Drop forging manufacturer


Home » News » Forged Aluminum

Forged Aluminum

Aluminum is one of the most widely distributed and the most abundant metallic elements in the earth's crust. The whole development history of the aluminum industry is only two hundred years. However, its development speed is very fast owing to the excellent characteristics of aluminum and aluminum alloys, which has been widely used in the industries of transportation, packaging containers, architectural decoration, aerospace, mechanical and electrical, etc and has become  important basic materials for developing national economy as well as improving people's material and cultural life. The main processing methods for aluminum and aluminum alloy materials include: casting, forging, stamping, extrusion and deep processing. In recent years, with the continuous high requirements on energy conservation, environmental protection and safety, the forged aluminum industry has experienced a prosperous development. For example, in Japan, the number of forged aluminum suspension components in 2004 reached five times than that of 2000. The strategy of reducing the weight of automobiles with aluminum has been extended from the automobile engine part to the body part.

Why Forged Aluminum?

Light Weight
The density of forged aluminum is 2.7g/cm³, which is about 1/3 of that of forged copper (density: 8.9 g/cm³) or forged steel (density: 7.8 g/cm³). Under the same conditions, the automobile body weight of the forged aluminum can be reduced by more than 35% compared with the copper-containing wear-resistant steel automobile body. Under the same traction conditions, the vehicle with forged aluminum can increase the transport capacity by 10% and save energy by 9.6%-12.5% because of the weight reduction. Therefore, forged aluminum is key materials for lightweight and high-speed aerospace and modern transportation.
Excellent Strength
Although the mechanical properties of pure aluminum are not as good as those of steel, it has stronger strength, and alloying elements such as copper, magnesium, manganese, and chromium can be added to form an aluminum alloy and stronger strength can be obtained after heat treatment.

Easy Processing
Aluminum and aluminum alloys can not only be cutting processed but also plastic processed. Aluminum has excellent ductility and is easy to extrude hollow profiles with complex shapes. Additionally, it is suitable for drawing processing and various other cold thermoplastic shaping. At present, many aluminum alloys can be forged, including 2000 Series/7000 Series High Strength Alloys, 6000 Series/5000 Series Corrosion Resistant Alloys and 4000 Series Abrasion Resistant Alloys. The aluminum alloy material can be forged on hydraulic presses and mechanical presses. With a slow forging speed, the hydraulic press is suitable for forging complex or thin parts while mechanical press is suitable for forging big forgings owing to its fast forging speed. Forged aluminum parts have the characteristics of high internal quality, good mechanical properties and high reliability.

Good Appearance
It has beautiful appearance and it is suitable for various surface treatments. The surface of forged aluminum has an oxide film, which is silvery white and quite beautiful. The oxide film on the surface will be stronger if it is oxidized. Moreover, it is also possible to produce various colors and glossy surfaces by methods such as dyeing and painting. In addition, aluminum and aluminum alloys also have the advantages of corrosion resistance, good thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity, and excellent chemical resistance.

Where Forged Aluminum is Used?

The traditional application of forged aluminum is mainly concentrated on sports cars or vehicles with low fuel consumption. The components produced include pistons, rims, valve shifter levers, suspension parts and other important structural force parts. The production cost of forged aluminum parts increases due to the high material cost and complicated manufacturing process, which hinders the applications of forged aluminum parts. At present, many countries are actively researching and developing high-strength materials as well as forging processes so as to reduce the production cost of forged aluminum parts. Below are some typical applications of forged aluminum:

Application of Forged Aluminum on Automobile Wheels
The production of aluminum alloy wheels by drop forging process has been introduced to the market since Alcoa has used high-strength, corrosion-resistant aluminum alloys and its excellent performance has attracted extensive attention in the market. After several years of development, forged aluminum wheels have not only been applied to cars and motorcycles, but have also been successfully applied to heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses. Compared with traditional steel wheels and cast aluminum wheels, automotive forged aluminum wheels have the following performance advantages :
A. The mechanical properties of forged aluminum wheels are higher than those of cast aluminum wheels.
B. The aluminum alloy wheel produced by drop forging is light in weight, and the weight can be reduced by 25%-30% compared with the cast aluminum wheel. It reduces the weight of the car and has good controllability when driving. It can save fuel, reduce pollution, improve vehicle performance and increase cargo capacity for trucks.
C. The forged aluminum wheel has good heat dissipation and its temperature is averagely 25 % lower than the steel wheel, which can reduce the damage of the heat to the tire. According to foreign reports, a heavy-duty vehicle can save the tire cost of 5,000 US dollars a year. The life of the brake system can be extended and the braking efficiency and safety can be improved owing to the low temperature of the forged aluminum alloy wheels. The forged aluminum wheel has good roundness and the tire has strong abrasive resistance and is not easy to leak.
D. Every new tire installed on the steel wheel is only about 230-260 US dollars, and the tires cannot be refurbished after an average driving distance of 50,000 km. The new tires installed on the forged aluminum alloy wheels can refurbished and its fee is $100 for each tire, it can be refurbished twice after an driving distance of 50,000 kilometers. The forged aluminum wheel has a fine grain structure, which the best surface treatment effect can be obtained and can maintain a white appearance and is not easy to corrode.

Application of Forged Aluminum in Cantilever Parts
Most of the traditional suspension parts are cast iron parts. The replacement of cast iron with aluminum can reduce the weight. The compound process of the aluminum forging and casting replaces the cast iron process. There are two types of 6000 series aluminum alloys that are commonly used on forged aluminum cantilever parts. The commonly used aluminum alloy material is 6061. The cantilever parts produced by the 6061 aluminum alloy forging process are approximately 35%-40% lighter than the cast iron parts and 25% lighter than the cast aluminum parts. Forged aluminum cantilever parts are stronger than cast aluminum in strength and their ductility and toughness are better than cast aluminum. Forging also provides a reliable internal quality. Aluminum alloy forging and casting compound manufacturing is also a commonly used method for obtaining the products with high performance. In this process,the first step is to melt the metal, then refines and removes the impurities, maintains the internal and external temperatures uniformly cooled at a certain speed, and the material is cast into a bar. Under the circumstances, the cooling speed of the casting is faster than that of the general low-pressure casting and the casting environment is also more stable. The quality of the blank produced is high, then it is forged and the forged product has a high internal quality, which can be used to produce cantilever parts with high strength, high toughness and high reliability. Currently, the lower arms, upper arms, cross beams, steering knuckles and disc brake jaws of a part of automobiles have been made of aluminum alloy forgings, which has made great progress in weight reduction and vibration reduction and there is a tendency to be further developed in the future.

Application of Forged Aluminum in Motorcycle Industry
Rather than steel, to produce motorcycle parts by using forged aluminum alloy can not only lower the material cost, but also can reduce the motorcycle weight as well as energy consumption, and improve transportation capacity, which makes motorcycles more competitive in the market. In recent years, many parts of motorcycles, including stressed parts such as wheel hubs, pistons, principle axis, connecting rods and rotatable parts have been replaced by light metal forgings including titanium alloys or aluminum alloys because of the requirements of strength and weight reduction. Take the motorcycle piston as an example: in addition to the characteristics of piston weight and strength, its sliding performance, heat transfer coefficient and linear expansion coefficient should also be considered when producing pistons. With a comprehensive consideration, the use of forged aluminum piston on motorcycle is the most suitable choice. Traditional cast aluminum parts have been used for many years, and their use of forged aluminum parts is rapidly increasing recently. It has been proven that the power of the forged aluminum piston engine can be increased by 10%.

CFS Drop Forge is the professional aluminum forging company for custom forged aluminum parts in China. Just pls contact us if you have any forged aluminum project.

You may also like: