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Toward a Definition

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Technically, forging may be defined as the process of giving metal increased utility by shaping it, refining it, and improving its mechanical properties through controlled plastic deformation under impact or pressure.
But the true meaning of forging can be more clearly recognized by considering the variety of ways it serves mankind and the important characteristics forged parts offer those who design, purchase and use them.
Forgings are commonly found in machines and conveyances at critical points of shock or stress – particularly where reliability and human safety are affected. And yet the great variety of shapes, sizes, and properties available in forgings has extended the list current applications and potential future uses far beyond this point.

Understanding the Artform

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The art of forging is being augmented by the science of forging at an increasingly rapid rate. Thus, as service requirements for mechanical parts have become more severe, forging has become more than the mere shaping of metal. Forging permits the structure of metals to be refined and controlled to provide improved mechanical properties.
Also, forging produces a continuous “grain flow” in the metal which can be oriented to follow the shape of the part and result in maximum strength efficiency of the material. Since virtually all metals can be forged – from aluminum to zirconium – extensive combinations of mechanical and physical properties are available to meet demanding space age applications.
“Without forgings – and the performance characteristics they provide – autos, airplanes, trucks, farm implements, earthmoving machines, missiles, industrial engines and machine, and the implements of national defense, as we know them, would not be feasible.” *
* Forging Industry Association, 1970, p. 1-4)

A Balance of Art and Science

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A Balance of Art and Science

In earlier days forging was the process of shaping metal by heating and hammering.

Today, metal is not always heated for forging and the work may be performed by several types of heavy machines which apply impact or squeeze pressure with swift precision.

In today’s forging industry the skill and seasoned judgment of the forgeman is enhanced by the machines of modern technology to produce metal parts of unparalleled strength and utility.