The history of forging goes back hundreds of years and involves the production of a work piece that is stronger than any machined or cast part of an equivalent dimension or shape. Forging can be carried out whilst the piece is hot or cold and involves the shaping of the metal so that the direction of the grain is changed to follow the shape of the newly forged part. This results in a continuous grain that helps to improve the strength of the finished piece.
Hammer forging, as its name suggests, involves a hammer being used to shape and manipulate the metal. Very often, you will find double hammers being used and this will depend on the work piece being forged and the materials being used.
Years ago, and in some forges today, the hammer was wielded by a skilled blacksmith. Historically, many items including household implements and tools and decorative ornaments were made during the hammer forging process. Today, hammer forging is responsible for producing components that are required in engineering and many other industries where strong and reliable components are required.
The hammer forging process involves a die that holds the workpiece in place whilst the hammer shapes the malleable metal into the required shape. In hot forging the metal is heated so that it is easy to manipulate whilst cold forging is carried out whilst the metal is at room temperature. The materials used in hammer forging need to be suitable for the process and able to withstand high temperatures and pressures.
There are various hammers used in the forging process today and the one used will depend on the type of forging run that is being carried out. Hammer forging is most suitable for short runs and can be a very cost effective and efficient method of manufacturing strong components for a range of applications.