces no waste. For more complex parts requiring multiple steps on various machines, a cold-formed blank so closely mimics the finished product that additional machining produces little scrap.

Get Started With Cold Formed Parts

The bottom line is that when you need metal products, you need to consider cold forming. Image Industries is a leader in the industry when it comes to cold forming. Offering runs of custom cold formed parts with a minimum quantity as low as 5,000 pieces, Image Industries enables your company to take advantage of the low costs associated with cold forming while reducing the amount of warehouse space needed to store spare parts. We combine cutting-edge technology and friendly customer service to help you meet your project needs without breaking your budget or sacrificing the quality of your brand. For more information, request a quote online from Image Industries today.

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