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Manufacturing Processes - Forging Process
Metal Shaping Processes
As the only comprehensive text focusing on metal shaping processes, which are still the most widely used processes in the manufacture of products and structures, Metal Shaping Processes carefully presents the fundamentals of metal shaping processes with their relevant applications.
An encyclopaedic guide to production techniques and materials for product and industrial designers, engineers, and architects.
Metal Forging Process
The metal forging process comes under the category of forming as a manufacturing process. It involves the forming or shaping of bulk metal between dies which mirror the shape of the component or section of a component that is required. On occasions that can be the very simple geometry required to produce a flat or radius or it might be a complex 3D shape. The dies can either be open or closed depending on the size of the component being produced. Open die is used for larger components and closed die for small components.
The process can be used, as indicated, to produce 3D solid shapes without re-entrant angles from any material that is ductile at the forging temperature. Forging is typically classed under 3 categories; hot, warm or cold as dictated by the material being processed.
Based on the traditional art of forging carried out by blacksmiths in times gone by, forging has evolved into a modern metal working process that has been somewhat automated through the adoption of power driven presses and pre-machined dies.
The machines and dies required for the forging process can be costly dependent on complexity and the open die forging process tends to rely on the skill of the operators to produce satisfactory quality levels. This is because open die forging are often general purpose where closed die are dedicated to specific component shapes.
The quality of the components produced are also affected by the forging temperature with surface texture and dimensional accuracy deteriorating with increased temperatures. Hot forging nearly always results in a flash that has to be removed with secondary machining operations whereas cold forging can be produced near shape.
Setting up times are very much dependent on the complexity of the tooling and cycle times are dictated by the rate of operation of the equipment. As a general rule it can be said that open die forging would be a long cycle time but with sufficient automation, closed die forging cycle times can be quite short.
Advantages of the Forging Process
The main advantage of forging over casting or machining is the strength of the component. This is because the grain of the structure of the component flows with the shape of the component where it has been formed.
To take the most advantage of this characteristic the sections being forged should generally be less critical in terms of dimensional accuracy. Datum features or interfaces can be produced using secondary machining operations for higher accuracy.
Metal Forging Process
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