Forging Press

Forging presses form metal into large numbers of identical parts. It is often used in the car manufacturing process and to improve the properties of the metal used. Forged products can be large or very small and can be made of steel or other metal. Forging, either hot or cold forging, does not alter the volume of the part, only its shape, and size. Let’s read on to learn more about the machine and the processes it can perform.

What is a Forging Press?

A forging press typically has a ram that moves in a vertical direction to exert a compressive action on a workpiece as opposed to the repeated impact characteristics of forging. In general, they can produce all of the same kind of forgings made on hammers. They can also forge some alloys of moderate toughness that would break apart when rapidly struck by a hammer die. Powered by an engine and operated by an air clutch, mechanical presses have a fully eccentric type of crankshaft that transmits a fixed-length stroke to the vertical piston.

Press Forging Explained

Forging presses use a process that involves applying gradual pressure to the die holding the workpiece. This can be done as an open or closed forging operation. In the open-press forging process, only one side of the metal is surrounded by a die. In the case of closed die or die forging processes, the metal workpiece is enclosed in a die and the die is pressurized. Closed die forging presses have less out-flow and require less draft than open forging. Some of the traditional press forging methods that use closed dies are punching and cutting. The plastic deformation of the workpiece occurs when the die cavities are filled.

Mechanical vs. Hydraulic

Mechanical forging presses are best suited for low-profile forgings. They typically incorporate punch and pull pins in the dies that automatically slide the forging out of the die. This allows the die to be designed and forgings with a lower draw allowance, reducing weight and post-processing. The stresses in press dies are usually high, but the impact load is very low. Therefore, harder dies can be used without the risk of breakage that can occur with a power hammer.

Hydraulic Presses, Action Machinery Industries (WETORI)

Hydraulic forging presses are not widely used for conventional hot forging due to the extremely low ram speed and long die contact time. However, forging presses are widely used in open die forging applications as well as very high tonnage applications, mainly for forging materials other than steel. These machines are ideal for isothermal forging applications due to their slow extrusion operation. Generally, a hydraulic water system is used to drive these machines.

Hot vs. Cold Forging

The most obvious difference between hot and cold forging is temperature: cold forging deforms and stresses metals at room temperature, while hot forging heats metals near or at their melting points. The key to the temperature range is recrystallization. Cold forging takes place before recrystallization, while hot forging heats the metal above its recrystallization point.

The choice of cold or hot forging depends on the equipment and processing, customer requirements, and the types of end parts. Often, the constraints on choosing the right process are determined by the part design, as certain parts can be hot forged while others are ideal for cold processing. The designs of cold-forged parts are simple and contain no intricate details, while hot forging produces components with extremely precise, fine features.

Hydraulic Hot Forging Press, Lien Chieh

Hot Forging

Hot forging takes place at extremely high temperatures. The increased temperatures help to avoid strain and hardening as well as lowers the stress flow and the amount of energy needed to deform and shape metals with hot forging presses. When metals cool, they retain their deformed shape. Hydraulic, pneumatic, and mechanical presses are used in this process. The part to be processed is heated to a temperature above its recrystallization point, which changes its microstructure. When it is heated, its internal stresses and strength are eliminated to make it more malleable.

Cold Forging

Cold forging does not require heating, thanks to which the metal retains its strength and microstructure. High productivity is associated with cold forging. Working conditions are not only more favorable at room temperature, but also energy-saving. This environment also ensures high product performance. This process, like others, improves the mechanical properties of the workpiece. The finished product is usually stronger than the starting material when using a cold forging press. Besides, the dimensions of the finished product are the most accurate among other forging methods.

Cold/Semi-hot Forging Press, Chin Fong

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