Aluminium Forging vs Aluminium Casting. Which is Better?

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In recent years, the market for forged Aluminium products has been rapidly picking up. In most manufacturing hubs, there is significantly more demand for forged products than cast ones. Why this is a rising trend might be an interesting question to ask. The answer to this question comes from when you understand what both the processes are.

Aluminum Forging:

In forging, the metal is mechanically crushed under tremendous pressure. This is either done with heating or without the application of heat. However, the general trend is to supply plenty of heat to the metal material to soften the alloy to make the forging process easier. Technically, even hammering a metal alloy into its shape counts as forging.

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Aluminum Casting: 

Casting involves heating a metal alloy to a temperature well above its melting point. This molten metal is then poured into a mold where it is cooled, and the final product is formed based on the shape of the cast it was put in.

Why is forging better than casting for Aluminium?

Better surface finish can be obtained through forging:

When metal is cast in a mold, the finish obtained is far from desirable. The cast product is generally weak around the edges and might not have the best uniformity throughout. All of these factors cause a decrease in the quality of the metal product. Forging significantly improves the surface of the metal and also ensures that there is no weak point in the final product.

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  • Forging is generally cheaper than casting:

Die forging tools usually cost less than the same tools used for die casting. For bulk production, forging is a more economical choice than casting. Forged products can be made with lesser overheads, and the turnover period for metals made in a forge is much shorter. Lesser production time means that there is less money spent per part manufactured.

  • Lower waste generated:

Forging is a highly efficient manufacturing process. There is almost nil wastage if a product is manufactured through the forging route. Due to the degree of automation that this process offers, companies have to spend significantly less on labor costs, further adding to the efficiency of forging. There is also very little finishing wastage, as the product is already profoundly shaped. The only expense is a one-time investment in highly exact molds.

  • Forged parts have significantly higher tensile strength than parts made from casting:

A recently published report by the Society of Automotive Engineers reported that forged products have 26 % higher tensile strength, 37 % higher fatigue strength, and 66 % higher yield strength than the corresponding products made from a casting process. This makes them far more reliable for long term usage and applications.

  • Flexibility:

Aluminum forging can produce a vast array of different shapes. However, cast products are restricted in terms of design and flexibility. 

Understanding the difference between the two processes will help you choose which product you need for your applications. Hopefully, this article will help you make the right choice. 

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