Metal can be manipulated and formed into different shapes using various techniques like welding, casting, and forging. While each method offers its own unique benefits, forging produces better results than other methods. That said, before you contact fitting distributors, here are frequently asked questions you may have about forging.
What is Forging?
Forging is a manufacturing process where metal is heated up to a high temperature, but it isn’t melted, making the metal soft and pliable. The metal is then pounded or pressed into the required shape.
What Differentiates Forging from Casting?
With casting, the metal is heated until it becomes molten. The liquefied metal is then poured into a cast of the required shape. On the other hand, forging doesn’t involve melting the metal.
Why Use Forging?
Since forging involves shaping the metal while still solid, it usually results in a more robust part (for example, a forged steel fitting). This is because forging preserves the metal’s grain structure – the arrangement of grains in a metal.
As a result, forged parts are typically more resistant, ductile, and reliable than cast parts.
Where are Forged Parts Used?
Forged parts aren’t conspicuous because they are usually contained inside assembled things, but they are almost everywhere. From airplanes and vehicles to oil rigs and piping systems, forged steel fittings have numerous applications.
Why Should You Use Forging Over Castings?
As mentioned above, a forged part, like a forged steel fitting, offers better strength than a cast part. But besides stronger parts, forging has numerous other advantages over casting.
First, forging saves time and money. Forged parts are manufactured without the need for close quality control and inspection. On the other hand, casting requires a high level of control and inspection, making it a costly process. Moreover, unlike casting, forging requires fewer revisions, making it less time-consuming.
Next, forgings respond better to thermal treatment. Conversely, castings require close monitoring of heating and cooling processes to prevent alloy segregation. Alloy segregation can affect the ductility of finished parts.
Finally, forging allows for the manufacture of various products in various sizes. A forged steel fitting can be manufactured in a variety of sizes. On the other hand, certain castings, like special performance castings, require costly materials to manufacture.
What are Some Common Forging Materials?
Some common forging materials include:
Stainless steel: Stainless steel comprises a group of metals (typically iron alloys) high in chromium. A stainless-steel component like a forged steel fitting offers good corrosion resistance, impact resistance, malleability, and durability, making it suitable for many applications.
Carbon steel: Carbon steel is typically a metal alloy of carbon and steel, but carbon steel forgings may also contain other alloys like chromium, titanium, cobalt, nickel, and more. The amount of carbon usually determines the hardness. Carbon steel parts are inexpensive to produce, and they are ideal for applications where high temperatures aren’t required, like carbon steel pipe fittings for a piping system.
Titanium: Titanium alloys are relatively challenging to forge compared to other materials, and they are best suited for environments where high resistance and strength are required.
Aluminum: Aluminum is best suited for applications where lightweight components are required. Forged aluminum parts offer exceptional tolerance to low temperatures, corrosion resistance, and a high strength-to-weight ratio, making them ideal for aviation applications.
As a rule of thumb, you should opt for forging over casting in most cases. While casting can come in handy if a component proves difficult to forge or if it’s too large, forging yields better results.
That said, if you’re looking for a fitting distributor, you’ll want to go with a reliable one with plenty of experience. Lynco Flange and Fitting has served just about every industry where piping systems are found since 1986, and we strive to provide high-quality service.