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In Depth: Steel Forgings

How Does Forging Work?

Forging is a manufacturing process that uses a hammer or a closed die to form a custom shape. There are three types of forging: cold, warm and hot forging. With warm and hot forging, the process uses heat to make steel malleable, and the hammer or die shapes the metal into a custom part. We cut the metal bar into slugs or billet and then it is heated in a gas-fired furnace or electric induction ovens to achieve the right forging heat required. Once it is hot enough, the billet is placed in a die for forging or hammering into the required shaft shape. The history of forging dates back centuries and is still used today because it is a reliable process for producing top-quality parts.

Closed Die Forgings

Closed die forging is an efficient method for producing custom near net shaped metal parts. In this process, a piece of heated metal billet or slug is inserted into the bottom half of the die while the top half is pressed down with high pressure onto the billet.  The hot metal fills the cavity to forming the desired shaped part and excess metal exits the die around the part.  This excess metal is called flash. The flash is later clipped off through another clipping die which is in another press. After this the part is shot blast or vibratory finished with abrasive media to remove any burs. In some cases, after this the part is pickled in a series of acid baths and clean water to remove acid. This along with the shot blast and vibratory methods improves the surface finish for use as is of for other coating methods such as painting or plating after machining. Closed die forging is a good choice for designs that require close tolerances, long production runs and cost savings. The general rule of thumb is if you are machining more than 40% of your bar stock away, then there is a costs saving using forgings.  Deeco Metals offers closed die forging for steel, stainless, aluminum, brass and bronze parts.

Learn more about steel forgings. Contact Deeco Metals today.