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AN OVERVIEW OF FORGING PROCESSES AND THEIR SIMULATION TO

ENABLE OPTIMIZATION IN INDUSTRY
Shubham Semwal
UG Scholar, Department of Materials & Metallurgical Engineering, PEC University Of Technology, Chandigarh,
India
semwal.shubham@gmail.com

material is plastically deformed in one or more
operations into a product of relatively complex
configuration. Forging usually requires relatively
expensive tooling. Thus, the process is economically
attractive when a large number of parts must be
produced and/or when the mechanical properties
required in the finished product can be obtained only
by a forging process.

ABSTRACT: The aim is to study the various
Forging Processes. A brief description about
classification of forging processes on the basis of
temperature of work piece (hot, cold and warm
forging) and on the basis of arrangement of dies
(open, impression and closed die forging) is given.
Die design parameters, die material requirements
and selection of proper die materials are briefly
discussed. Also, briefly described are the forging
equipments (press and hammer). In addition to
this, an approach for a holistic simulation of
forging processes considering the interactions
between forging press, tooling system and forging
process is presented. It can be used in coupled
simulations and will enable industrial users in
forging industry to do simulation-aided tool
optimizations in the design stage of newly
developed forging dies. The final aim is to reduce
the time-consuming experimental optimization
process of these dies on the production machine
which nowadays leads to high overall costs.

High dimensional accuracy of the final workpiece is
one of the most important targets in forging. In
addition, a long tool life is aspired, which is the basis
for cost-effective and highly productive forging
processes that are often performed as multi-stage
operations simultaneously on one press. In many
cases, newly developed processes need to undergo an
experimental time-consuming optimization process on
the production press until the geometrical accuracy of
the final part is reached. This optimization implies a
deep and comprehensive knowledge of the
manufacturing technology and leads often to
reworking of dies and tooling system. So the
dimensions of forged parts are directly influenced by
the elastic deformations of the forging dies on the one
hand and by the displacements in the die holders and
tooling systems as well as in the press on the other
hand. Simulation systems available today not offer
adequate ways of modeling and considering the
aforementioned interactions taking place between the
workpiece and the tooling system or press. They
provide no possibility, therefore, of achieving
simulation-aided tool optimization in order to
minimize the efforts and costs involved in trial-anderror optimization processes.

KEYWORDS: Forging Process, Forging Press,
Coupling, Forging Simulation Systems, Dies &
Tooling System, Optimization, Forging Die
I. INTRODUCTION

Forging is defined as a metal working process in
which the useful shape of work piece is obtained in
solid state by compressive forces applied through the
use of dies and tools. It is one of the oldest known
metalworking processes with its origin about some
thousands of years back. Traditionally, forging was
performed by a smith using hammer and anvil. Using
hammer and anvil is a crude form of forging. The
smithy or forge has evolved over centuries to become
a facility with engineered processes, production
equipment, tooling, raw materials and products to
meet the demands of modern industry.
In modern times, industrial forging is done either with
presses or with hammers powered by compressed air,
electricity, hydraulics or steam. Forging process
produces parts of superior mechanical properties with
minimum waste of material. In this process, the
starting material has a relatively simple geometry; this
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b) Impression-die forging: Forging in which the material is shaped to fill out a die cavity created by the upper and lower die halves. aiding material flow into unfilled impressions. Cold forging is also less susceptible to contamination problems. Advantages: High production rates. Stronger tooling is required. like aluminum. Significant savings in material and machining. A) In forging.a billet. c) Closed-die forging: Forging in which the material is fully constrained in the cavity created by the upper and lower die halves. This kind of extreme heat is necessary in avoiding strain hardening of the metal during deformation. Poor surface finish.) of the metal. The recrystallization temperature is defined as the temperature at which the new grains are formed in the metal.II. Higher interface pressures required. Excellent dimensional tolerances and surface finish for forged parts. increased steel ductility. Advantages: Production rates are very high with exceptional die life. is plastically deformed between two dies to obtain the desired final configuration. Heavier and more powerful equipment is needed. No oxidation or scaling on the work. and favorable as-forged properties that can eliminate heat treatment. reduced press loads. The dies are not fully closed and allow some material to escape as Flash. It allows more accurately shaped parts to be formed. Carbon and standard alloy steels are most commonly cold-forged. and the final component features a better overall surface finish. in order to lower the flow stress and the forging pressures. Disadvantages: Lubrication is difficult at high temperatures. Figure shows impression-die forging operation. For understanding and optimization of forging operations. elimination of need 2 . Lubrication is easy. warm forging has the potential advantages of: Reduced tooling loads. 2) Classification based on Arrangements of Dies a) Open-die forging: Forging in which the flat dies of simple shape are used to allow the material to freely deform in lateral directions of applied load. up to 700 to 800 0C for steels. Less precise tolerances. which does not depend on flash formation to achieve complete filling of the die. Compared with cold forging. No flash is formed in this process therefore no waste of material. Cold forging is generally preferred when the metal is already a soft. the billet is heated below the recrystallization temperature. Closed-die forging is a form of impression-die forging. This process is usually less expensive than hot forging and the end product requires little or no finishing work. c) Warm forging: The temperature range for the warm forging of steel runs from above room temperature to below the recrystallization temperature. Advantages: High strain rates and hence easy flow of the metal. it is useful to classify this process in a systematic way. Oxidation and scaling occur on the work piece. Recrystallization and recovery are possible. Requires very accurate control of material volume and proper die design. Greater toughness of the forged part. There are a large number of forging processes that can be classified as follows: 1) Classification based on Temperature of the work piece a) Hot forging (most widely used): Forging is carried out at a temperature above the recrystallization temperature of the metal. Possible warping of the material. Favorable grain flow to improve strength. CLASSIFICATION & DESCRIPTION OF PROCESSES to anneal prior to forging. Flash formation builds pressure inside the bulk of the work piece. Tool design and manufacturing are critical. Less friction between die surface and work piece. thus placing greater demands on die design. b) Cold forging: Forging is carried out at or near room temperature (below the recrystallization temp. Improves mechanical properties. In warm forging. Disadvantages: Residual stress may occur. Forces required are less. an initially simple part. Material is deformed in a cavity that allows little or no escape of excess material.

In the power-drop hammer. In a simple gravity-drop hammer. shape and complexity of work piece. and the economy and productivity of the hammer process depend upon the tooling and the skill of the operator. Type of forging operation. time. Hardenability and ability to harden uniformly. Ram velocity can be controlled and varied during the stroke. Their capacities range from 3 to 160 MN (300 to 18.000 short tons-force). the metal is shaped not by means of a series of blows as in hammer forging. Figure below shows hydraulic press. The disadvantages include a slower. in addition to gravity. Forging on the hammer is carried out in a succession of die impressions using repeated blows. There are basically two types of anvil hammers: Gravity-drop hammers and Power-drop hammers. The continuous development of forging technology requires a sound and fundamental understanding of equipment capabilities and characteristics. Forging temperature. C) Forging equipments Forged components are shaped either by a hammer or press. the upper ram is connected to a board (board-drop hammer). the ram is accelerated by steam. The hammer is the least expensive and most versatile type of equipment for generating load and energy to carry out a forging process. and it determines the rate of production. or steam-lift drop hammer). Composition and properties of work piece. sensitivity of material to the rate of deformation and temperature. 2) Forging Press: In press forging. Mechanical presses are faster than their hydraulic counterparts (up to 50 strokes per minute). frictional characteristics. of performing steps. Hammers are primarily used for hot forging. die distortion under high forging loads. 1) Forging Hammer: The most common type of forging equipment is the hammer and anvil. of forgings required. During the down stroke. and costlier machine to operate. and accuracy characteristics of a given forging machine. air-. Die material requirements: Strength and toughness at elevated temperature. The advantages of a hydraulic press over a mechanical press are its flexibility and greater capacity. belt (belt-drop hammer). the stock is usually hit only once in each die impression and the design of each impression becomes more important while operator skill is less critical. or a piston (oil-. Features of Hydraulic Press: Full press load is available during the full stroke of the ram. the ram is accelerated by gravity and builds up the blow energy. No. Hydraulic presses use fluid pressure and a piston to generate force. Ni. cranks and/or toggles to produce a preset (a predetermined force at a certain location in the stroke) and reproducible stroke. In press forging. influences the forging process.B) Die design parameters Die design depends on the knowledge of strength and ductility of work piece material. etc. Hence dies can be smaller and have longer life than with a hammer. The equipment i. Mechanical presses function by using cams. Selection of proper die material depends on: Die size. There are two main types: mechanical and hydraulic presses. Resistance to mechanical and thermal shocks. or hot air pressure. Cost of die material. energy. Complexity of shape. The operation principle of a power-drop hammer is similar to that of an air-drop hammer. a 3 . This technology is characterized by multiple impact blows between contoured dies. Heat transfer from work piece to dies. since it affects the deformation rate and temperature conditions.No. The upstroke takes place immediately after the blow. the acceleration of the ram is enhanced with air pressure applied on the top side of the ram cylinder.e. a chain (chain-drop hammer). Va. The ram is lifted to a certain height and then dropped on the stock placed on the anvil. It is a slow speed machine and hence has longer contact time and hence higher die temperatures. Initial cost is higher compared to hammers. It has more of squeezing action than hammering action. In the down stroke. Wear resistance. cold air. The slow squeezing action gives close tolerance on forgings. Mo. but by means of a single continuous squeezing action.to resist abrasion wear due to scales present on work piece. It is a load restricted machine. The quality of the forging. larger.. presses and hammers used in forging. Die materials used: Tool and die steels with Cr. The requirements of a given forging process must be compatible with the load. different forces are available at different stroke positions. Due to the nature of this type of system.

provide the prerequisite for using this approach but these systems are complex and therefore not very often used in industry. global deflections of the die holders or tooling systems and global dislocations as an influence of the press. e. Usually. in case of large tool models. the disadvantages of that approach are the already mentioned increase of CPU time and preprocessing effort.forming® model is increased only by 2% if the translations and rotations due to the machine elasticity are considered. To consider additional deflections of the dies resulting by interactions of the die holders or tooling systems in general two approaches are available. because this leads to elaborate models TOOL ELASTICITY IN FORGING SIMULATION In order to consider the occurring deformations in tools and press. This improves the accuracy of the forming simulation and makes the computation less time consuming than other approaches. Commercial. This is possible for single-stage processes or multi-stage processes.g. it is possible to define linear elastic stiffness behavior of the press in 6 dimensions. e. Figure 3 shows three general coupling principles which are classified according to their method of integration in offline-coupling. For this purpose. ENHANCED COUPLED SIMULATION CONSIDERING INTERACTIONS OF THE TOOLING SYSTEM The presented approach of coupled simulation with GekoSim allows the consideration of global dislocations of the dies within the forging simulation as an influence of the press behavior. General purpose simulation systems. die holder systems or multi-stage processes. Using the simulation system FORGE®. too. IV. special-purpose Finite Element (FE) forging simulation systems. However. However.g. different approaches for coupling FE workpiece models and press or tooling system models were developed. One the other hand a model of the tooling system can be combined with the existing analytical machine model of the coupled simulation. y-. In the possible deformations are differentiated between local and global elastic deformations which result from different reasons. These systems offer capabilities to simulate local deformations of the dies by using volume elements and linear-elastic material models. global tool deflections or dislocations can also be modeled as elastic bodies for tooling system and press within the FE simulation but with the aforementioned problems of large models. the method reaches its limits if the press properties shall be examined or multistage processes are the object of simulation. Of course.forming®. such as MARC®. model integration and co-simulation. The tilt and the vertical deflection of the press ram can be taken into consideration by means of discrete spring and damping elements. are mainly used in forging industry today to observe material flow and capture defects or to calculate the press forces and die stresses.III. The one hand a combined model of the forging process and the tooling system can be used. for example. the workpiece model within the FE simulation is extended by a simplified press model. which means translation 4 . There are local deformations of the dies. DEFORM® or AutoForm®. the software tool “GekoSim” was The approach named model integration uses one simulation environment to model the press elasticity and the forming process. However. The advantage of an integrated model of the press in the forging process simulation is the direct interaction accompanied by high numerical stability with stable contact situations. APPROACHES FOR MODELING MACHINE AND in x-. and z-direction and rotation around these axes. if all forging stages are integrated in one comprehensive FE forging simulation model. Simufact. In this way clearance and different elasticity behavior depending on the axis direction can be considered. FORGE®. local deformations are small compared to global tool deflections and tool dislocations. Some typical forging simulation systems also allow modeling of press elasticity by model integration. this leads to unacceptable preprocessing effort and computational times for industrial applications. Therefore. the FE simulation has to be able to predict them. In almost all cases. So the computational cost of the Simufact. ABAQUS® or LSDYNA®.

Forgings sometimes cost more than parts produced by other processes like. The simulation results for the final workpiece geometry are nearly the same with both models. Optimization criterion may be for instance the workpiece geometry at the end of the forging process. Due to the additional modeling of the die holder in the FE model the computation time for the coupled simulation with the press increases by over 50% compared to a rigid tooling system. the machine-based interaction is also taken into account by using coupled simulation software GekoSim. on the other hand. does not influence the computation time significantly.or multi-stage forging process consisting of the several FE forging process simulations and a combined analytical model of the press and the tooling system. 5 .casting or machining. With this enhanced functionalities of GekoSim it is possible to create holistic coupled simulation models for single. In present work the coupled simulation approach was enhanced to include the interactions with the tooling system in the forging simulation in an easy way. It is these two interactions in particular that represent a challenge when optimizing multi-stage processes with two or more active stages. Next Figure shows a simplified example of that approach for the elasticity of the die holder in the direction of ram movement (z). Forging process produces final products in very short time with little or no scrap. In addition to the workpiece-based interaction of the different forging stages in multi-stage processes. In this example the total computation time is determined by the time for coupling and data transfer between the simulations. Furthermore a direct implementation of the GekoSim functionalities to Simufact. the resultant force and torque on the Another advantage of the approach with GekoSim is.forming® is in progress.and multi-stage processes by simulation. that the total computation time for the coupled simulation of this simple upsetting process seems to be very long. an approach of coupled simulation was presented which considers the workpiece-tool-press interactions in the FE simulation of forging processes. a great deal of know-how and experience has been accumulated in this field. Prediction of the mentioned interaction results through simulations represents a significant improvement over the state of the art in forging simulations and can help to perform simulation-aided process optimizations. CONCLUSION Forging is an experience oriented process. The consideration of the die holder as additional elasticity within GekoSim. In case of complex FE simulation models this relation would look quite different and the total time for simulation would be determined by the forging process. The picture on the left shows the FE process model of an upsetting with elastic modeling of the upper die holder and a coupled simulation of the forging press (indicated as spring).extended by reduced analytical models of the die and tool holder system. Also. where only one stage is in contact with the tools at any point in time. In the picture on the right the same process model without elastic die holder in the FE simulation but with an additional analytical model for the holder within the coupled simulation (spring for tooling system) can be seen. The parameterization of the models can be done by using measurement or simulation results. the FE simulation of the elastic die holder was used to deduce the elasticity behavior and hence the stiffness for GekoSim. Throughout the years. At this point it is important to mention. largely by trial-and-error methods. too. Due to the simple FE model the computation time for one time increment of the forging simulation is very short compared to this coupling time. The method makes it possible to reconstruct the development of forging errors caused by the press in single. that the analytical models for die or tool holder systems only once have to be parameterized. Afterwards they can be used for coupled simulations of any process which works with the same tooling system. Thus there is saving in energy and material. An important difference can be seen in the computation time (table in Figure). This is often the case in closed-die forging. V. but it gives more reliable parts with better mechanical and metallurgical properties. In case of the example shown in Figure.

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