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How are concretor’s nippers and pliers manufactured?

Shop for Concrete Nippers and Pliers

Drop forging is used to manufacture many tools The basic shape of the jaws and handles of concretor’s nippers and pliers is made by a manufacturing process known as drop forging.

What is forging?

Forging compresses a metal billet or rod between two dies to form the shape of the part required. Forging is a manufacturing process that deforms a metal rod or billet workpiece between two dies (a kind of mould).
Forging uses impact or high pressure to form the shape of the part. This can be done by either impacting one of the dies or applying a very high pressure to the dies in order to compress the workpiece between them.
Casting does not alter the grain structure of the part being formed like forging does. Unlike other manufacturing methods such as casting, during the forging process, as the metal is compressed into the desired shape of the part, the grain structure within the metal is also forced to follow the same shape. This aligning of the grain structure results in a strengthening of the part produced.
Flash is the compressed part of the metal billet or rod that is forced out between the two halves of the dies used in the forging process. As the workpiece is compressed between the two dies some of the material is pushed out between the two dies. This is called flash. This flash then has to be removed by a subsequent machining process.
Forging of steel is nearly always done in what is called a hot forging process where the metal workpiece is heated. Forging can be performed with either a hot or cold process. However, forging of steel is nearly always performed using the hot process which involves heating the metal rod or billet that is to be forged. By heating the workpiece it not only becomes easier to compress it to the desired shape but also prevents the resulting part from becoming too strong, which would make the subsequent machining difficult.
The cutting edges of concretor's nippers and pliers are put on the tool by grinding. Once the machining of the flash has been carried out and the final shape of the part achieved, it can have the cutting edges ground onto the jaws before being heat treated and tempered to give it the required physical properties, such as hardness, for use as concretor’s nippers and pliers.

How are cutting edges applied?

The cutting edges of concretor's nippers and pliers are put on the tool by grinding. Once the basic shape of the handles and jaws have been formed, the cutting edges can be subjected to a further machining process. The process used to apply the cutting edges to the inside of concretor’s nipper and pliers jaws is called grinding.
Grinding is used to create the cutting edges of cable cutters.

What is grinding?

Grinding is the process of using a bonded grinding wheel made of abrasive particles to remove material from a workpiece. The grinding wheel is a disc that is spun at high speed, and the workpiece is passed across the side face or circumference surface. Grinding can be done with discs made with grain sizes ranging from 8 (coarse) to 250 (very fine). The finer the grain size, the better the surface finish on the workpiece will be.

What is heat treating and tempering?

Quenching metal during the heat treating phase of manufacturing hex keys to increase their hardness. Heat treating and tempering are manufacturing processes used to alter the physical properties of metal and other materials. Heat treating involves heating the metal up to a very high temperature and then quenching (rapidly cooling) it. This increases the hardness of the metal, but will also make it more brittle.
Tempering a hex key after it has been heat treated will prevent it from being too brittle. Tempering is performed after heat treating, and also involves heating the metal, but to a lower temperature than heat treating, then letting it cool slowly. Tempering will decrease the hardness and brittleness of the metal, and at the same time increase its toughness.

How are the handles of concretor’s nippers and pliers made?

Concretor's nippers and pliers can have either bare metal, PVC or injection moulded handles. The handles of concretor’s nippers and pliers are made using either PVC dipping or injection moulding manufacturing processes.
PVC dipping process taking place

What is PVC dipping?

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) dip moulding is a manufacturing process that involves a heated former, in the shape of the tool’s handles, being dipped in a bath of liquid PVC. As the former is gradually removed and left to cool, the PVC solidifies on it.

PVC dipped parts after they have been removed from the former. Once cooled, the PVC is removed from the former by hand and compressed air, before being fitted on the handles of the concretor’s nippers and pliers.
Injection moulding process involves raw plastic being melted in a barrel chamber where a screw forces it into a mould with a cavity in the shape of the desired part.

What is injection moulding?

Injection moulding involves raw plastic beads (such as nylon) being fed from a hopper into a heated barrel chamber. This melts the plastic, which is then pushed though the barrel by a screw mechanism and into the cavity within the mould. The molten plastic solidifies within the mould cavity. When the two halves of the mould are separated, the finished part is revealed.

Other products made by injection moulding include lego and mobile phone covers. Injection moulding can be used to make a wide range of products such as plastic toys and mobile phone covers as it’s a very quick and cost-effective way of manufacturing high volume products. It can also make bi-material parts such as the handles found on more ergonomic concretor’s nippers and pliers. A second injection process using TPR (thermoplastic rubber) gives a rubberised grip to the handles for improved comfort and grip.