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What Creats High Quality Drop Forgings?

Drop forging is one of the common ways to manufacture a metal component. But what creats this method and why drop forgings so remarkably strong and tough? There are mainly two key aspects explaining why drop forging creates stronger products than other metal working processes and is an ideal manufacturing process for many critical metal components: predictable grain structure and uniformity.  

Predictable Grain Structure



The traditional process of drop forging involves heating a billet and placing it into a die, where it then is put under extreme pressure by a “hammer” and forced into the die's shape. During this process, the grain flow of the metal is actually altered, conforming to the shape of the part. This process makes the metal component stronger, tougher and much more reliable. The importance of grain structure cannot be underestimated. The process of bar stock and plate machining, for example, creates unidirectional grain flow. This means that any changes to the contour will ultimately cut flow lines, exposing the grain ends and making the metal more vulnerable to fatigue and corrosion.

The grain structure and flow created during the drop forging process is directional and has been placed in a way as to increase the strength and toughness of the part, thus creating overall directional strength. Since no grain ends are exposed, a drop forged metal component is less susceptible to wear and tear.

Uniformity



The drop forging process ensures there are no internal gas pockets or voids that can cause unexpected accidents when under stress or impact. This virtually eliminates weak metal parts and creates superior grain-size uniformity. Directional grain orientation, removal of porosity and grain-size uniformity are why drop forging is the method used when reliability and safety are critical. Forged metal parts are most often used in items such as airplanes, automobiles, ships and engines, all instances where human safety is on the line.

Grain-size uniformity is key to designers in that it means the material will respond predictably to its environment without internal defects. Drop forgings mean consistent reactions to heat treatment, overall uniform machinability and reduced inspection requirements. All of these factors contribute to faster production, lower costs and a strong, tough, superior product.

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