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Drop Forging Materials

Material is one of the main factors when designing a drop forging product. There are a lot of considerations for deciding material for a drop forging part. We should know the properties of all kinds of drop forging materials.

In general, drop forging materials are classified into steel, aluminum, copper.


Among all these drop forging materials, the demand of steel forging is largest for its low material cost. Steel is an iron-based alloy with small additions of carbon and other elements that impart improvements in various properties. Steel is the most widely used materials of metals. It is the metal material that has the highest strength per unit cost. There are a wide range of steel compositions as well as a wide range of microstructures that can be produced. These ranges allow a large choice of properties to be achieved within the steel-alloy family. At low temperatures, the microstructure of steel is often in the ferrite plus iron-carbide phase field, whereas at high temperatures, the microstructure of steel is in the austenite phase field. The different phases indicate differences in crystal structure. More over, they indicate differences in properties. Drop forging is conducted in the austenite phase field.

Steel materials are typically composed of 95-99% iron with 0.005-1.0% carbon content. The carbon imparts strength and hardenability to the alloy. Other elements that are typically added to steel are manganese to improve hot workability; chromium and molybdenum to improve toughness and hardenability; nickel to increase strength and toughness; silicon, which is primarily a deoxidizer but can also increase strength; and aluminum, which is a deoxidizer.

Unwanted residual elements that are found in steels include phosphorus and sulfur, although sulfur is sometimes intentionally added to improve machinability. Sulfur-containing steels are more difficult to forge. Another residual metallic element that is increasing in content with the greater production of steel from scrap is copper. Copper in automobile 
electrical wiring is not removed before old cars are converted into scrap for electrical arc-furnace feedstock. Excessive amounts of copper can increase the tendency of hot shortness in steels. Traditional steel can be divided into alloy steel, carbon steel, stainless steel. And each steel has different specifications.


Aluminium or aluminum is a chemical element with symbol Al and atomic number 13.

Aluminium is remarkable for its low density and its ability to resist corrosion through the phenomenon of passivation. Aluminium forgings are vital to the aerospace industry and important in automotive industries. Compared with aluminum casting, aluminum forgings can be anodized, whose surface finish and strength will be much better.

Like steel forging, aluminum alloys, such as AL6061, AL6063, AL7075, are mainly drop forged in hot temperature condition. But the heating temperature is different from that of steel forging. So, the temperature control is very important when drop forging.


Drop forgings from copper alloys can creat quality parts, comparing favorably in material integrity, dimensional tolerance and surface finish with products made using other major metalworking processes. As a result of hot forging, drop forged copper materials have superior density and freedom from flaws. Forming under heat and pressure in precise closed dies produces dimensional accuracy-always repeatable, part to part and lot to lot. Excellent surface finish with a clean lustrous appearance is readily available with copper forgings.

Copper forgings offer the designer unique combinations of properties that other metals cannot match. Alloys can be selected to utilize the following unique characteristics:
  • High electrical and thermal conductivity
  • Superior corrosion resistance
  • High ductility
  • Outstanding machinability
  • Excellent joining and plating characteristics
  • Superior polishing and finishing characteristics
  • Non-magnetic properties
  • Non-sparking characteristics
  • Attractive solid colors-not just surface

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