Forging is a manufacturing process that employs compressive forces—e.g., hammering, pressing, or rolling—to mechanically deform heated metal into the desired shape. As the deformation of the material occurs in tightly controlled conditions, the process produces predictable and consistent grain sizes and flow patterns, both of which translate to better metallurgical and mechanical properties. Forgings often demonstrate greater strength and durability than components made in other forming operations.
Benefits of the Metal Alloy Forging Process
Compared to other manufacturing processes, the metal alloy forging process offers several benefits, such as:
- Greater strength: Forged alloys demonstrate greater directional, structural, and impact strength than their base materials. The forming process alters the grain structure such that the thickness and weight of the part can be reduced without affecting structural integrity.
- Higher wear resistance: In addition to greater strength, the altered grain structure present in forged parts results in better wear resistance.
- Better part quality: Forged parts are less susceptible to shrinkage, porosity, and cavities than cast parts.
Industrial Applications of Forged Alloys
Due to their durability and reliability, forged metal parts and products find application in a wide range of industries, including, but not limited to, the following:
Automotive and Truck
The forging process creates components that are strong, reliable, and economical, qualities that are ideal for parts and products used in automobiles and trucks. In these vehicles, forgings are generally utilized at connection points, where components are subjected to shock and stress. Typical forged parts include axle beams, idler arms, pitman arms, shafts, studs, torsion bars, wheel spindles, and powertrain assembly components (e.g., transmission shaft, driveshaft, universal joints, gears, and clutches).
Farming equipment, such as tractors and combined harvesters, requires tough, strong, and economical parts that are able to keep up with rigorous operations. The forging process creates products that meet these requirements, such as engine and transmission components, gears, levers, tie rod ends, shafts, key forgings, cultivator shafts, and spike harrow teeth.
General and Oil Field Valves and Fittings
Forgings are often used in valve and fitting assemblies for their superior mechanical properties and lack of porosity. Some general examples of forged fittings include elbow reducers, flanges, saddles, stems, tees, and valve bodies. In the oil and gas industries, they are used for oil field products such as drilling hardware, rock cutter bits, and high-pressure valves and fittings.
Hardware and Hand Tools
The forging process is used to produce a wide range of hand tools, such as hammers, pliers, wrenches, and sledges. It is also used in the manufacture of hardware, including eyebolts, hooks, sockets, and turnbuckles. Specialized tools can also be created, such as gardening equipment and dental and surgical instruments.
Railroad and Off-Highway Equipment
The strength, toughness, and affordability of forged parts and products make them suitable for use in heavy equipment, such as those used in construction, material handling, mining, and off-highway applications. Some examples of forgings used in these applications include gears, levers, shafts, ball joints, axle beams, links, wheel hubs, yokes, and spindles.
Forgings play a critical role in the devices, equipment, and systems of a wide range of industries, such as chemical, paper, power generation, refining, steel, and textile. Typical forgings include bars, blanks, blocks, discs, rings, shafts, and sleeves.
The forging process produces components with high strength, low weight, and excellent reliability, all of which are critical for parts and products used in the aerospace industry. Aerospace companies use a variety of ferrous and non-ferrous metal to create forged components for commercial jets, helicopters, military aircraft, spacecraft, and piston-engine planes.
Alloy Forging Services at Cornell Forge
At Cornell Forge, we have extensive experience in the forging industry. We accommodate forging requests for carbon and alloy steel up to 100 lbs. in weight and stainless steel up to 30 lbs. in weight. We also offer various design and tooling services, such as concurrent engineering, optimal forging design, in-house tooling, and metallurgical consulting. Our value-added services include sawing, machining, heat treating, plating, painting, shot blast cleaning, Magnaflux inspection, hardness testing, and assembly.