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Types & Applications of Metal Forging

Using compressive forces, metal forging is a method of forming and shaping metals to meet specific requirements. Pressing, Rolling or Hammering are used as force.

There are three types of forging techniques based on the temperature of the metal being worked with: cold forging, warm forging, and hot forging.

“Types & Applications of Metal Forging”

When it comes to the metal manufacturing industry, forging is a key activity that must be performed. Especially in the iron and steel industry, it is recognized as a key source of productivity.

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Buyers have a large range of alternatives when it comes to selecting a type of forging for producing a vital metal component. It can be difficult to make the appropriate decision because each technique has different advantages and disadvantages based on cost and logistics.

Choosing the forging approach, on the other hand, provides a slew of one-of-a-kind advantages not available with any other method.

Metal forging provides the highest value in terms of pricing and overall quality. This is especially true when the application necessitates maximum part strength, bespoke sizes, and crucial performance standards.

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Forging of steel:

  • Hot forging of steel:
    • Good formability at forging temperatures above the recrystallization temperature of 950–1250 °C.
    • Forming forces are low.
    • Workpieces with constant tensile strength.
  • Warm forging of steel:
    • Temperatures for forging range from 750 to 950 °C.
    • Scaling on the workpiece surface is minimal or non-existent.
    • Tolerances can be achieved that are tighter than in hot forging.
    • Formability is limited, and forming forces are larger than in hot forging.
    • Forming forces are lower than in cold forming.
  • Cold forging of steel:
    • Forging temperatures at ambient temperature, with self-heating up to 150 °C due to forming energy.
    • Tolerances as close to zero as possible.
    • There is no scaling on the workpiece’s surface.
    • Increased strength and decreased ductility as a result of strain hardening
    • It is important to have low formability and a strong forming force.

Steel alloys are primarily forged in hot circumstances for industrial activities. Cold forging procedures are used to produce brass, bronze, copper, precious metals, and their alloys, with each metal requiring a distinct forging temperature.

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Forging of aluminium:

  • Aluminum forging is done at temperatures ranging from 350 to 550 °C.
  • Forging temperatures above 550 °C are too close to the alloy’s solidus temperature and, when combined with changing effective stresses, result in unfavorable workpiece surfaces and, perhaps, partial melting and fold formation.
  • By increasing yield stress, lower forging temperatures limit formability, which can lead to empty dies, cracking at the workpiece surface, and higher die forces.

Aluminium forging can only be accomplished in a specific process window due to the small temperature range and high thermal conductivity. A homogenous temperature distribution throughout the work piece is required to offer optimum forming conditions. As a result, controlling the tool temperature has a significant impact on the process.

●    Application of aluminium forged parts:

High-strength aluminium alloys have the tensile strength of medium-strength steel alloys but are significantly lighter. As a result, aluminium forged parts are primarily employed in aerospace, automotive, and many other sectors of engineering, particularly in those fields requiring the highest safety standards against failure due to abuse, shock, or vibratory pressures.

Pistons, chassis parts, steering components, and braking parts are examples of such components. AlSi1MgMn (EN AW-6082) and AlZnMgCu1,5 are two commonly used alloys (EN AW-7075). AlSi1MgMn accounts for almost 80% of all aluminium forged parts. AlZnMgCu1,5 is a high-strength alloy primarily utilised in aeronautical applications.

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Forging of magnesium:

Magnesium forging takes place at temperatures ranging from 290 to 450 °C.

Because of their poor flexibility, limited sensitivity to strain rates, and narrow forming temperature, magnesium alloys are more difficult to forge. In recent years, a three-slide forging press (TSFP) has been used to forge Mg-Al alloy AZ31, which is widely used in aircraft bracket production. Although this forging procedure improves tensile characteristics, it lacks consistent grain size. Despite the fact that the use of magnesium alloys in the aerospace and automotive industries is increasing by 15-20% each year, forging magnesium alloys with specialized dies is an expensive and impracticable technique of producing parts for a mass market. Instead, the majority of magnesium alloy parts for the industry are cast.

The hammer and anvil are the most popular pieces of forging equipment. The principles underlying the hammer and anvil are still used in drop-hammer equipment today. The machine works on a simple principle: elevate the hammer and drop or propel it into the work piece, which is resting on the anvil. The main differences between drop-hammers are in how the hammer is propelled, with air and steam hammers being the most popular. Drop-hammers are typically used in a vertical position. The primary reason for this is because excess energy (energy not needed to deform the work piece) that is not dissipated as heat or sound must be transported to the foundation. In addition, a huge machine base is required to absorb the impacts.

The counterblow machine or impactor is used to compensate for some of the drawbacks of the drop hammer. The hammer and anvil both move in a counterblow machine, and the work piece is held between them. Excess energy is converted into recoil here. This enables the machine to function horizontally and has a lower footprint. Other benefits include reduced noise, heat, and vibration. It also results in a distinct flow pattern. Both of these machines are capable of open-die and closed-die forging.

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