As a beginner, you may have heard of cold forging and its numerous applications. But what do you really know about the cold forging process? How is it carried out? In summary, this is a metal shaping technique whereby metal is thrust into a die and compressed with a second closed die. This is done at room temperature to transform the metal into the intended configuration.
There are three types of forging- hot, warm, and cold forging. However, this article will be focused on cold forging. There are several cold forging examples, but the process should not be confused with other methods such as casting or machining because forged products are often stronger and more durable.
Compared to warm and hot forging, cold forging deforms the metal bar at room temperature through compressed forces. These metal workpieces are hammered, pounded, and bent in these dies to achieve the desired shape. The process used depends on what the intended design requires, but oftentimes, the metal workpiece passes through different dies to achieve the right shape.
Before we know the advantages and disadvantages of cold forging, you have to understand the steps involved in the cold forging process.
Steps involved in the cold forging process.
The first stage is the lubrication stage. A lubricant is used to treat the metal workpiece so that it doesn’t stick to the die. This lubricant is often zinc phosphate.
The second stage is the insertion stage. The metal workpiece is thrust into the die that has the intended shape. The third stage is the striking stage. The manufacturer strikes the workpiece with great force either through a hammer or die.
The fourth stage involves the flash. What is the flash? This is excess metal around a set of dies. It protrudes from the body as a thin plate. The flash is very important because it compels the metal to completely fill the die.
The fifth stage involves removing the parts. This process is often automated with a robotic hand or conveyor.
Advantages of cold forging
1. It is affordable
Contrary to what a lot of people think, it is very affordable. There are three factors that make this process very affordable- the pre-processing, temperature, and finishing touches. If you look at other forging process types, for instance hot forging, a lot of money is spent on pre-processing the metal, such as heating.
You have to provide kilns, electricity, furnaces, etc. to increase the metal’s temperature above the recrystallization point. Thus, it consumes funds and can be poisonous to the environment. But you won’t experience all these with cold forging
2. It is environmentally friendly
Since there are no fumes created or pollutants expelled, it is considered eco-friendly. You may only have to deal with the noise.
3. Produces stronger products
Forged products are often stronger than their cast counterparts because their grain structure is rearranged and re-aligned.
So there you have it! Understanding the steps of cold forging ensures that you know what you are getting into.
This might be the difference between success and failure.