Metal forging has been practiced for millennia and has significantly contributed to the advancement of humankind. Forging provides metals with a level of strength and durability that has revolutionized manufacturing.
Modern forging services and products are now used in nearly every industry. Our forging company is proud to have served as a leading innovator in custom industrial forging for over 50 years. Some of our custom forging capabilities and forging services include:
- Closed Impression Die Forging
- Microalloy Forging
- Symmetrical & Asymmetrical Forging
- Pre & Post Forming
- Induction Heat
Closed Impression Die Forging
Closed impression die forging is a process that can produce virtually any 3 dimensional shape from aluminum, steel, titanium, and alloys. Components formed by this process may weigh anywhere from a few ounces to more than 25 tons. Closed die forging can be performed on hydraulic or mechanical presses and hammers.
The process uses two or more dies. As the die are brought closer together, the forging material undergoes deformation from the pressure. Some of the material is squeezed out of the die into the space between the two sides, forming flash. Since the flash cools much faster than the rest of the material in the molds, it creates resistance that builds pressure inside the die, allowing the material to fully form into any unfilled contours.
Microalloy forging uses chemistry to create new characteristics in steel, particularly for increased strength or impact resistance. Microalloy forging is a thermo-mechanical process that involves carefully controlled forging temperature, reductions, and postforging cooling rates to create custom forgings. The microalloy forging processes make the usual normalizing and tempering processes unnecessary for precision parts that must conform to specific mechanical properties. It can also replace the hardening cycle for some steel grades.
Microalloy forging involves the following equipment:
- Heating equipment: Temperature controls that ensure consistent heating prior to forging and maintain heat to +/- 50º F.
- Pyrometer: Optical or radiation pyrometer document post-forging temperatures.
- Conveyors: Uniform cooling rates are maintained using conveyors after forging. Verification of the uniformity, along with hardness checks on cooled parts are performed by variable-speed conveyors.
- Documentation: Detailed documents indicating speeds, cooling times, hardness checks, and calibrations on hardness testers ensure repeatability.
- Lot control systems: These track individual heats of steel by heat-code stamps or lot code ids on the forgings.
Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Forging
Our forging services extend to both symmetrical and non-symmetrical parts. Symmetrical parts are any shape that is identical on either sides of an axis. They can be as simple as spheres, blocks, or discs, to intricate and highly complex components with webs, ribs, or other features. Assymetrical shapes can be formed with design elements, such as protrusions, holes, pockets, flanges, or cavities, among others. We can also provide additional geometries through bending one or more planes.
Pre and Post Forming
There are many procedures that can we can perform both before and after forging to provide enhanced forming capabilities or additional features to the part. Our pre and post forming processes include:
- Continuous Pre-Forming: In this process, the forging material is preshaped in a single movement. Hydraulic presses, mechanical presses, or cross rolls can be used to achieve the preshape. It offers the advantage of less cooling and high cycle times.
- Discontinuous Pre-Forming: Discontinuous pre-forming involves several movements to form the part, such as upsetting and bending. While a reducer roll is common, discontinuous pre-forming can also be carried out by mechanical or hydraulic presses. It has the advantage of providing a high degree of forming.
- Post-Forming: We can provide a variety of post forming procedures, such as heat treatment, grit or shot blasting, spot machining, or coining. Preliminary heat treatment helps to relax the strain on the metal as a result of hot working, as well as refining the coarse grain formed during forging through pearlite transformation. Coining is a form of precision stamping that uses high stress to induce plastic flow on the surface.
Induction heating used in forging processes focuses on bringing specific portions of the material back to a malleable temperature. Since it is highly precise and controlled, there is little risk of damage or creating the wrong shape.
Custom Forging Process
Trenton’s closed-impression die forging alters the shape and composition of the metal, providing it with superior structural integrity and high-impact strength. The final product is suitable to withstand the harshest stress and environmental conditions.
When you require closed die forging for complex configurations or wall thicknesses, Trenton’s team of designers and technical experts are equal to the task.
Our state-of-the-art tool-and-die forging facility produces forged steel and steel alloys ranging from just a few ounces to 15 pounds. The process begins with a piece of raw steel stock that approximates the shape and size of the desired component.
The steel is heated and placed between the two custom dies and hammered, usually by air-lift, gravity-drop weights, to assume the shape of the pre-cut die profile.
Closed-die forging yields very little scrap and minimizes post-processing, making it an inexpensive and efficient technique. Forging can prolong a component’s life by three to four times. Added strength and longevity means Trenton’s forging services can make a critical difference in your production rates, efficiency and profitability.
The first documented use of closed-die steel forging was for the production of the 1862 Colt revolver. Today, Trenton Forging produces parts used in military-grade firearm components and other defense operations.
We are proud to be a top US producer of high-performance automotive parts and components used by organizations from Ford and Toyota to Hummer and NASCAR. The following are just a few examples of Trenton’s custom forging services:
- Construction components for warehouses, skyscrapers and geodesic domes
- Automotive tie-rod ends, exhaust flanges and steering yokes
- Armored vehicle hinges and gun barrels
- Agricultural components for tractors, backhoes and combines
- Marine supplies, such as operating handles and watertight door hardware
- Auto-Racing steering and transmission parts
- Mining supplies, such as rock tools and drill bits
- Railroad box-car hand brakes and switch irons
Whatever industry brings you to Trenton, our experts will work with you to find top-quality, affordable solutions to your custom forging needs.
Hot Forging vs. Cold Forging
As the names imply, hot and cold forging differ based on the temperatures used. Specifically, in the former process, the work material is heated up to as much as 1100 degrees Celsius.
Hot forging can be used on almost any metal type. It is also easier to form the workpiece into the desired shape. Typically, hot forging is ideal for complex and three-dimensional shapes.
Cold forging is more economical and requires less (if any) finishing. Additionally, there is rarely wasted material. In most cases, cold forging also produces stronger parts. However, it cannot be used on all metals, depending on the malleability of the material.
Forging vs. Casting
As explained above, forging involves heating, shaping and finishing the metal using dies or rams. Conversely, casting involves heating the metal into its liquid form then pouring it into a shaped cast.
Forging produces stronger products. The process helps to refine defects that may be found in the raw material. Plus, it aligns the metal grain with the contours of the product. The result is much higher strength and integrity. Additionally, there are fewer weak spots. Modern forging companies can offer these benefits at surprisingly cost-effective prices.
Casting is often viewed as being a faster and cheaper way to produce metal parts, especially complex ones. However, the reality is that the process controls needed to heat and cool the metal make the differences relatively negligible.
Forging vs. Machining
Another option for producing metal products is CNC machining. This involves passing the workpiece through a computer-controlled machine tool.
Forging is ideal for creating the same part repeatedly. It is also good at strengthening the workpiece and removing defects in the raw material.
CNC machining is extremely precise and good at acute angles. It can be helpful for parts that need all-around strength (as opposed to strength following the grain flow). It is much slower than forging but does not require tooling before beginning a project (less lead time).
At Trenton Forging, we turn our success into your success. How do we do that? We never forget our commitment to exemplary customer service, fast turnaround times and the best quality custom steel forging available. Our engineers stay current on advanced equipment and technology. Newer, more efficient equipment means faster production and lower cost.
Maintaining our design services, our die-welding and tool-and-die forging operations in-house enables us to reduce overhead and pass the savings on to you.
Our modern, 3D laser scanner makes product development and reverse engineering a breeze. Specialized sensors and light beams calculate thousands of coordinates per second and generate a new version of your product within minutes. In a fraction of the time other processes require, our scanner can replicate the most intricate component designs. Our industrial 3D printer is able to transform your design into a dimensionally precise prototype in just a day or two.
American Forging Company
Trenton has provided operations like yours with the best possible forging services for over five decades. We recommit to our role as an industry pioneer regularly and always strive to exceed our customers’ expectations. When we can help our clients succeed, we know we’ve done our job. We hope you will let us show you why Trenton stands above the competition as the first-rate forged-metal producer your unique applications deserve.