Forging is a manufacturing technique that has been utilized for centuries to produce high-quality, strong, and durable metal components. It can be done by hand or machine, depending on the type of material used and the product being created. It remains a popular fabrication method for various applications in different industries, including aerospace, automotive, defense, medical, and oil and gas.
For over 90 years, Cornell Forge has been delivering expertise in forging metal products! We have a highly skilled and experienced workforce that is more than capable of handling a wide range of products and complex parts. We are also an ISO 900:2015 company, ensuring we observe quality standards in our operations.
What Is Forging?
Forging is an ancient metalworking process that shapes metal using compressive forces. This method involves heating a metal billet or ingot to a malleable state and pressing it into the required shape. The temperature of the metal should be above its recrystallization point, which varies from material to material. For example, steel can be forged between 1,550 °F and 2,250 °F.
The ability to produce strong and durable metal components is one of forging’s key benefits. The process involves tailoring the metal’s crystalline structure to the component’s shape, improving its physical and mechanical properties. In addition, certain metals and design specifications can be forged, either hot or cold.
Types of Forging Techniques
The forging process can be categorized as either hot or cold. Hot forging is typically performed at temperatures over the metal’s recrystallization point, increasing its elasticity and simplifying the shaping process. In contrast, cold forging is performed at or around room temperature.
In addition to hot and cold forging, numerous techniques have been developed, each with advantages and suitability for certain metals. Here are some of the most common processes:
Hammer forging is the process of shaping metal with a hammer. The force exerted varies from hundreds to thousands of pounds depending on whether the operation is conducted manually or with a power hammer. It can create complex shapes and produces components with high fatigue resistance and superior surface finishes.
Also known as hot pressing, press forging applies compressive force to metal using a press. The press could be hydraulic or mechanical and exert several thousand tons of pressure. This method is useful for generating complex shapes and can develop wear-resistant and well-finished components. It is also suitable for mass-producing items with standard dimensions and forms.
Roll forging utilizes two rollers to form metal. Typically, the rollers are shaped to the mold of the manufactured product and rotate at high velocities. It is especially beneficial for manufacturing lengthy components — such as rods or shafts — and can provide wear-resistant parts.
Also called smith forging, open-die forging involves shaping the metal between two flat dies. It is performed at high temperatures to increase the metal’s flow, and it can generate pieces of varying sizes and forms. In addition, it is utilized to fabricate parts necessitating a high customization level.
Closed-die or impression forging shapes metal between two dies that are molded to match the shape of the manufactured component. It is often performed at high temperatures and is useful for producing parts with intricate geometries.
Applications of Forging in Various Industries
The exceptional mechanical qualities of forged components make them excellent for use in various sectors. The following are some of the most common applications of forging in multiple industries:
The aerospace sector needs superior-quality components that endure harsh conditions, such as high temperatures, high stress, and fatigue. Forging is typically utilized for jet engine components like turbine discs, blades, and rotors. It is also applied to optimize landing gear components for added strength and durability to support the aircraft’s weight and absorb the impact of landings.
The automotive industry is one of the main users of forging due to its high strength and durability. For example, engine components like crankshafts, connecting rods, and pistons are normally made using the forging process due to the high-stress operating environment.
Another application of forging is in manufacturing suspension components, such as control arms, steering knuckles, and hubs. They support the vehicle’s weight and give control and stability. Furthermore, forged parts are used extensively to manufacture transmission components such as gears, shafts, and clutches.
The defense sector requires components that can withstand extreme conditions, high stress, and hostile settings. Forging provides the necessary mechanical qualities for defense applications, including high strength, damage tolerance, and corrosion resistance. Examples of forged components include artillery shells, tanks, and aircraft parts.
Forging provides medical professionals with biocompatible components necessary for medical equipment, orthopedic implants, and dentistry tools. Particularly, the forged parts of orthopedic implants and surgical devices can endure intensive sterilization without losing structural integrity.
Oil and Gas
The oil and gas industry functions under severe operating conditions that demand equipment capable of enduring high temperatures, pressures, and corrosive environments. Forging provides superior strength and high-performance components widely used in the oil and gas sector. Such parts include drill bits, mud motors, drilling tools, downhole tools, pipeline segments, and valves.
Design Considerations for Forging
The design phase is a crucial step in the forging process, entailing the development of a blueprint for the final product. By improving the design, manufacturers can save production time and expense, enhance the material’s mechanical qualities, and obtain a superior surface quality.
The design must account for various factors, including the metal type, the function of the component, and the forging technique. It should also consider the following aspects:
Types of Metal
Depending on the component’s essential qualities and final application, forging can be performed using various materials. The selection of the forging material is critical because it can substantially affect the mechanical attributes of the component.
Ferrous metals mostly consist of iron and are known for their excellent strength and low cost. Carbon steels, alloy steels, and stainless steels are examples of these metals.
Non-ferrous metals are distinguished by their light weight, high conductivity, and excellent corrosion resistance. Examples of these metals are aluminum, copper, and titanium.
High-temperature alloys are utilized for applications requiring high strength and resistance to extreme temperatures. Moreover, these alloys can retain their mechanical qualities even at elevated temperatures.
The draft angles are the tapered inclinations that are applied to the vertical surfaces of the forging to facilitate its easy extraction from the dies. They prevent inaccuracies and enable correct die-filling. The material parameters of the alloy and the forging procedure determine the appropriate draft angle.
The parting lines are the openings in the dies where the final forging separates. Designers and engineers should place them in areas that maintain the product’s integrity. These zones include non-critical portions or sites where parting line marks can be removed through further machining. Moreover, the right positioning of parting lines enhances the overall quality of the forging.
Fillet radii are bent junctions between two forging surfaces. The radius should be sufficiently large at these intersections to avoid compressive stresses, which can lead to cracking and other flaws. In addition, a large fillet radius reduces the effects of any possible forging die wear or misalignment.
Cornell Forge: Your Trusted Forging Service Provider!
Cornell Forge is the company you can trust for high-quality forging! As a PED-accredited company, we are committed to offering superior service throughout the entire production process, from RFQ to delivery. We can also handle even the most challenging forging projects with our team’s extensive expertise and capabilities.