The forging of aluminum alloys is a very modern process based on a traditional method of using heat and pressure to form a specific shape. Today’s forging processes use precision control of the full process, and they use extremely high pressure systems to create defect-free parts and components that are lightweight, strong and required limited secondary operations.
Hot or Not?
Most types of forging of aluminum alloys are done with the aluminum heated to a very specific temperature, which is just above the recrystallization point. This temperature is well below the melting point for the aluminum alloy, but it is key to allowing maximum workability of the aluminum without causing any negative internal change in the grain of the alloy.
It is possible to work aluminum forging using the alloy at room temperature. This is referred to as cold forging. This is a less common process, but it is often done as a cost-effective option. To add strength after cold forging, the aluminum part can be tempered.
Sizes of Parts Manufactured by Forging
The forging of aluminum alloys is used to produce a wide range of different parts and components for industries from those used in spacecraft and airplanes to vehicle components, industrial equipment, agricultural equipment, and in construction, mining, and for devices and electronics.
Many people assume that forging is only used to produce large components. In fact, this process is extremely effective and precise and can be used to create a range of small to mid-sized components for any type of application.
While often referred to as aluminum forging, there are several specific processes that can be used. This includes roll, open die, precision forging, swaging, and press forming. Each process offers benefits for specific sizes and shapes of parts, and a quality manufacturer can provide recommendations on the correct process for a given part and order.