Advantages of Metal Forgings
One of the best-kept secrets in metal technology is the Forging process because of it near net shape and good surface condition. If you are machining more than 40% of your metal bar stock away, then forgings are for you and they will reduce your overall piece cost. You will not be machining away full price metal creating scrap shavings and you will save time. Custom metal forgings offer tremendous advantages over other manufacturing methods such as extrusions, castings, and machining from bar stock. If your company is not benefiting from these advantages, they should be - here is why!
- Extensive Cost Savings
- Across the Board Time Savings
- Significant Product Improvements
- Innovative Manufacturing Enhancements
In making forged metal parts, the metal is worked twice under both tremendous pressures, first during rod extrusion/drawing or rolling and then during the close die forging process. The double working of metal under pressure compresses the metal and produces a very dense and refined grain structure. The tensile strength of the forged metal parts is thereby increased, and resistance to impact and abrasion is enhanced.
The dense, non-porous aspect of forged metal parts permits the designer to specify thinner sections without the risk of leaks due to flaws and voids. Often the thinner forged metal parts result in lighter weight and lower piece cost compared to other manufacturing processes.
Custom metal forgings produced in a steel die with close tolerances offers several advantages. Overall part dimensions are held closer than in sand casting. Dimensions show minimum variation from part to part and permit automatic chucking and handling in subsequent machining and assembly operations. The precise designs on the die surface can produce sharp impressions or depressions on the forging surface for company id or name, which is normally not the case with other forming processes.
Low Overall Cost
Mass production of forged metal parts lends itself to maximum savings. However, smaller quantities of copper alloy forgings can also prove economical. As mentioned metal forgings have good leak integrity, close tolerances, high strength with low weight, and designs with a non-symmetrical shape.
Metal forgings have superior surface condition compared to castings and therefore good for surface coating treatments like chrome or nickel plating, various painting options and anodizing.
How Metal Forgings compare to Castings
- Forged metal parts are stronger. Hot and cold working strengthens parts in a way that casting can’t match. Forged metal forgings surpass castings in predictable strength properties, producing superior strength for every part -- guaranteed.
- Forging refines defects from cast ingots or continuous cast bar used to cut into billets. A casting has neither grain flow nor directional strength and is always subjectable to gassing (Porosity). The casting process cannot prevent formation of certain metallurgical defects and surface imperfections. Pre-working forge stock produces a grain flow oriented in directions requiring maximum strength. Dendritic structures, alloy segregations and like imperfections are refined in forging. Metal forgings are do not have porosity so are sound throughout the part!
- Forged metal parts are more reliable, less costly. Casting defects occur in a variety of forms. Because hot working refines grain pattern and imparts high strength, ductility and resistance properties, forged products are more reliable and have less imperfections. And they are manufactured without the added costs for tighter process controls and inspection that are required for casting.
- Custom metal forgings offer better response to heat treatment. Castings require close control of melting and cooling processes because alloy segregation may occur. This results in non-uniform heat treatment response that can affect straightness of finished parts. Forged metal parts respond more predictably to heat treatment and offer better dimensional stability.
- Forging is flexible, cost-effective production that adapts to demand. Some castings, such as special performance castings, require expensive materials and process controls, and longer lead times. Open-die and ring rolling are examples of forging processes that adapt to various production run lengths and enable shortened lead times. Once tooling is in place, Close Die Forgings are quickly produced.