Steel Industries’ open die forgings are produced on hydraulic presses that can handle up to 25,000 pounds of metal at temperatures well above 2000-degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a long way from the origins of open die forging, which began with hand, hammer, and smith forging methods many centuries ago. Even though it’s the oldest form of forging, the open die process is still an extremely viable and versatile method. Here’s how it works and why it’s still in high demand among many industries.
What is Open Die Forging?
It’s called “open die forging” because the process uses two dies that don’t completely encase the steel. The metal is heated to a high, regulated temperature and placed between a top die that is attached to a ram, and a bottom die that’s attached to a shaping tool —either a hammer, anvil, or a press. Once the metal is in place, the dies repeatedly strike or compress the metal to transform it into the desired shape. Because metal naturally flows equally in all directions away from compression or hammering pressure and isn’t self-contained in a “closed die” it’s referred to as an open die forging.
Cost-Effective and Versatile
Because open-die forging doesn’t require custom-created dies, it’s a faster, more economical method. It’s optimal for projects with the following parameters:
- Projects that call for large parts that are too big to be forged using other
- Custom parts that need specific mechanical properties that can’t be achieved
using other forging methods.
- Small quantity orders that don’t justify tooling costs.
- Forgings that require a short turnaround that doesn’t allow enough time to make
Another advantage of open die forging is its versatility. Any forgeable metal can be forged using the open die method. These include steel, titanium, and copper alloys, aluminum, brass, and various grades of Iconel.
Pros of Open Die Forging
The reason open die forging methods have remained relevant in the steel industry for so long is that nothing does the job better. At Steel Industries we’ve been creating open die forging solutions for customers for decades. Some of the chief reasons why open die forging can be the ideal solution for certain projects include:
- Reduced chance of voids
- Better fatigue resistance
- Improved microstructure
- Continuous grain flow and finer grain sizes
- Valuable cost savings
- The process creates less material waste
- Longer part life and greater strength
Steel Industries’ expertise in the open die forging process means every part we manufacture is built for the long run. Because our skilled workers can forge and machine metal to meet extremely tight specifications, the overall quality of the parts we produce is unmatched in the industry.