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Manufacturing techniques – hot versus cold forging

Forging is a process that manufacturers use to change the shape of metalwork pieces. Depending on the temperature at which this action is developed, it is defined as “hot” or “cold.” The process is a subject based on the material that is used and the customer’s request.

How cold forging works

The cold forging process is simpler than that hot manufacturing technique of altering the shape of metalwork. This technique is usually done at room temperature and makes use of components like dies and anvils. Cold forging also requires more strength and a process of recurring maneuvers such as spinning, pressing and rolling the metalwork.

The main advantage of the cold forging process is that you can obtain a bigger production with insignificant material losses. The downside to the cold forging technique is the low ductility of the finished product, which makes many pieces completely useless for certain construction purposes.

The hot forging technique

The hot forging process is usually more expensive than the cold forging one. Its higher price is dictated by the larger number of components used in the process and the finishing touches that need to be applied afterward. The hot shape-shifting technique is typically done at high temperatures that exceed 360o for primary alloys and over 1150o for steel.

Only experienced welders who can manage both the warm shaping of the material and its cooling process can conduct hot forging usually. However, the hot shaping technique has its advantages like increased ductility and easier polishing.

Forging or casting?

It is important to know that there is a significant difference between forging and casting. Many people confuse these two terms, and they are surprised when they see the craftsman deliver a different product from what they have intended. Welders use hammers and presses that alter the pieces through pressure. Casting is a method of pouring hot material into a mold to create a piece with a particular form and mass.