What are Steel Forgings? Steel Foundations
Forgings are steel blanks shaped by a hydraulic press from a solid ingot-cast block. Because of the extreme amount of material movement (deformation) required by this process, forging must be a hot working process, where the ingot is heated in a reheat furnace until it is above its recrystallization temperature.
Once the ingot is at a suitable temperature, a manipulator extracts the ingot from the reheat furnace and places it between the dies of the forge press. The press and the manipulator work in synchronicity to press, rotate and press the entire ingot until the final rough dimensions are achieved. Depending on the size of the final product, forge presses can be very large and exert thousands of tons of pressure on the ingot.
The forging process breaks down the as-cast microstructure within the ingot and compacts the microstructure to produce the mechanical properties required in the final product. After forging, the piece might require additional processing such as annealing, heat treating, quenching, and/or machining to meet the customer’s specifications.
Typical forgings are rolling mill roll blanks, large-scale cam shafts, drive shafts, machine or stamping dies, among others.