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How Forging Can Extend the Service Life of Parts

By isoc On Thursday, December 14, 2017 5:43:00 PM

View our video that features Rob Mayer describing why forging is a superior metalworking process for manufacturing reliable “can’t fail” parts. There is a reason that other metalworking processes compare themselves to “wrought properties” produced through forging deformation. In this video, you’ll learn how forging offers the following benefits for making parts that are subject to fatigue and severe environments:

  • Improved metallurgy for fatigue properties and toughness
  • High durability from common, less-expensive materials
  • Reduces part processing, testing, and cost

Video Transcription

There is a reason that other metalworking processes compare themselves to rock properties, that is, the properties that are produced through forging, through deformation energy. And the reason is they're trying to be as good as forging is. And of course what I say is they're not going to get there because you need the deformation energy. You need the shearing forces, the strain that's produced through the deformation process in order to change the metallurgy and in order to improve it. 

And so, those are the kinds of forces that are achieved in the forging process to really mix things together. Now, what do you get? You get improved metallurgy. That means improved fatigue properties. It means improved toughness. It means the parts are going to survive in the most severe conditions, where parts made by other metalworking processes simply are not going to achieve what you need to achieve as an end result. 

Now, other processes that are competitive with forging, one of the things they'll do is they'll increase the alloy of the material. You know, they'll make something out of an expensive inconel that a forging could make and provide a part in a regular steel alloy. And say, well, it's just as good, you've just increased the cost dramatically. 

One of the things to keep in mind is, especially if you're producing in volume, if you want to use the common, less expensive structural materials for whatever component is you're trying to make, if you go with a forging process, you're going to be able to focus on those reliable, well-known materials that have been used historically and are very successful. You won't have to go to some exotic type material to make this work using some other process. They'll say, "Well, we'll achieve the same thing forging will achieve, but we have to do some additional testing. We have to do some additional heat treating, we have to do some kind of additional process." You know, maybe hot isostatic pressing.  

All of those things add cost and complexity, and every time you add complexity you add another possibility of something not being quite right. So, why would you want to use a material that you're going to have to put extra time and money into doing testing and then take the chance that you are going to find the part that isn't as good? Why not just go with forging to begin with? And then you don't have to do the testing, because you can rely on the process providing you what you need.  

So again, where do you use forgings? Anywhere you need the reliable, can't fail part, especially when it's in a severe environment, in an environment where the part's going to be subject to great fatigue, great stresses, potential impact, all those kinds of things are where forgings really have an advantage over the other metalworking processes, and over many other types of material processes that even aren't metal.

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