Forging is a manufacturing process where the metal is hammered, pressed or rolled under high, localized pressure and shaped into high strength parts known as forgings. Forged parts are much stronger than those their cast or machined counterparts, and are therefore widely used in applications where great strength is required and reliability and human safety are critical. Once forged, components can be post-processed by precision CNC machining and surface finishes are commonly applied; these include shot-blasting, texturing, plating, and painting. The forging process is quite versatile and high-quality tools are used to produce high quality forged components in volumes that go from a few thousand to millions of parts per year. Once forged, components can be post-processed by precision CNC machining; heat treatment and/or surface treatment are commonly applied.
Zetwerk has in-house forging expertise and, together with our production partners, we successfully support demanding programs involving complicated part designs and project requirements. Our team’s tool design expertise and use of the industry-leading software ensures that the production tools are designed to efficiently and accurately produce high-quality forged components in the required alloys and materials. Our global resources enable Zetwerk to quickly design, develop and produce prototype via open-die forging, before moving on to hardened steel closed-die volume production tools and production parts all with extremely short lead times.
Open die forging is performed between flat dies with no pre-cut profiles in the dies. Movement of the workpiece is the key to this method. Larger parts over 150 tonnes and 25 meters in length can be hammered or pressed into shape this way. Practically all forgeable ferrous and non-ferrous alloys can be open-die forged, including some exotic materials like age-hardening superalloys and corrosion-resistant refractory alloys. Shape design is just as versatile and are often limited only by the creative skills and imagination of the manufacturing engineer. An added benefit is the ability to offer open die prototypes in single-piece or low-volume quantities. No better way exists to test initial closed die forging designs, because open die forging imparts similar grain flow orientation, deformation and other beneficial characteristics. In addition, the costs and lead times associated with closed die tooling and setups are eliminated. Common applications of closed die forging include the production of automobile components and hardware tools.
Closed-die or impression-die forging, as the name implies, has two or more dies containing impressions of the part shape brought together as forging stock undergoes plastic deformation. This process can yield more complex shapes and closer tolerances than open-die forging processes. Most engineering metals and alloys can be forged via conventional closed-die processes, among them: carbon and alloy steels, tool steels, and stainless, aluminum and copper alloys, and certain titanium alloys. Common applications of closed die forging include the production of automobile components and hardware tools.
Most forging is done as hot work, at temperatures up to 1260 degrees C, however, a variation of closed-die forging is cold forging. The temperature of metals being cold forged may range from room temperature to over a hundred degrees. Cold forging encompasses many processes -- bending, cold drawing, cold heading, coining, extrusions and more, to yield a diverse range of part shapes. However, this increased versatility comes at a cost, because cold forging requires more powerful equipment and may call for the use of intermediate anneals. Despite this hindrance, cold forging does edge out its warmer equivalent when it comes to standards of dimensional control, product uniformity, surface finish, and contamination.. Many metals, such as steel high in carbon, are simply too strong for cold forging. Typical parts are most cost-effective in the range of 5 kgs or less; symmetrical parts up to 3 kgs readily lend themselves to automated processing. Material options range form lower-alloy and carbon steels to 300 and 400 series stainless, selected aluminum alloys, brass and bronze.
Seamless rolled ring forging is typically performed by punching a hole in a thick, round piece of metal (creating a donut shape), and then rolling and squeezing (or in some cases, pounding) the donut into a thin ring. Ring diameters can be anywhere from less than a meter to over 10 meters.
We have the ability to postprocess forged components, finish machined, heat treated and/or various surface treated, as per your exact specifications. Our quality-driven processes ensure that your forged parts will meet your specific requirements in terms of material chemistry, dimensional accuracy, mechanical properties, and structural integrity. We can vary the metallurgical properties for your unique application through alloy selection and adjustment of thermal processing parameters.
Forging heat treatment services include normalizing, annealing, quenching, tempering, stress relieving, spheroidize annealing, solution annealing/solution heat treating and straightening. We also offer a host of mechanical, metallurgical and non-destructive testing services to ascertain that the produced parts meet your specifications.