The hot forging manufacturing process is carried out at extremely high
temperatures (up to 1150°C for steel, 360 to 520°C for aluminum alloys and 700
to 800°C for copper alloys). This temperature is necessary in order to avoid
strain hardening of the metal during deformation. Stamping is the most common
hot forging manufacturing process, in which the material is extruded between the
tool and die surfaces in a press.
The high temperatures in the hot forging process allow for maximum material deformation and access to complex 3D geometries. Hot forged parts have enhanced ductility, which makes them desirable for many configurations. Again, as a technique, hot forging is more flexible than cold forging because custom parts can be manufactured.
The excellent surface quality allows for extensive polishing, coating or painting finishing work depending on the specific needs of the customer. Hot forging materials are available worldwide, which has a positive impact on their final price.
Hot Forged CNC Machining Spiral Gear
The manufacturing process is a complex one and can be influenced by many factors, such as suppliers, equipment, management style, customer needs, etc. The more intense the process, the greater the potential for process disruption and final price changes. However, there are four important factors that determine the final price of a forged part. These are
The amount of material used.
The cost of forging, such as electricity, investment, tooling, etc.
The post-forging heat treatment.
Additional operations such as sandblasting or quality control testing.
The cost optimization of cold forging starts with the raw material. If necessary, it can be purchased outright, including the accompanying annealing and stripping treatment, which can make a block blank available for processing. Since raw materials for cold forging are available in limited quantities, they are more expensive. To minimize manufacturing costs, it is best to use coldhead wire for small parts.
For optimum cost effectiveness, the manufacturing process itself should be managed using a mastery of all the tools and techniques involved. For example, large quantities of cold extruded parts are manufactured on high-speed mechanical presses, while complex parts and small quantities are manufactured on hydraulic presses.
An efficient lubrication system is critical to the successful application of any cold forged part. All workpieces should be zinc phosphate or polymer coated. Multi-station presses require additional lubrication with special forging oils. A good lubrication system ensures high quality of the final part and eliminates the additional cost of eventual in-process failure.
Minimizing energy costs in the hot forging process is a constant concern for every manufacturer. These can be optimized when using inductors and diameter-matched billets and installing flexible multi-stage heating systems.
Automation of all forging presses involved is critical to the cost efficiency of the hot forging manufacturing process, especially for industries that require high volume production like the automotive industry.
The tools for all applications should be optimized for the following innovative technologies.
Metallurgy: merging vacuum, powder metallurgy
surface treatment: nitriding, carburizing and duplexing
The cold forging manufacturing process increases the strength of the metal by strain hardening at room temperature. In contrast, the hot forging manufacturing process prevents the material from strain hardening at high temperatures, resulting in optimum yield strength, low hardness and high ductility.
In the end, manufacturers will choose one method over another for economic reasons rather than quality reasons. The decision is based on the desired function of the desired component, the industry, and whether to mass produce or customize the part in small quantities.
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