Casting vs Forging – What’s the Difference

casting vs forging

Casting and forging are both steps in the production of mechanical goods. In fabricating metal, casting and forging are extensively used to create numerous useful components. The production method- casting or forging- depends on the product or component’s intended function and necessary qualities. The main distinctions between casting and forging processes, or casting vs forging techniques, will be discussed in this article.

What is Casting?

In the casting process, the metal is heated into a liquid state before being poured into a mould or die to cool and solidify. The mould’s shape is imprinted on the metal when it is solid. Due to the possibility of recycling the same mould, casting is extremely advantageous for mass-producing parts.

What is Forging?

A hammer, press, or die deforms a metal billet into the desired shape by applying a compressive force—the hammering effect results in superior mechanical properties, removing defects, porosity, inclusions, etc. Forging can be classified into two types based on how the metal is deformed. Cold forging deforms the metal at room temperature, whereas hot forging shapes it while heating.

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Which is Better

The production process chosen is entirely determined by the cost involved and the part’s end use. Forging is the best option when greater strength and rigidity are required. However, casting is the better option for complex shapes, including spaces. According to studies:

  • The tensile strength of cast products is approximately 26% lower than that of forging counterparts.
  • Forge-produced products have roughly 37% higher fatigue strength than cast-produced products.

Factors Influencing the Choice Between Casting and Forging

The following factors influence whether a part is cast or forged (casting vs forging):

  • Quantity of Material
  • Consideration for the Economy
  • Tooling expenses
  • Machining Cost
  • Tolerances are required.
  • Mechanical properties are required (Ductility, fatigue strength requirement)
  • Metal requirements (Normal Steel or Custom alloy Materials)
  • Surface finishing is required.
  • Delivery specification.

Casting is typically preferred for large and complex products, while forging is preferred for simple and smaller-sized products.

Difference Between Casting and Forging

Spot welding is a process that uses electrical current to join two metal pieces together. It creates a strong resistance between the two pieces of metal, which causes heat to be generated and the metals to fuse into one piece. Spot welding is used in many industries to manufacture cars, trains, planes, appliances and other machinery.

Mechanical Properties

Forging metal products have greater strength and toughness than casting metal products. The increased strength was attributed to the metalworking process of pressing and hammering during forging. On the other hand, the mechanical properties of products made by casting are relatively inferior. Casting products have low impact and tensile strength.

Process

The metal is heated to a liquid state before being poured into a die or mould during the casting process. In forging, the material is heated to a temperature below recrystallization if necessary.

Process Limitations

Casting is used to manufacture a wider range of products because it only involves melting the material and pouring it into a proper mould. Because the casting process is simpler, complex shapes can be easily produced. Almost any material can be cast. As a result, the casting process offers greater flexibility.

Other Differences Between Forging and Casting are Tabulated Below

Casting Forging
Casting items are cheaper than forged items. Forged Products are costlier than cast products.
A wide Material Range is suitable for casting operations. Forging has a selected material range
The grain Structure of casting products is random. Grains of forged products are aligned in one direction.
For producing hollow cavities, casting is the best option Forging is not suitable for hollow spaces.
Casting products are relatively lighter in weight as compared to forged products. The forging process produces heavier products as compared to casting.
The machining requirement of cast products isis less as the mould approximates the required shape. Forging parts need more secondary machining to match the final shape.
Casting provides a higher production rate once the mould is prepared. So, the mass production of a specific component by casting method is quite easy. In forging, the production rate is lower. Mass production is difficult and time-consuming in forging.
The reliability of cast parts is less. Forged components are highly reliable casting.
Casting requires high labour costs as precision control is required to avoid defects. Labour cost is low in the case of the forging process.

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