Precision forging is also known as net shape or near-net shape forging. It is the working on a metal piece in near tolerance to the forging technique or a close-to-final shape. Hence, the final product from precision forging does not require further machining. When compared to the traditional close die forging, it is a more refined forging technique.
Precision forging is considered more of an approach to forging than an actual forging process. It is not a distinct forging process. After precision forging, final touches are still made to the material before shipping it to its final destination.
Precision forging was primarily developed to reduce cost and waste related to post-forging operations. It is very cost-effective. It uses fewer materials hence it produces less scrap and overall reduced use of energy. The minimal machining required also reduces the cost of production. Precision forging does not require many drafts, it needs less of a draft (1° to 0°).
Advantage/Pros of Precision Forging
Precision forging is quite advantageous to manufacture and here’s why,
· Good working performance
Precision forging often does not require flash thus, leakages caused by the removal of flash will be eliminated. This is important for enhancing fatigue resistance and stress corrosion resistance of products. The metal fiber of the produced parts is also evenly distributed along with the dense and contour shape.
· High utilization of materials
After plastic deformation, metals can easily be formed into the desired shape and size especially since flash is not required. Only some parts will need further machining after forging while the others can be directly put to use without machining.
· Availability of complex shapes and sizes
Unlike cold die forging which is restricted to producing parts with simple shapes, precision forging has allowed the production of more complicated shapes.
· High precision
As the name implies, the materials produced with precision forging are very precise and accurate with near tolerance or near-net shape.
High precision forging does not require maximal temperature. It can be done with atmospheric temperature or semi-high temperature. This is unlike the conventional forging processes that usually require high temperatures.
Disadvantages/Cons of precision forging
The only disadvantage of precision forging is its cost. Although it is cost-effective, it is only used when there is an assurance that a significant decrease in cost can be attained.
Differences Between Precision Forging Technique and the Conventional Forging Technique
The conventional forging technique (closed die forging technique) is quite different from the precision forging technique in so many ways. Some of them are;
- Although closed die forging often has a fine surface finishing, it may require further machining for a finer surface. This is unlike precision forging which requires little or no further machining.
- The final product from precision forging has a near-net-shape, unlike the conventional forging technique which does not.
- Precision forging is more cost-effective when compared to closed die forging.
- Precision forging requires less than a draft (1° to 0°) unlike closed die forging which requires a draft not less than 3° for aluminum and 5° to 7° for steel.
Whenever the need arises for a near-net shape or near-tolerance material, precision forging will always come through.