capabilities > Methods of Manufacturing > Forging

Heat Treating for Forgings

The forging process shapes metal by applying localized compressive forces to materials including steel, titanium, and aluminum. Heat treatment improves the physical and mechanical properties of forgings to perform in a wide variety of applications.

Quality Processing for Forgings

Consistent Part Appearance

Consistent appearance in your parts from lot to lot is often a high priority for our customers, especially for parts that will be visible to the eye such as surgical instruments. With automated part loading processes, precision controls that ensure consistent heat treatment, and meticulous handling and cleaning procedures, Paulo delivers bright and shiny components time after time.

Traceability & Process Data

Safety-minded industries such as aerospace and automotive are requiring increasing supply chain transparency and documentation. With our PICS software, along with automated furnace controls and data collection systems in PBS and PUBS, we track and record data on every batch of parts that comes through our facilities. And then, we make that key process data easily accessible for you through our online portal.

High Precision for High-Performance Parts

For highly demanding applications, forged parts are often used instead of castings due to their higher strength-to-weight ratio. We see this often in high-performance automotive parts such as crankshafts on race cars and other supercharged vehicles. Forgings can withstand greater stresses than castings, and our consistent, precise heat treatment helps ensure that they perform properly in the field.

Forgings We Process

  • Engine and powertrain components
    • Connecting rods
    • Crankshafts
    • Transmission shafts and gears
    • Differential gears
    • Driveshafts
    • Clutch hubs
    • Universal joint yokes and crosses
    • Camshafts
    • Pinions, gears, and rocker arms
  • Agricultural equipment components
  • Valves and fittings
  • Surgical components
  • Aircraft structural components
    • Landing gear cylinders and struts
    • Beams
  • Jet turbine engine components
    • Buckets
    • Blades
    • Couplings
    • Manifolds
    • Rings
  • Hand tools
    • Hammers
    • Sledges
    • Wrenches

Forging Techniques

Common forging processes include: roll forging, cogging, open-die forging, impression-die forging (closed die forging), press forging, cold forging, automatic hot forging, and upsetting. Forging can be done in three temperature ranges: hot forging (above 1,650°F), warm forging (1,000°F–1,650°F), and cold forging (ambient temperature).

Closed Die Forging

Also known as impression-die forging, closed die forging is a method of forging where the workpiece is often moved through a series of dies resembling molds. This process shapes the workpiece from an ingot into a shape resembling the finished part. Automation and technology continue to advance the precision of this method, and more manufacturers are performing true closed-die forging or flashless forging than ever before.

Roll Forging

Also known as roll forming, roll forging uses opposing rolls to shape a metal part. This method is used to forge parts from bar stock and generally yields superior mechanical properties when compared to other manufacturing methods.

Open-Die Forging

Open die forging, also known as free forging, is carried out by either striking the metal workpiece with a hammer or deforming it between dies that do not completely enclose the material. Because open-die forging leaves extra metal behind, these parts usually require secondary machining to bring them into their final shape.

Heat Treating Processes for Forgings

Normalizing

The most common heat treatment process for forgings is normalizing, which means to austenitize a material and cool it in still air or an equivalent atmosphere. This process is required especially for hot forged parts to counteract the grain growth that occurs during the forging process and helps to equalize the microstructure of parts that have cooled at different rates. Aerospace, automotive, and agricultural forgings often specify normalizing, with some requiring through hardening as an additional thermal processing step.

Through Hardening

Parts manufactured using forging often require high strength to stand up to strong forces in their applications, which makes through hardening an ideal process.

Precipitation Hardening

For forged stainless steel components used in the aerospace and medical industries, precipitation hardening can be used to lend the desirable characteristics in the finished parts. Precipitation hardening is also used on nonferrous forgings made from aluminum and titanium. We typically see precipitation hardening used for more expensive parts that require enhanced properties.

Annealing

If forgings require additional machining to create finished parts, the print will often specify annealing to make the material more amenable to machining.

Carburizing/Case Hardening

Forgings used in wear applications are often carburized (a case hardening process) to create a softer, more ductile core that will not cause the part to break when it is engaged in the application.

Normalizing

Through Hardening

Precipitation Hardening

Annealing

Carburizing/Case Hardening

Normalizing

The most common heat treatment process for forgings is normalizing, which means to austenitize a material and cool it in still air or an equivalent atmosphere. This process is required especially for hot forged parts to counteract the grain growth that occurs during the forging process and helps to equalize the microstructure of parts that have cooled at different rates. Aerospace, automotive, and agricultural forgings often specify normalizing, with some requiring through hardening as an additional thermal processing step.

Through Hardening

Parts manufactured using forging often require high strength to stand up to strong forces in their applications, which makes through hardening an ideal process.

Precipitation Hardening

For forged stainless steel components used in the aerospace and medical industries, precipitation hardening can be used to lend the desirable characteristics in the finished parts. Precipitation hardening is also used on nonferrous forgings made from aluminum and titanium. We typically see precipitation hardening used for more expensive parts that require enhanced properties.

Annealing

If forgings require additional machining to create finished parts, the print will often specify annealing to make the material more amenable to machining.

Carburizing/Case Hardening

Forgings used in wear applications are often carburized (a case hardening process) to create a softer, more ductile core that will not cause the part to break when it is engaged in the application.

Materials Used in Forging

  • Carbon steels
  • Alloy steels
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless steel

Metallurgy Support for Forgings

If you’re working on developing specifications for a new forged part or if you’re currently struggling to achieve the proper heat treatment results, then we can help. Paulo has the largest team of in-house metallurgists in the commercial heat treatment industry in North America, and we’re ready to help you solve your toughest thermal processing problems.

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