Mechanical engineers know that there’s no simple answer to the casting versus forging debate as it’s very much the same as asking the length of a piece of string.
What factors come into play when deciding on the best process for your component? While there are many, we’d like to highlight just three which will form part of our decision-making process.
Factors affecting casting vs forging
As we know, casting a component relies on forming metal in its molten state whereas forging entails shaping metal under tremendous pressure while in a solid state. Why is this relevant?
Complex components which include small or detailed elements benefit from the casting process. Allowing liquid metal to flow into detailed cavities creates an accurate final product with very little if any need for further machining. Further, should a design change be required, a change in the casting pattern is far easier to make than if we were to make changes to a forging die.
This makes for a quicker turnaround on complex parts with tight tolerances.
When strength and ductility are a defining factor, then a manufacturer may consider forging vs casting. Generally speaking, a forged part is stronger and more resistant than its cast counterpart. Grain flow is the predominant factor at play here, where a forged component will enjoy better mechanical properties due to its internal structure.
As ever, production costs are a major player in the forging vs casting debate. In the broadest sense, forgings will come out on top for medium to large lot sizes although raw material and tooling costs may be higher.
Secondary operations are usually reduced post-casting due to the accurate results achieved in the first instance, and lead times are usually shorter too.
Whatever your requirements are, you will want to discuss them with professional engineers who will be able to assist you on the best way forward, and the most cost-effective option with the best result.
Give the Steelmor team a call on (011) 747 5700