Forging process by modern machinery
Anyone working on a process design for a metal product now has far more options for component production than design engineers had just a few decades ago. This discussion will concentrate on a few common metalworking processes, comparing their benefits and drawbacks. Many processes and possibilities, such as polymer component parts, fiber-reinforced epoxies, and items made entirely of ceramic material, will be ignored. Not all aspects of metal and multi-element material fabrication can be covered in one article.
Forging is the process of forming material in a solid-state, usually by pressing or hammering, causing the metal to flow into die cavities to create a certain shape. The term “wrought properties” comes from the results of the forging process, and products of other procedures are frequently compared to wrought properties in an attempt to claim equivalence to forging. Forging of iron and steel, including stainless steel, was developed as a critical process to improve the metallurgical properties of the casting. The physical deformation of the forging process crushes voids and disperses remaining impurities to sizes that are insignificant to the product’s desired performance. Forging causes dynamic recrystallization of the cast structure, resulting in fine-grained material with improved fatigue and impact toughness. Forging can also be used to consolidate metal powders and improve their properties. Press-formed powder blanks or shaped cans filled with powder may be pressed or struck in a forging operation to fully densify and further shape the product to achieve wrought or near wrought properties. Forging is recognized as a process for achieving ultimate properties, which is why other processes make comparisons. Scrap and “solids” from flash trimming operations are typically very desirable for recycling.
Is modern forging expensive?
The inability to create more complex shapes and structures is one of the main disadvantages of the forging process. While highly sophisticated equipment and forging meathods may allow a specific product or family of goods to be created, forged configurations are often confined to simpler shapes. Forgings must be designed to allow extraction from dying cavities, and repeated metal flow as the part is forced into the cavities causes die wear, changing dimensions as a production run progresses. The creation of forge tooling for specific forging shapes is time-consuming and costly. Die wear requires ongoing repair and remanufacturing, which adds to the cost. The machining processes used to make tools make materials less desirable for recycling. See the section below on machining.
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Video resource: Planet Innovation