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Technology, Innovations & Flutemaking

Cold Forged Keys

Miyazawa is the only professional handmade flute company that utilizes a 100% cold forged key mechanism.

How is cold forging superior to the traditional method of casting?

Since the equipment and process involved in making a cold forged key mechanism is a very expensive investment, most handmade flute companies make their keys by the casting method. In casting, metal is melted to a liquid state, poured into molds then cooled. The advantages of the casting method are that it is very economical and that there are virtually no materials wasted as leftover metal can be re-melted and used again. But because different metals cool at different rates, alloy segregation may occur. Additionally, as the liquid metal is poured, tiny air bubbles can get into the part, rendering it weaker.

In the drop forging process, 60 – 150 tons of pressure is used to form keys and parts from solid metal. Miyazawa takes the benefits of drop forging a step further by using cold forging where metal is not expanded or contracted from heating and cooling. Cold forging effectively utilizes the energy of the pressing process where the ambient metal is pressed into a die, forming it into the proper shape. The metal is never melted or compromised in any way. Simply put, a cold forged key mechanism is much stronger and far superior to a key mechanism made by casting.

  • Forged parts are made at much higher tolerances than parts made by casting: the metal is more accurately shaped.
  • The process refines the grain size and flow of the metal, thus improving its structure and integrity.
  • Eliminates the consistency problems in casting.
  • Greater durability as the metal exhibits remarkable resistance to fatigue and impact.
  • A stronger, more consistent and reliable mechanism.

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