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What Is The Difference Between Casting And Forging

Before analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of forging and casting, we first introduce the definition of casting and forging, and then explain in detail which one is better.

What is casting

Casting is a kind of metal thermal processing technology that humans have mastered earlier, with a history of about 6000 years. Casting is to smelt the metal into a liquid that meets the requirements and pour it into a casting mold. After cooling, solidification, and cleaning, a casting (part or blank) with a predetermined shape, size, and performance is obtained. The cost of the blank produced by casting is low, and it can show its economy more for casting parts with a complex inner cavity.

At the same time, casting has a wide range of applications in the industry and has better comprehensive mechanical properties. The casting process requires more materials (metal, wood, fuel, modeling materials, etc.) and equipment (metallurgical furnace, sand mixer, molding machine, core making machine, shakeout machine, shot blasting machine, cast iron plate, etc.). During the casting process, dust, harmful gases, and noise will be generated and pollute the environment.

What is forging

Forging is the use of forging machinery to apply pressure to metal blanks to produce plastic deformation to obtain forgings with mechanical properties, shapes, and sizes. It’s one of the components of forging and pressing (forging and stamping). Forging can eliminate the looseness of the metal as-cast and welding holes, and the mechanical properties of forgings are generally better than those of the same material. For the important parts of machinery with high load and severe working conditions, forgings are commonly applied process except for simpler shapes that can be rolled, profiles, or welded.

The initial recrystallization temperature of steel is about 727°C, but 800°C is commonly used as the dividing line, and the temperature above 800°C is hot forging. The temperature between 300 and 800°C is called warm forging or semi-hot forging, and forging at room temperature is called cold forging. Forgings used in most industries are hot forging, warm forging, and cold forging are mainly used for forging parts such as automobiles and general machinery.

The difference between casting and forging

The words of casting and forging have different meanings, and their production processes are also diverse. The following mainly introduces the relevant characteristics of forging and casting in detail.

Different meanings of words

Casting: The processing method of melting the metal into a liquid and then pouring it into a mold, cooling and solidifying and cleaning to obtain a casting of the desired shape. Casting manufacturer various parts with complex shapes.

Forging: Use hammering and other methods to make a metal material in a plastic state into a workpiece with different shape and size, and change its physical properties.

Different production process

Casting: It is a method of casting liquid metal into a casting cavity suitable for the shape of the part, and after it has cooled and solidified, the parts or blank is completed. The foundry profession focuses on the metal smelting process and the process control during the casting process.

Forging: It is a processing method that uses forging machinery to apply pressure to metal blanks to produce plastic deformation to obtain forgings with mechanical properties, shapes, and sizes. Forging is plastic forming in the solid-state, which can be divided into hot working and cold working. Extruding, drawing, piercing, punching, etc. all belong to forging.

Different material status

Casting is to change the shapeless molten metal into a shaped solid.

Forging is to transform a metal solid of one shape into a metal solid of another shape.

Casting is like playing with wax. You buy wax (scrap steel, or pig iron), then turn the solid wax into a liquid, put it in a mold, and get different shapes. (Solid-liquid-solid)

Forging is like the process of making the dough. You knead the small dough and put it in the mold to manufacture products of different shapes. The shape of a solid can change to other shapes (solid to solid) at high temperatures.

Different molding process

Forging is slowly forming, and castings are formed once.

Casting: The molten liquid metal fills the cavity and cools. Pores are easy to produce in the process of making parts.

Forging: It is mainly formed by extrusion at high temperatures. Forging can refine the grains in the forging parts.

Casting is the common process of the machinery manufacturing industry and a relatively stable industry. Metal materials commonly used in industry can be cast, ranging from a few grams to hundreds of tons. Casting can produce various parts with complex shapes, especially blanks with complex cavities. At the same time, there is a wide range of raw materials for casting, such as scrap steel, scrap, and chips. The cost of the blank produced by casting is low, and it can show its economical efficiency even more for parts with complex shapes.

Forged products are superior to cast products in terms of strength and product quality stability. Forging can eliminate defects such as as-cast looseness produced in the metal smelting process, break up carbides in steel and eliminate its directionality to optimize the microstructure. Forging can completely improve the internal metallographic structure of the material through heat treatment, and the various properties between the elements can be released and displayed so that the hardness, strength, and other properties are greatly improved.

Casting classification
  • Ordinary sand casting includes three types: green sand, dry sand, and chemically hardened sand.
  • Special casting. According to the modeling materials, it can be divided into special castings with natural mineral sand and gravel as the modeling materials (such as investment casting, clay casting, shell casting in the foundry, negative pressure casting, solid casting, ceramic casting, etc.). Special casting with metal (such as metal mold casting, pressure casting, continuous casting, low-pressure casting, centrifugal casting, etc.).
Forging classification
  • Open die forging. Use impact or pressure to deform the metal between the upper and lower anvils (anvils) to obtain the required forgings. There are mainly manual forging and mechanical forging.
  • Closed die forging. The metal blank is compressed and deformed in the forging die cavity with a certain shape to obtain forgings, which can be divided into die forging, cold heading, rotary forging, and extrusion. According to the deformation temperature, forging can be divided into hot forging (processing temperature is higher than the recrystallization temperature of the blank metal), warm forging (below the recrystallization temperature), and cold forging (normal temperature). Forging materials are mainly carbon steel and alloy steel with various compositions, followed by aluminum, magnesium, titanium, copper, etc. and their alloys.
Casting advantages

1. It can produce parts with complex shapes, especially blanks with complex cavities.

2. Metal materials commonly used in the foundry industry, castings ranging from a few grams to hundreds of tons.

3. Wide sources of raw materials, low prices, such as scrap steel, scrap parts, chips, etc.

4. The shape and size of the casting are accurate, reduces the amount of cutting, which is non-cutting processing.

5. It is widely applied. 40% to 70% of agricultural machinery and 70% to 80% of the weight of machine tools are castings.

Casting disadvantages

1. The mechanical properties are not as good as forgings, such as coarse structure and many defects.

2. In sand casting, single piece, and small batch production, the labor intensity of workers is high.

3. The casting quality is unstable, the process is many, the influencing factors are complicated, and many defects are easy to produce.

Forging advantages

1. It can eliminate the defects of as-cast looseness and other defects produced in the metal smelting process, and optimize the microstructure.

2. Due to the preservation of complete metal flow lines, the mechanical properties of forgings are generally better than castings of the same material.

3. Forging can be used to manufacture parts in related machinery with high load and severe working conditions.

Forging disadvantages

1. Forging and pressing require heating, forging equipment, and required molds, which increase the manufacturing cost.

2. There are application limits for materials, such as forging of high alloy steel and stainless steel is more difficult. The best forging performance is medium and low carbon steel.

3. There are certain restrictions on the forging roughness ratio of the material, that is, unlimited forging deformation is not allowed.

ACE BEST is an ISO 9001 certified manufacturer for OEM casting and forging service, including China CNC machiningcustom die castingchina investment castingforging services, etc. Contact us for more custom casting services!

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If you would like to have a question then get in touch today, we are ready to assist 24/7.
We welcome your cooperation and we will develop with you.

 Factory-direct Connectivity Solutions.
 High quality, Competitive Price.
 Custom-tailored solutions.
 Problem-solving approach.