In this short video, QC Forge President, Rob Mayer shares his expert knowledge about forging process advantages for manufacturing finished components "as forged", using surface treatments and/or through secondary machining operations. Rob covers the following topics in this discussion . . .
- "Fits to Air" component features
- Surface treatments: Shot blasting, etching, glass bead blasting and anodizing
- Machining advantages of forged parts
- Improved fatigue, impact, durability and reliability properties of finished forgings.
There are many cases where “as forged” components can actually be used as a finished product or as a finished component.
And this really requires the design engineer of our customer to work with us to understand what surfaces we can leave in the forge condition. Anything that fits to air, for instance, that is it's not really mating up with another part or another component. That's something that possibly can be left in the “as forged” condition and then we might do some other fairly simple surface treatments. We might do some shot blasting of steel parts, we might do some etching and other glass bead blasting of aluminum parts in order to create a perfectly acceptable finish that really doesn't need additional machining.
And then, we're really only limited to the areas where we're making contact and actually mating up with another component. So there are times that we can do that, but it really takes working with the customer to make sure that we're producing the most effective and efficient part for them.
Another advantage of forged product is that the surface condition is often times better able to sustain some kind of additional surface treatment. The thing that comes to mind, for instance, is anodizing. Anodizing aluminum. It's an ongoing problem with die casts, aluminum die castings and other aluminum cast products that they don't take an anodize evenly. They come up very spotty. They don't look good. Well, forged surfaces don't have that problem. You will see an anodize on a forged surface will be consistent in color and density and you know, it just plain looks good. It looks right.
Now, there are other kinds of surfaces that we can produce depending on what kinds of surface treatments we do in our own facility. You know, aluminum, can we etch it? Can we glass bead blast it? Could we abrasive blast it? And the same thing with steel. Should we shot blast it? Should we abrasive blast it? These are typical cleaning operations, and many times it leaves a surface finish that is cosmetically perfectly acceptable and functionally perfectly acceptable.
One of the things that you may find when you're machining a forging too is unlike castings, when you machine that surface, you aren't going to open up voids. You aren't going to run into inclusion. Something that's pretty common, especially with iron castings, but also in steel and other castings. The homogeneity of the material that is formed, what that reflects is improved properties that you will discover in the finished product. Better fatigue properties, better impact toughness. The parts will be more durable, more rugged, more reliable, and that's kind of an inherent quality of forgings over the other metalworking processes.