Just as competing metalworking processes have advanced, forging has also evolved over the years. The forging process has, for example, expanded into using new techniques and new materials.
As the industry continues to move forward, will forging have a place in the future?
Progress is inevitable in any industry, and it's no different for metalworking. However, forging will remain an essential process in the years to come.
Why? Regardless of industry changes and developments, the forging process produces the ultimate metallurgy.
Learn more in the video below.
What do I think is the future of forging? I think it's going to continue to be an essential process, certainly in metalworking. And some of the new materials, we almost don't really call them metals. We call them complex compositional materials, because yes, they have the kinds of ingredients in the recipe that we think of as metals, but they also have other kinds of components that we may think of as ceramics, oxides, certain things that in the past we thought of as impurities, but if we can truly homogenize them through the matrix, they are strengthening agents. And we can then create whole new classes of materials, and we're looking forward to being able to forge these kinds of materials.
You know, if you look at the whole materials market, it used to be that anything that was going to be made good, had to be forged. Casting was a black art. Well you know, in the last couple hundred years, casting has come a long way. But forging hasn't just done nothing; it's also moved forward.
But now we also have all these other alternative processes of different types of casting. So it's not just sand casting, it’s shell casting, it’s investment casting, it's die casting. You know, even the Foundry industry has broken up into specialties and niches. And so the forging industry has to, and you'll find forging companies that really do specialize in a very large open die work, or in aerospace work, or in components that are going to go into the oil field, components that are really meant for hand tools. You know, so the industry itself has broken up into lots of different niches, and that's part of what we keep looking for is another niche.
But will there be forging? Yes. Will there be competing processes? You bet. You know, but I still think that forging is going to have a place, because it produces the ultimate metallurgy.