An introduction to Forging
Forging is a manufacturing process that involves a piece of metal being shaped through pressing, hammering, or rolling. Forging can be categorized by the temperature at which it is performed, warm, cold, or hot forging.
There are several methods of forging with different benefits and capabilities. The most used forging methods include drop forging, hand forging, and upset forging.
Drop forging's names derive from the process of a hammer being dropped onto a piece of metal to mould it into the shape of a die. The two types of drop forging are open die and closed die forging.
Open die forging
Open die forging can also be called Smith forging, the process involves a hammer striking the workpiece which is positioned on a stationary anvil. Open die forging is suitable for simple and large parts, and bespoke metal components. Its advantages are better resistance and strength, it has a reduced chance of error and defects such as holes, it improves microstructure and finer grain size.
Closed die forging
Closed die forging can also be called impression die forging, a piece of metal is placed in a die and attached to an anvil, a hammer will be dropped causing the metal to flow and fill the die cavity. Any excess metal will be forced out through the die cavities. Its advantages are that it can produce parts up to twenty-five tons, it is economic for heavy production, and produces shapes that require a small amount of finishing.
Hand forging can also be called blacksmithing, this is the simplest form of forging. A piece of metal will be heated in the fire of a forge. It will then be beaten into the desired shape using a hammer and on a metal anvil. Its advantages are a superior grain flow and a refined steel internal structure.
Upset forging is a manufacturing process that will increase the diameter of the metal by compressing its length. Its advantages are high production rates, produces little to no waste, and eliminates the forging draft and flash.