Frequently Asked Questions
What is Metal Forging?
Forging is a manufacturing process involving various methods of compression or force used to shape metal. Forged metal parts are transformed from raw metal into custom shapes. Custom forging processes provide a cost-effective way to produce metal parts with distinct specifications that can be used for any desired applications.
What Are the Different Types of Forging?
Four primary forging manufacturing processes are commonly used to shape metal parts: impression die forging (closed die), open die forging, cold forging, and seamless rolled-ring forging.
What is Impression Die Forging?
Also called closed die forging, impression die forging utilizes dies that enclose the base material, making it easier to shape the metal piece into its desired shape. Compared to other forging processes, closed die forging requires greater compressive forces to fill the die cavities and form the complete part.
What is Cold Forging?
The cold forging process creates parts and components with enhanced surface finish quality and tight tolerances. Unlike most other forging processes, cold forging does not use heat for part structure shaping, instead using colder temperatures to produce components.
What is Open Die Forging?
Also referred to as smith forging, open die forging shapes parts through direct force. A hammer strikes and deforms the workpiece held in place by two flat dies. In this forging process, the dies act more like tools than enclosed molds.
What is Seamless Rolled-Ring Forging?
Seamless rolled-ring forging is performed by punching a hole in a thick, round piece of metal. The piece is then rolled and squeezed into a thin ring. Rolled ring forging utilizes curved dies instead of flat dies to form ring-shaped components and can produce ring diameters ranging from a few inches up to 30 feet.
What Types of Custom Parts can be Forged?
Metal forging can produce custom shapes, including blocks, flats, rounds, and custom parts. Common parts made through the forging process include:
What is the Difference Between Forging & Casting?
The steel/stainless steel forging process utilizes dies, compressive forces, and varying temperatures to produce parts and components with increased strength, high consistency, a tight grain structure, and increased lifespan. There are several different forging processes, including hot, warm, and cold forging, which can be utilized in open-die and closed-die forging processes.
Casting processes utilize a mold that is injected or filled with molten metal. The metal within the mold then cools and solidifies into a molded product. Steel castings create parts that are too robust and intricate for forging processes. Different steel casting processes include die casting, investment casting, and sand casting.
What is CNC Milling?
CNC milling is a type of CNC machining service option similar to drilling and cutting. CNC milling utilizes a cylindrical cutting tool that can rotate in various directions. CNC milling can produce parts with very tight tolerances. Additionally, CNC milling generally produces minimal waste materials, making it a sustainable and efficient shaping process.
What Is the Difference Between CNC Milling & CNC Turning?
While both processes result in the production of metal parts, there are key differences between CNC milling and turning. CNC milling utilizes a cylindrical cutting tool that can rotate in various directions to trim away pieces of material while the workpiece remains stationary. CNC milling tool movement is performed along several axes to achieve more complex designs. The tool movement creates numerous shapes, slots, holes, and other necessary impressions that a standard drill cannot perform.
CNC turning is typically used to produce cylindrical-shaped workpieces, though it can also create other shapes. A CNC turning lathe rotates the material workpiece at high speeds while the machine's computer-programmed software guides the cutting tools to their specified locations. The cutting tools then remove the excess material to reveal the desired part. The cutting tool is typically a single-point, non-rotating tool that moves along the workpiece, continually removing layers of material until it matches the desired shape.
What Materials are Available for CNC Milling?
CNC milling machines utilize premium carbon steel, alloy steel, and stainless steel materials to manufacture custom parts and components. Like the processes of drilling and cutting, specific CNC machine tools must be chosen for each machined material. Additionally, the density of the material at hand and the cutting tool's rotation must be considered before starting the milling production process.