A staple method for the fabrication of metal from the ancient Mesopotamian times, forging is an ever-popular technique of metal shaping. It goes about with its metal shaping process by using compressive, localized forces. Since its very inception in the Fertile Crescent, the forging manufacturing process has gone through and experienced significant changes, which has all but resulted in a more efficient, faster, and more durable process. This is due to the fact that forging today is typically performed with the usage of forging presses or hammering tools, one which is steered by hydraulics, electricity, or compressed air.
The Forging Process
The technology of forging occupies a very significant position amongst all the manufacturing processes because it produces parts with exceptional properties and with very minute wastage. Through a number of operations, simple geometrical metals are physically deformed into various products of complex configuration.
In the forging manufacturing process, by applying a compressive force the metal is heated up and is then given shape by plastic deformation. Herein, the compressive force is applied with the help of hammer blows with the usage of power hammer or even a press. It is powered by, as mentioned beforehand, compressed air, steam, or hydraulics electricity. The hammer weight can be around 500 pounds to even thousands of pounds. Forging boasts the capability to refine the grain structure and enhance the physical properties of the metal.
The products of forging are consistent, i.e. it is without the defects of porosity, voids, or inclusion. Finishing operations such as coating operations and machining like painting and plating can also be completed very easily.
Forging primarily consists of two operations in accordance to the force applied.
- Drawing down: The process of drawing down involves elongating the length and curbs down the cross section area of the work piece. In this process only, the work piece length increases and the cross section area is decreased. In the drawing down process, a compressive force is applied in a perpendicular manner of its length axis.
- Upsetting: This is the exact opposite operation process to that of drawing down. The length of the work piece in this process decreases and the cross section area is increased. The compressive force is applied at a parallel direction, unlike the drawing down process.
The Applications of Forging Manufacturing Process
Automobile Industry: Ball studs, wheel spindles, axle beams and shafts, idler arms, kingpins, torsion bars, and steering arm.
Agro Industries: Shafts and spindles, spike harrow teeth, gears, levers, Engine and transmission components, and cultivator shafts.
Aerospace: Blades, shafts, landing gear cylinders and struts, brake carriers and discs, arresting hooks, engine mounts, Bulkheads, hinges, buckets couplings, beams, wheels, wing roots, beams, etc.
Hand Tools: Sledges, hammers, hooks, pliers, garden tools, wrenches, wire-rope clips, sockets, turnbuckles and eye bolts.
Industrial Equipment: Connecting rods, discs, cylinders, shafts and sleeves, rings, blanks, blocks, elbows, T’s, etc.
Advantages of Forging
In forging, the pounding action deforms and shapes the metal. This results in an unbroken grain flow, causing the metal to maintain its strength. The ancillary effects of this distinctive unbroken grain flow include the eradication of defects, porosity, and inclusions in the product. Another key advantage of the forging manufacturing process is the relatively low price associated with long production and modest runs. As the forging tools are created, the products can then be manufactured at comparatively high speeds with very minute downtime.
The forging process has played a key role since time immemorial, and in modern times, its importance has only ameliorated. This article aimed to provide an in-depth insight into the forging process, its applications, and its various advantages.