Forged vs Cast: Which is Better?

There are a number of methods through which metal can be manipulated and formed into different shapes and two of these are forging and casting.

With forging, metal is heated to just under its melting point and then hammered into the required shape. With casting, the metal is heated until it becomes liquid, and then poured into a mold of the required shape.

Due to these different methods, the part formed may have different characteristics and one of these is that when parts are forged, they have a 37% higher fatigue strength. This results in a longer fatigue life by a factor of six.

Why Use Forging?

As mentioned above, forging involves shaping the metal while it is still solid, and this results in a stronger part (for instance, a forged steel fitting). This is because the metal’s grain flow is maintained and the ends of the grain are not exposed.

The pressure and heat applied during forging removes defects like air pockets from the part. This creates a strong, durable part.

Finally, forged parts are generally more impact-resistant, more reliable, consistent, and tougher than those made through casting.

Why Use Casting?

A forged steel fitting will therefore withstand a lot more force and be more durable under different stresses. You may still need to use casting, however, in the following situations:

  • The part you need is too large to forge
  • The part you are forging needs custom alloys added to it
  • The part is too complicated to forge successfully

Generally Speaking

As a general rule, it is advisable to always go for forged parts if that’s an option available to you.

The dyes used in industrial forging can be expensive and time-consuming to make, especially for complicated parts. You also have to make sure that your hammer or press is strong enough to move the heavy steel die that is used industrially to make things like a forged steel fitting.

If design freedom is more important to you than the strength of the part produced, you can go for casting which will enable you to even make parts with internal cavities. While these parts will be able to withstand compression well enough, they will be inferior to forged parts in terms of handling impact and wear.

With all of this in mind, always trust a distributor who has the experience and knowledge base to direct you to the right type of parts for your project. Here at Lynco Flange & Fitting, we’ve been providing trusted expertise since 1982!

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