Be it a small safety pin or the enormous skyscraper or the Boeing 707, metals are a critical component of our lives today. They play a massive role in the functioning of our daily lives, the economy and in supporting technological transformations of all kinds.
There are different metal working processes that have evolved through the years, namely: *Casting *Forming *Welding *Forging
While each process has its own applications where they perform best, forging is considered to be the best of them all.
What is forging? It refers to the process of shaping a metal by subjecting it to very high temperatures where they become pliable but don't melt. Then they are rolled between punches of various diameters and with different impacts to form the raw material into the desired shape.
Few of the forged products include: *Flanges *Rolled rings *Slew bearings *Gears *Hollow forgings
How is forging advantageous over other metalworking processes? To gauge the importance of forgings, here is a comparison of the process with casting, welding and machining. Read on:
Forgings vs. Casting/ Welding/ Machining *Forging imparts superior part to part strength to the products which casting cannot do mainly because of its low porosity that is retained throughout the process. *Forged good provide directional grain flow allowing for maximum strength and negligible metallurgical defects. *Forgings are economical since they entail fewer processes as compared to casting. This is also why they are more reliable. *Casting can cause alloy segregation which then leads to defects in the finish of the final product. *Forgings on the other hand respond predictably to heat treatment making better and uniform products. *Forging uses less expensive materials as compared to casting which at times requires expensive materials. Therefore forgings form a cost-effective option. *Forgings offer a wide range of size options ranging from products having a dimension of less than 1 inch to products weighing greater than 450,000 lbs. Machining pose limitations in production capacities. *Forgings yield lesser scrap since they use near cut shapes and therefore qualify for a cost effective option of metal working. Machining o the other hand produced larger quantities of scrap. *While other metalworking processes involves numerous secondary operations like threading, punching holes, machining, drilling, polishing, grinding, turning, etc., forging secondary operations are limited to simple steps like finish machining, hole drilling, etc.
Do you agree with forging being a better metalworking process as compared to its counterparts? Have facts and information to add to this? Feel free to post your thoughts below; we'd love to hear from you.