What is Forging?
Forging is the process of re-shaping metal using heat and force. The pre-heated metal is pressed into a tool allowing the metal to take the shape of the tool used. There are many methods of forgings some being:
- Hand Forging
- Upset Forging
- Drop Forging
Find out more about the different forging methods below.
Hand forging, which is sometimes referred to as blacksmithing, is a manual method of forging. The metal is heated until red and then beaten into the desired shape using a hammer against a metal anvil.
Due to the method utilised, hand forging provides the forged item with a superior grain flow compared to other methods. This is due to the bending of the metal whilst its hot and therefore means the item is much stronger and longer lasting after forging.
Upset forging, which is also sometimes known as heading, is one of the most common methods of forging used today. The process involves a pre-heated bar, which is position within grooves that keep it still for when the pressure is applied.
The use of the dies or tools used within upset forging is considered the most important stage within the process. This is because they shape the hot metal, which is the whole aim of the upset forging process.
Drop forging is the process by which a hammer is dropped onto a heated piece of metal in order to shape it into the desired shape. There are two types of drop forging; Open die drop forging and closed die drop forging.
Open die drop forging is the process of providing a blow with a hammer to shape the metal which is one a stationary anvil. This method is referred to as ‘open die’ as the die doesn’t fully enclose around the metal.
Closed die drop forging is different to open die as the metal is attached to an anvil and is placed within many dies with a fixed structure.