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Aluminum Forging vs. Steel Forging

Steel and aluminum are the two most popular closed die forging materials used in hot forging. Each material has a defined and distinct set of characteristics that make it the right – or the wrong – material for the application. Below are the main differences of steel forging and aluminum forging, that can help you to consider your design with a ideal forging material.

Cost

Cost and price are always an essential factor to consider when making any product by hot forging. The price of steel bars and aluminum bars is continually fluctuating based on global supply and demand, fuel costs and the price and availability of iron and bauxite ore; however steel is generally cheaper (per pound) than aluminum. The cost of raw materials has a direct impact on the price of the finished forged products. 

Material

In terms of forging, aluminum is a very desirable metal forging material because it is more malleable and elastic than steel. Aluminum forging can go places and create shapes that steel cannot, often forming deeper or more intricate dimensions. Especially for parts with deep and straight walls, aluminum is the right forging material of choice. Steel is a very tough and resilient metal but cannot generally be pushed to the same extreme dimensional limits as aluminum without cracking or ripping during the forging process.

Corrosion Resistance 

While malleability is very important for manufacturing, aluminum forgings’ greatest attribute is that it is corrosion resistant without any further treatment after forging. Aluminum forgings will not rust. 

With aluminum forging, just shot blasting or anodization treatment.  There is no paint or coating to wear or scratch off.  Steel forging (as opposed to stainless steel) usually needs anti-rust painted or treated after closed die forging to protect it from rust and corrosion, especially if the steel forging part will be at work in a moist, damp or abrasive environment. 

Weight Differences 

Even with the possibility of corrosion, steel forging is harder than aluminum forging due to the different desities of steel and aluminum. Steel forging is strong and less likely to warp, deform or bend under weight, force or heat. Nevertheless steel forging is much heavier /much denser than aluminum forging.  Steel is typically 2.5 times denser than aluminum.

Either aluminum forging or steel forging, the quality of finished parts will be much better than that of cast ones. We do not need to worry that the performance will be not good. Fly Forge is the end manufacturer for both aluminum forgings and steel forgings in closed die forging process. Any inquiry on forging, pls contact us!

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