Light materials are increasingly been used in the forging process and the material of choice for this process is Aluminum. Aluminum forging has been proven to be a success forging type in a number of applications, especially in the automotive industry. When we compare aluminum forging with aluminum casting, the forging method seems to be reliable for the designer when consideration relating to strength needs. The design for aluminum forging can provide a new part with lightweight and excellent strength quality at a low cost. All these categories helped companies to replace their original parts with aluminum forging techniques.
Difference between aluminum forging and aluminum casting:
- Aluminum Forging:
This is a manufacturing process where the metal gets pressed under great pressure to produce high strength metal parts. The technique of aluminum forging is ideal for application where safety and performance are critical. This technique is ideal for applications where safety and performance are critical. Lightweight metal is used for energy efficiency and speed.
- Aluminum casting:
This is a simple, versatile and inexpensive way of forming aluminum into an array of products. There are a number of methods of aluminum casting that includes gravity casting, die casting and sand casting.
5 Reasons why Aluminum forging is better than Aluminum casting:
As we have discussed above, Aluminum forging is a manufacturing process where the metal is crushed and hard-pressed under high pressure to the desired metal strength. Applying heat is the usual method of aluminum forging, but some forging can also be produced without making use of heat. A material when heated above its melting point and poured into a mold to solidify becomes a cast. Let us discuss why forging is a better option than casting.
- Forging yields Greater Strength:
When a metal is heat-treated and forgets, it exhibits certain mechanical properties that are comparable with steel forgings. This strength to weight ratio is thus far superior. For example, the strength of T6 aluminum forging is far better than steel forging and commonly used aluminum castings. Also, unlike casting, forging is free from porosity and enhances the mechanical characteristics of the metal.
This comparison on metal strength shows that it is possible to obtain good strength while keeping the feature of the metal lightweight and this is far better than casting. Owing to these advantages, forging is designed to provide optimum gain structure to suit the application.
- Low cost:
The tools that are required for die forging are cheaper than the tools required for die casting. Though there are a number of fabrication options that are feasible for certain applications, cost becomes a major deciding factor. The cost of production of forging is also higher than that of casting and they are pretty affordable.
- Better lead time:
Aluminum forging techniques are also time effective than aluminum casting. A typical forging dies for aluminum forgings can be manufactured and designed in China in about 3-4 weeks. The aluminum forging companies have individual tooling shop which offers them great control on both tool construction and in undertaking revisions. They also help in die maintenance on a timely basis. Alternatively, light metal fabrication techniques demand complex tooling and can take up to ten weeks for tool design and manufacture. The forging industry is in a good position to offer a quick lead time solution.
- Great surface finish:
It is possible to get an array of different surface finishes with the help of metal forging. The surface finish of casting is however not smooth and is not visually appealing. Aluminum forging makes it easy for the creation of sharper serrations and smooth surfaces.
- Best Flexibility:
On contrary to casting, it is not possible to forge every single shape with the help of aluminum alloy. Considering the fact that aluminum forgings come out from a die, tooling designing will offer the best flexibility on dimensions of the final shape in forging equipment. The increased use of 3D modeling techniques based on 2D drawing allows manufacturers to electronically transfer models to the forging business, way ahead of the designing process to take suggestions. Fatigue life may be considered as an issue with some application and thus, if a product migrates from a steel equivalent, it is important to review its fatigue stress status so as to learn its performance criteria.
When we look at the combination of the qualities of aluminum forging technique with that of the aluminum casting, the former serves to be an ideal solution for a number of applications, especially at places where strength and lightweight are desired at a very low cost. A number of manufacturers and suppliers of aluminum forgings are able to help their clients design and produce forgings under closed dies at attractive costs.