What is the difference between a casting and a forging?
Forging creates metal products with generally a higher strength that is typically tougher than metal processed castings. Metal forgings are less likely to shatter at contact with other objects.
The increased strength is a consequence of how the metal is forced into a new shape, by pressing or hammering, during the forging process. As opposed to other methods of fabrication, the metals grain is stretched in this process, aligning in one direction instead of randomly. By the end of the forging process the resulting metal is stronger than it would have been had it been cast.
What is Upset Forging?
During upset forging a heading tool or ram is positioned perpendicular to the cross sectioned end face of a rod or bar gripped in a die. On application of pressure, the length of the rod is reduced and the diameter is increased (upset). This manufacturing process is used extensively in the production of fasteners to form bolt heads, screw heads etc.
Horizontal forging machines increase the cross-sectional area of a portion of the bar. Forgings are produced while still attached to the ends of the bar stock. The length of the bar to be headed or upset is heated independently of the machine. The bar is gripped and the moving die forges it to shape.
What is Drop Hammer Forging?
Drop forging – open die forging.
Drop forging is a process that uses a pair of impression dies and a heavy hammer to form and compress metal bars or billets into complex shapes. The impression or die cavity is the desired shape of the final forging. The equipment used in the drop forging process is known as a power or drop hammer.
The drop forging process allows for the manufacture of durable and strong components, optimising the structural strength of the metal. Through drop forging, the granular structure is compressed and aligned with the shape of the component being formed. Drop forging reduced the possibility of structural defects.
What are the benefits of forging?
The advantages of forging:
- Parts manufactured by forgings are stronger than other processes
- It offers high ductility
- It is more reliable and less costly than other processes
- It offers a better response to heat treatment
- It offers more consistent and better metallurgical properties
- It refines the structure of metal
- It offers a broad size range of products
- It requires fewer secondary operations
- It has great design flexibility
What materials are suitable for forging?
Typical metals used in the forging process include carbon, alloy steels, stainless steel and copper alloys.
Some common metals used in forging are:
- Alloy Steel
- Carbon Steel
- Microalloy Steel
- Stainless Steel
What is material grain flow?
Grain flow is a directional orientation of metal grains and any inclusions that have been deformed by forging. Individual grains are elongated in the direction of the metal flow or plastic deformation.
What types of components can be forged?
Forged components are commonly found at points of shock and stress such as wheel spindles, axle beams and shafts, torsion bars, ball studs, idler arms, pitman arms and steering arms.
Common applications of forged components include:
- Automotive and truck
- Agricultural machinery and equipment
- Valves, fittings, oil field applications
- Hand tools and hardware
- Off highway equipment
- General industrial equipment
- Ordnance/ship building
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