Press Forging vs Hammer Forging – When and Why?

In the wide and wonderful world of steel, forging is the process of manipulating metal into certain shapes via hammering, pressing, and rolling.

Press forging and hammer forging (a.k.a. drop forging) are the two most common and popular metal shaping methods. These are not new techniques. They have been used for centuries and have a long and proud history in the metal industry. Of course, the machinery used for these processes has undergone technological improvements, but the nitty-gritty remains the same.

If you’re not sure whether drop forging or press forging is best for your application, you should work with an experienced steel company we’ll help you determine the most efficient method.

Press Forging

In short, this forging method shapes metal with a single compression. Either hydraulic or mechanically applied pressure slowly and uniformly fashions and shapes pieces of metal right to its centre.

Hammer Forging

Using a die, which is the name of the tool used to cut and shape metal, repeated, heavy blows strike steel, according to the shape of the die.  The centre, however, remains somewhat untouched.

FYI:  there are two types of hammer forging:

1. Open-die hammer forging, referencing open in the sent that the die doesn’t restrict the workpiece entirely and for this reason, flat dies are commonly used.

2. Closed-die hammer forging, which closes the workpiece entirely.

Most consider press forging to be more effective than hammer forging, but what really matters is your end use. Both methods accommodate high or low temperatures.

As we learned above, press forging gets right through to the centre of the metal, which does mean better control of the piece being worked. Tongs are not required for this process, which they are in hammer forging.

Factors such as the size of the part you need to be forged, the type of alloy you’re using, and the level of dimensional precision you’re after will dictate your forging choice.

Steelmor is a leading manufacturer and supplier of stainless steel. Contact us today to talk about your specific forging requirements.