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Aluminum Forging Process
Aluminum is commonly modified into relatively simple designs using a hot forging process. The process involves heating the metal to a specified temperature and then deforming it using pressure. The process encourages increased ductility and decreased pore size while preventing strain hardening and decreasing yield strength. Some aluminum forge products require additional heat treatment, machining or coating to produce the desired finished product.
There are three basic types of forging used for Aluminum Forging:
- Open-Die Forging – The manipulation of material between flat dies that do not completely enclosed the metal. Material is pressed or hammered between dies in a series of movements that form the metal into the desired shape and size.
- Closed-Die (Impression) Forging – The manipulation of material between a set of precut die profiles that fully enclose the metal and press it into the desired shape.
- Rolled Ring Forging – The process of punching a hole in a large metal cylinder or disc, then rolling or squeezing the material to form the desired ring size and thickness.
Aluminum Forging – Material Information
Common aluminum and aluminum alloys have low density (nearly 1/3 the density of steel), a property that lends itself to a high level of ductility and malleability. Aluminum’s low density also ensures lightweight yet durable products. Aluminum forgings have high resistance to corrosion due to a layer of aluminum oxide that forms on the surface, thus preventing any further oxidation on the metal surface (passivation phenomenon). Prevalent in the earth’s crust, aluminum is readily available in most markets at competitive prices, making it a frequently utilized material in both industrial and commercial applications.
Aluminum Forging Considerations
Aluminum forging allows for many beneficial factors, including:
- High level of strength
- Porosity elimination
- Surface finish that can be easily enhanced
- Low material costs
Aluminum Forging has a few disadvantages, including:
- Possible atmospheric reactions
- Warping or variations may develop in cooling process
- Additional machining may be necessary
Aluminum Forging Applications
Aluminum forgings are used in many automotive and aerospace applications due to their favorable weight to strength ratio. A variety of commercial tools and medical implements are created using aluminum forgings as these products are strong, lightweight, offer resistance to corrosion, and can be polished to an aesthetically pleasing finish.