Forging Introduction

Forging is a process in which metal is pressed, squeezed or pounded to turn it into a specific shape. Forged metal is stronger than that manufactured by any other process. Forged parts are durable, long lasting and trusted by all industries.

The following is a useful list of forging FAQ for your knowledge about forging.

Which Metals are Forged?

Any metal on the earth can be forged. Some of the metals that are most commonly forged include steel, aluminum, copper, brass, stainless steel, carbon, nickel and alloy that contains cobalt.

In USA and Canada how many people are employed in forging industry?

It is estimated that around 45000 people are employed in the forging industry. Most commonly, every industry employees between 50 to 500 persons, each.

What equipment is used to produce forged parts?

There are many types of equipment used in forging, the most common ones are:

Presses. These are commonly used with their driving force of up to 50000 tons. Presses are used to squeeze the metal vertically in high pressure.

Hammers. These are also used with a driving force of up to 23000 kgs.

Upsetters. These are also presses for horizontal forging. Ring rollers are type of upsetters that turn a hollow round piece of metal against a rotating roll under great pressure, to produce a one-piece ring.

What does forging industry do?

This is quite a big industry, and they do quite a lot of thing including:

a) make equipment and parts  for their own company, which are later used in forging of other parts. This is called captive forging.

b) make standard equipment, tools and accessories that are commonly sold everywhere. This is often called catalog forging.

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c) make custom forged parts, on customer orders. This is referred to as custom forging.

Who buys forged parts?

There are 10s' of industries that use forged parts. They include automotive industry, airline industry, NASA, construction, agriculture and mining companies.

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The advantages and disadvantages of forging include the following:

Advantages Of Forging

Parts produced by forging are stronger than casted parts or parts made in a machine. During the forging process the internal grain of the part changes its form and continuous forging for a few minutes strengthens the part's characteristics.

Disadvantages of Forging

  • Hot forging prevents work hardening and hence increases the difficulty of performing other machining operations on the part.

  • Producing forged parts involves a lot of expenditure for the machinery, dies, tools and personnel.

  • Some forging requires metal-forming dies, which are required to be precisely machined and heated to properly shape the piece. This is not always achievable by novices or not very-high experienced engineers.

These were pros and cons of forging method.

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The product made through forging has more strength and is made more precise, compared to products made by other manufacturing processes. Unfortunately even forged products can have some defects if proper care is not taken during the forging process. This article describes forging defects that normally occur on a forged part.

Improper Grain Flow:

This is caused by improper design of the die. The improper die design makes the flow of the metal in the wrong direction.

Cold Shut:

This appears as small cracks in the forged part's corners. This happens mainly due to improper design of the die uses.

Scale Pits:

Scale Pits are irregular lining on the surface of the forged part. This is mainly caused due to improper cleaning of the stock used.

Die Shift:

This is primarily caused by the wrong alignment of the die halve, making the two halves of the part to be improperly shaped.

Flakes:

Flakes are internal ruptures, caused by the improper cooling of the forged part. Rapid cooling to the part caused the exterior to cool too fast, causing internal fractures.

Unfilled Section:

Some section of the die cavity is not complete filled by the flowing metal. This is caused by the improper design of the forging die, or wrong use of forging technique.

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History of forging dates back to 4500 B.C. Metals such as wrought iron and bronze were forged by man to produce weapons of wars and hand tools. Forging of iron and crucible steel continued until the end of the 19th century.

It progressed until the Dark Ages. It was the time when most scientific, cultural and industrial advancements stopped. Before Dark Ages, possession of metal was considered as a sign of good wealth. People in Rome even had gods dedicated to the forge.

During the Dark Ages, weapon production was progressing fast. European industries and culture was set back because of constant wars. At the same time, iron industry remained intact due to large demands and need of weapons.

Forgings During 19th Century

In the 19th century, people involved in forging work were skilled at open die and hand forging of wrought iron. At that time, the smiths became very skillful particularly in hammer welding. Large shaft forgings that weighted 10 tonnes or more were built up by the process of hammer welding and forging. In 1856, the invention of the Bessemer steel making process was a major breakthrough for the forging industry. At this time, forgers had a plenty of lost cost steel supply for the production of large quantities of forgings. In the USA, the very first cavity steel forging using a closed-die process started in 1862. In the 19th century, steam engine was invented and showed us ways of modern forging.

Today, forging is used in worldwide industry and has significantly contributed to development of modern machinery and equipment.

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