Multiple mechanisms are utilized to manufacture or fabricate metals and components of metals. Two standard methods include Casting and Forging, which have been practised for centuries.
- Casting involves pouring liquid metal into a mold to create a desired shape while forging uses heat and mechanical force to shape metal into a finished product.
- Cast parts can have intricate designs and require less machining, while forged parts are generally stronger and more durable due to the aligned grain structure.
- Casting is suitable for producing large quantities of complex parts while forging is ideal for high-stress applications and where superior mechanical properties are required.
Casting vs Forging
Casting is the process of heating metal until it melts and then put in a vessel to provide the needed shape. The mold is made of a material that can withstand high temperatures. Forging involves heating metal using thermal or mechanical energy and later hammering to give the desired shape.
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|Parameter of Comparison||Casting||Forging|
|Meaning||Metal is heated till it melts, and afterwards, it is poured into a die to provide a specific shape.||Metal is subject to heating; afterwards, it is hammered to provide a specific shape.|
|Cost||Casting is less expensive but depends on the methods employed||More expensive than Casting|
|History||Casting is an ancient process that maybe date back thousands of years.||Relatively new compared to Casting and is a method used since the 12th century|
|Strength||Metals are not so strong as compared to Forging||Metals become stronger|
|Suitability for complex metals||Yes||No|
|Suitability for Large size materials||Yes||No|
|Metals Used||Steel, brass, iron, aluminium, and tin||Alloy steel, carbon steel, titanium, copper|
What is Casting?
Casting is the process where metal is heated until molten. While in the molten or liquid state, it is poured into a mold or vessel to create the desired shape.
Casting, in simple terms, means something cast in a mold. In Casting, the liquid form of metal is poured (gushed) into a mold (either open or closed) and later allowed to cool to a solid state.
This process enables the materials to get into shape during the cooling stage.
Casting can be of multiple types, such as die-Casting (liquid metal is put into a die, i.e., a particular shape metal instead of a mold), permanent Casting (putting the molten metal in a metal mold), sand Casting (a slow process in which Castings are made by pushing a specific design into a sand mixture).
Also, there could be other methods, such as vacuum process molding, investment Casting, plaster Casting, etc. All the said methods come with specific pros and cons.
Casting can be used for larger components or applications or, in other words, where there is no higher size limit.
Casting is a preferred method in such scenarios. Casting will also be used for parts that are considered unsuitable for Forging.
What is Forging?
Forging, in simple words, means to form something by heating and later hammering or beating to provide the required shape. Under Forging, a high amount of compressed force is applied to strike the material into shape.
Again, once Forging is performed, a certain degree of machining may be mandated to put the material into the desired shape, especially in the case of complex materials. Forging involves using mechanical or electrical energy to provide the needed shape to the material.
Forging can be done in various methods, such as cold forging (forging performed at room temperature), warm forging (performed at above room temperature), and hot forging (performed at recrystallization temperature). Other methods include open-die forging, closed-die forging, press forging, and roll forging.
Forging offers multiple advantages, such as consistency in the metal structure and uniformity of configuration. The steel produced under the Forging process is considered more robust from an impact standpoint.
Forging is ideally suited to smaller-size materials as a lot of force needs to be exerted to put the material into a shape that may not be possible or very difficult in the case of large-size materials. Forging may be suitable in cases where the product’s design is essential.
Main Differences Between Casting and Forging
- Casting may not create tough metals that can withstand significant pressure. Forging can create tougher and stronger metals as the process involves pressing or hammering, which provides the ability of the metal to withstand pressure from the start.
- Casting enables the alteration of the shape of metal quickly. Under Forging, shaping a metal may be difficult as the metal is in a solid state.
- Casting can be performed for oversized materials. Forging may not be an apt choice for more extensive size materials as it will become difficult or apply force to such huge-sized materials.
- Casting is less expensive than Forging.
- Casting may enable the production of materials that are complex or thick. In Forging, manufacturing materials with a complex structure isn’t easy.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.