The process of forging involves heating, deforming, and shaping a piece of metal. A force is applied to an anvil or a die press, enclosing a piece of metal and forming a particular shape. Although forging is one of the most robust methods in metallurgy to reinforce a metal, the pressure of the force can sometimes make certain metals less effective and brittle. What metals can and can’t be forged? This post sets out to help you understand a little better.
What are the advantages of forging?
Forging enhances mechanical properties, ductility, fatigue resistance, and impact resistance by refining and directing grain flow according to the piece’s structure.
Forging, in general, creates a more durable final product than casting. In terms of impact and strength, this is particularly true. The forging process forces the metal’s grain flows to adapt to the shape of the product, resulting in a tighter grain and, as a result, a more consistent structure and composition.
As a result, forged items are more durable and resistant to wear. As a result, you may not need to utilise more expensive alloys to boost the strength of your products. Forging eliminates the need for many components to be joined together. Instead, it might all be formed as one unit. Because no welding or attaching is required, removing unneeded joints increases the overall strength of a component.
In addition, forging reduces metal shrinkage, cavities, and overall porosity. You don’t need to make any adjustments to account for the many changes that occur during the casting process.
What metals can be forged?
Each metal has its own set of strength and weight characteristics that are best suited to specific processes, as determined by its ionic elements.
Forging can be done with almost any metal. Some of the better metals to use are:
Carbon steel forgings contain a variety of alloys, including zirconium, titanium, chromium, tungsten, nickel, and cobalt, which can help improve the hardness, strength, corrosion resistance, machinability, and other qualities, but the hardness is mainly determined by the carbon content. Forging carbon steel parts are more cost-effective than other forging metals.
Different alloys are combined with steel to achieve desired qualities in forged alloy steel parts. Alloys such as chromium, manganese, molybdenum, and nickel improve strength, hardness, corrosion resistance, as well as enhanced durability at high temperatures. Forging alloys allow for higher availability, cheaper costs, higher mechanical qualities, and processing simplicity.
Micro alloy Steel
Microalloyed steel is the process of adding small amounts of alloying components to boost the quality of metal while keeping production costs down. This process is often used in automotive industries, like making crankshafts, powertrain parts, and other components. Microalloyes steel is often applied by using controlled cooling, so there is no need for subsequent heat treatment.
The advantages of micro-alloy forging are enhanced high cycle fatigue resistance and a greater strength proven in higher static and dynamic loads.
Stainless steels are iron alloys known for corrosion resistance, durability, formability, recyclability, and their ability to withstand temperatures, making them an ideal option for a wide range of applications.
Aluminium is widely used in applications that require lightweight components. Forged aluminium components have a high strength-to-weight ratio, good stress corrosion cracking resistance, fracture toughness, and low-temperature tolerance, which makes them perfect for aerospace and aircraft applications.
Titanium alloys are more difficult to forge than other metals, needing precise temperature control to get the best mechanical qualities. For applications requiring high strength, corrosion resistance, or operating temperatures, forged titanium components are preferable. Many other metals and alloys are heavier than forged titanium parts.
What metals can’t be forged?
Some metals that have a particular structure may be too brittle for the forging process due to the ionic bonds and elements being damaged. This can cause breakage during or due to the forging process and may affect the integrity of the piece in the long run.
Some examples of fragile metals that are difficult to forge:
- cast iron
Which metals are the best for forging?
Forging produces cost-effective, sturdy, and reliable parts. The forging technique can result in improved metallurgical qualities that are suitable for a variety of applications. When deciding on what material to use for your custom metal forging process, there are a few things to consider, and it’s important to consult your suppliers and manufacturers to find out which is suitable for you.