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Are Forged Steel Fittings Better than Cast Fittings?

Forged or cast steel fittings have many similarities as both require the heating of steel until it gets malleable. The manufacturing of steel products can happen with forging or casting steel. For the flanges we provide, all material is typically made from forgings or plate.

Steel casting is one of the processes where the metal is heated until it reaches a liquid state and then poured into a mold that shapes the desired product. Steel forging implies the application of mechanical forces to heated solid steel blocks shaped permanently into the desired products.

Forged Steel

Meaning of forged steel fittings

Forged components are manufactured from steel which is heated and hammered for a specific shape. The process realigns the metal grains that result in the final product that is much stronger, harder, and wear-resistant than the base metal or its cast counterparts. Forged components have 26% higher tensile strength compared to the same parts made from cast steel.

As per the studies by the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department, forged components respond to better heat treatment. It can withstand more mechanical force and more substantial impacts. It is more effective in pairs subject to high loads and stress. Forging helps to limit the formation of pockets, gas voids, and, cavities within the piece.

Meaning of cast components

Cast parts are created by super-heating steel until it changes into a liquid. You can then pour the liquid steel into a mold. Cast parts cost less compared to forged parts but are much less common in today’s marketplace. These are usually considered the best choice when it comes to mass-produced parts for non-ASME applications.

Castings also work best in parts with internal cavities. Apart from this, another advantage of the castings includes alloy use. It involves anything that uses a high amount of nickel and it’s difficult to forge. Casting can also produce a large number of parts more consistently. Forged parts can be limited by the size of the available equipment. There are two common types of castings used: investment casting and sand casting.

In sand casting, the liquid steel is poured into a mold made from specialized clay or pressed sand. It is usually used for larger parts. In investment casting, the liquid steel is injected into the ceramic coating or metal dye. It is mostly used for smaller and more delicate parts.

Casting vs. steel forging

Both the manufacturing processes need the application of high temperatures to steel raw materials and the execution of CNC machining work during the end of the process, so it becomes easy to obtain the final product. The final product may also undergo surface finish treatment like polishing, powder coating, painting, wear hardening/protection, and types of coating like zinc plating.

Apart from that, forged and cast parts may be hard-faced, brazed, welded, and assembled before shipping the final product. The products resulting from forging and casting processes have different properties in terms of surface porosity, grain structure, tensile strength, and fatigue resistance.

Benefits of using castings and forgings

Below you can find the difference between using castings or forged steel fittings:

Benefit of castings

The prominent benefit of casting is to create components that are too complex, large, or otherwise unsuitable for the forging process. We can forge part sizes in various lengths and weights of several thousand pounds. But if you need an end product that weighs 5000 pounds, casting would be a more suitable option. You can use casting when:

. Parts need the addition of custom alloys

. Part is complicated

. Part is too large to forge

Benefits of forging

If you can forge the end piece, it must usually be forged. It gives the part more consistency in construction, better strength, tighter grain structure, and a longer lifetime. You can reach out to the engineers to see if forging is right for your project.

Conclusion

If you are still not able to understand which option is good for you, remember that it depends on the project. You must understand what you need the part to do. If you are looking for strength, forged is an option for you. However, if you want detail or a special alloy, the cast is an option you can opt for.

If you need assistance and want to know among forged steel fittings or cast fittings, is the right option for you, contact Texas Flange today!

 

 

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