Swaging Verse Crimping

Jan 30, 2019    |    Architecture

Our knowledge shared with you

We had the opportunity to sit down with SRS Group’s operational manager Mike and ask him a few questions on swaging and the beneficial options swaging can produce verse crimping.
What is the difference between swaging and crimping?

Well, they are similar things but the big difference is that crimping involves the wire or cable forming a loop and returning on itself through a collar or “crimp” that is squeezed to hold the loop in place. With a swage, the wire or cable stays straight and the swage fitting fits over the end of the wire and is pressurised onto the wire.

Why is swaging more beneficial than crimping?

With a swage the cables strength is not diminished as much as if the cable has had a loop crimped into the end. This means a stronger termination which in turn means less fatigue and a longer life. Also the end result of swaging is much more aesthetically pleasing and there are a much greater number of fittings which permit many different combinations of fitting to get a tidy result.

How does the fitting stay attached to the wire?

The swage is crushed onto the wire with a lot of force in one of a couple of ways. There is pull swaging and press swaging and both produce enough force on the swage to essentially weld it to the wire cable. If cut in half the wire and swage all appear as one piece of metal.

How does swaging work?

The pressure required to complete a swage needs to be high so, larger swages are done hydraulically. When it comes to smaller wires we are able to completed them by using a leveraged hand tool.  

Can you swage any fitting to a wire?

Well, if it can be custom made then basically yes. The common terminations though are threaded studs, forks and eyes.

Does the wire need to be stainless steel?

No, swaging can be done on steel wire also. We tend to stick to the stainless end of the market though.

What is the minimum and maximum swaging capacity SRS can offer?

We can swage from 3mm to 32mm wire. Although we suggest smaller wires are crimped from a cost saving perspective for our customers. 

Does swaging last longer than crimping?

Generally speaking yes. Swaging creates less damage to the wire when compressing the fitting, where as crimping can create more damage onto the wire – this leads to the wires capacity level being lower and increasing the risk of breakage. Although no-one wants a wire to break, swaged fittings will usually give clues before they snap. You may see the wire coil first or a single strand twist which gives you a indication that the fitting will need to be replaced. This is a beneficial factor when it comes to safety knowing that your cable won’t unexpectedly break, where as a crimped fitting may give you no indication at all. 

SRS Group is New Zealand’s first specialised architectural rigging company which is why we invest our time and resources into providing our customers with the best level of services. We were the first company to import a hydraulic swage with the capacity to swage up to 32mms within New Zealand. On request we can transport our hydraulic swage to site locations, equalling no limitations when it comes to swaging and SRS. Not only do we offer mobile rigging services we have a range of in-house rigging services.