Forging is a metal manufacturing process with a long history. The advantage of forging production lies in that it can not only obtain the shape of mechanical parts, but also improve the internal organization of materials and improve the mechanical properties. Due to the excellent performance of aluminum and aluminum alloy, it has been widely used in machinery, electricity, electronics, automobiles, ships, construction, instrumentation, hardware and household products and other fields. Therefore, for important mechanical parts with high mechanical properties and large bearing capacity, they are mainly made by aluminum forging. The weight of aluminum forgings accounts for 77% in aircraft, 68% in tank and 76% in automobile.
Forging production occupies a very important position in the industrial industry, aluminum alloy is also the commonly used material in forging, all kinds of products that can be forged with low carbon steel can be replaced by aluminum forging. Most forged aluminum parts are safety parts and are produced in large volume, so there is a high requirement on internal quality of aluminum materials. Aluminum forging generally follows these manufacturing processes: blanking - heating - forging - heat treatment - machining. During the whole forging process, each procedure needs to be controlled carefully.
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Aluminum Forging Process
Aluminum alloys are produced by all of the current forging methods available, including open-die (or hand) forging, closed-die forging, upsetting, roll forging, orbital (rotary) forging, spin forging, mandrel forging, ring rolling, and forward and reverse extrusion. Selection of the optimal forging method for a given forging shape is based on the desired forged shape, the sophistication of the forged-shape design, and cost.
Most aluminum alloy forgings are produced in closed dies. The four types of aluminum forgings shaped in closed dies are blocker-type (finish forging only), conventional (block and finish forging or finish forging only), high-definition (near-net shape produced by forging in one or more blocker dies followed by finish forging), and precision (no draft, net shapes produced by forging with or without blocker dies followed by two or more finish forging steps in the finish dies). Blocker-type forgings are produced in relatively inexpensive, single sets of dies. In dimensions and forged details, they are less refined and require more machining than conventional or high-definition closed-die forgings. A blocker-type forging costs less than a comparable conventional or high-definition forging, but it requires more machining.
Conventional closed-die forgings are the most common type of aluminum forging. They are produced with either a single set of finish dies or with block-and-finish dies, depending on the design criteria. Conventional forgings have less machine stock and tighter tolerances than blocker-type forgings but require additional production costs, both for the additional die set and for additional forging fabrication steps required to produce this type. High-Definition Forgings. With the advent of state-of-the-art forging press and supporting equipment and enhanced forging process control, as are discussed below, high-definition, near-net-shape, closed-die forgings illustrated can be produced. High-definition closed-die forgings offer superior forging design sophistication and tolerances over conventional or blocker-type forgings and therefore enable even further reduction in final component machining costs. High-definition forgings are produced with multiple die sets, consisting of one or more blocker dies and finish dies, and are frequently used in service with some as-forged surfaces remaining unmachined by the purchaser.
Aluminum Forging Alloys
There are lots of aluminum alloys can be used for drop forging. Main grades in aluminum forgings include: AL 6061, AL 6063, AL6082, AL 7075, etc.
Difference Between Aluminum Forging Alloys and Aluminum Die Casting Alloys
First of all, forging and die casting are two kinds of different forming processes for aluminum alloy components. Based on different manufacturing methods, the aluninum alloys used are also different.
Aluminum forging alloys include A1--Si--Mg--Cu alloy and A1-Cu-Ni-Fe alloy, the commonly used aluminum forging alloys are 6061, 6063, 6082, 7075, etc. Their thermoplasticity is excellent, so the forging performance and mechanical properties are good. This kind of alloy is mainly used for making aluminum forgings that can bear the load and have complex shapes.
Aluminum casting alloys include four major categories: A1-Si alloy、A1-Cu alloy、Al-Mg alloy and Al-Zn alloy. For casting aluminum alloys, in addition to the necessary mechanical properties and corrosion resistance, they should also have good casting performance. In cast aluminum alloys, the best combination of casting properties and mechanical properties is A1-Si alloy.
By comparision, aluminum alloy forging can advoid defects caused by casting. What's more, the mechanical properties of aluminum forging are much better.
Aluminum Forging Benefits
There are lots of advantages in aluminum forging. First of all, as the internal organization of aluminum forging alloys is fine and uniform, they can be forged in various shapes with little to no machining allowance, which can greatly save labor cost and production time. Secondly, the thermal conductivity of aluminum forgings is good. Thirdly, forged aluminum parts have high density, no loose, pinhole, no air hole on the surface, with good surface treatment performance. In short, aluminum forgings has light weight, high strength, high toughness, excellent fatigue resistance and corrosion resistance, good thermal conductivity, easy to machining.
As an economic means of designing and making a shape. Machining can be eliminated and a high production rate can be achieved. Designs can be produced that eliminate the need for joints and welds.
A high strength to weight ratio can be achieved. The act of forging produces a fully wrought structure improving the shock resistance and fatigue resistance.
The surface finish is good and the elimination of porosity ensures pressure tightness. This combination of good mechanical properties, dimensional accuracy and surface finish means that aluminium forgings are used in highly stressed parts where structural integrity is of paramount importance. The alloys commonly used for these highly stressed applications are from the 2000, 6000 and 7000 series. The aerospace industry is a major end user.
More advantages of aluminum forging...
Post Treatments of Aluminum Forging
Heat Treatment: T6 Heat Treatment
Like steel forgings, aluminum forgings may also require heat treatment to achieve a certain properties. T6 heat treatment is the typical heat treatment way after aluminum forging.
Heat treating of aluminum forgings depends to a great extent on the type and grade of aluminum forgings. Main purpose of heat treating stainless steel castings is to relieve stresses, improve mechanical properties or facilitate machining. The processes generally produce nearly uniform properties throughout the forging, and are not used for localized effects such as surface hardening.
Note: Before heat treating operation, surface cleaning is necessary performed on aluminum forging blanks to remove oils, grease, and other types of residue. Left on the aluminum forging surface during heat treating may affect the properties of products.
Although aluminum forgings after closed die forging process can achieve a higher size accuracy and surface finish, it does not mean machining can be saved for all the aluminum forged products. Machining will have to be performed when there is a closer tolerance and surface finish requirement that forging can not meet.
Our drop forging factory has built a reputation to do machining after aluminum forging. Our specialized machining services enables us to manufacture aluminum forgings with intricate geometry and detail, while maintaining high precision and accuracy. Our company has equiped with full sets of machining equipmement from manual turning & milling to complex CNC machining services. We offer the capabilities to machine aluminum forgings from several ounces up to 50lbs.
Inspection after machining is also very critical, we utilize manual inspection equipment and gages as well as the latest in coordinate measuring machine (CMM) technology to measure and record all the dimensions. This ensures our customers always get the quality they want.
Surface treatment or surface finish is very popular post treatment method to smooth the surface of aluminum forgings. See the types of surface treatment for aluminum forgings in below:
|Shot blasting:||The most widely used surface treatment method used to clean, or polish the surface of stainless steel castings. Low cost.|
|Sand blasting:||A kind of surface treatment that refines the surface of aluminum forgings. The surface smooth of sand blasting looks better than that of shot blasting, but higher cost.|
|Anodization treatment:||Used to remove surface tiny burrs and improve the brightness of aluminum forgings. The surface looks smooth and a bit shining.|
|Mechanical Polishing:||The most smooth and shiny surface treatment method, but costs high.|
Artisan Industry's aluminum forging branch factory supply custom forging and machining service ranging from 0.05kg-10kgs that match your exact design specifications with any aluminum grade required.
Advanced Manufacturing Process & Fast Delivery: Unlike some small aluminum forging companies in China, all the production equipments used in our aluminum forging process are imported and checked regularly. Besides, we continuously study foreign advanced production experience to improve our strength. This will enable our customers to achieve superior quality, fast delivery, but lower price compared to purchasing aluminum forgings from Eourpean or American Markets.
Full Solution: not only limited to aluminum forging, we also have the capabilities of heat treatment, post machining, surface treatment to supply finished products to our customers. What’s more, we can also supply redesign service for free if the design is not so ideal for aluminum forging production.
District Quality Control: Quality control is also critical during the whole manufacturing process. Aluminum forging factory follows three times' inspection before shipment: initial inspection, routing inspection and final inspection. And the related testing reports will be submitted to our customers.
Convenient Transportation: Our company is located in the second largest port city of China, so our customers can enjoy convenient waterway transportation if purchasing forgings from us. Especially for large volume, it can help to save a lot of shipping cost and time for our customers.
Our mature forging technique makes us the most reliable one-stop source for our customers. The competitive prices and full services on aluminum forging are the most attractive factor for foreign companies from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, ect to purchase products from our company in China. Need to source aluminum forging service in China? Contact us now!
We mainly produce OEM and Aftermarket aluminium forgings for automotive industry, aerospace industry, pipe fittings and other industries with high quality and very competitive price. Pls contact us if you have such purchasing demands.
Artisan industry trading (Nantong) CO.,LTD
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