Brass Forging: What is it?

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Brass forging involves heating brass to 1,500°F and shaping it using extreme pressure to create a single, pore-free piece. Different methods include closed die forging, open die forging, cold forging, and seamless rolled ring forging. Forged brass parts are stronger than die cast parts and produce less waste. Closed die forging creates high-density, strong, and durable products, while open die forging is used for larger pieces. Cold forging is used for smaller parts requiring high strength and tight tolerances, and rolled ring forging uses open ring-shaped parts to create flat rings.

Brass forging is a process in which a forging press exerts extreme pressure on a single piece of brass or brass alloy that has been heated to approximately 1,500 degrees F (815 degrees C). The softened metal is then forced, pounded and shaped to produce a part made from a single piece of brass and free from imperfections. Different methods of forging brass can create virtually any type of shape or three-dimensional shape, ranging in weight from a few ounces to several tons. The various types of brass forging include closed die or impression forging, open die forging, cold forging, and seamless rolled ring forging.

The forging process of brass actually makes the metal about 15% stronger than die cast parts as the process does not change the structure of the metal. The extruded brass stock is formed into a shape already close to the final part it will be forged into when the brass is heated. Forging brass parts reduces metal waste and is faster than machining parts. The forging process also produces a pore-free surface which makes the brass part more attractive.

Closed die forging, also known as die forging, uses two or more dies made into the shape of the desired part. The brass is heated until it becomes malleable, or reaches a plastic state, and is then compressed by the mold machine. Some die making machines are capable of creating a compressive force of 5,500 pounds (2,500 kg) or more to create forged parts. This forging process creates brass parts that have higher density, aligned grain flow, and high strength. In this process, brass parts can also be bent or bent in one or more planes. While more expensive than brass casting methods, closed die forging of brass produces extremely strong and durable products.

In open die forging the heated, malleable brass is not confined to a die or mold. Instead, it is achieved with the use of two flat mold surfaces without any type of imprint. This type of brass forging is typically used to create and shape very large single pieces of brass weighing up to 80,000 pounds (36,363 kg) or more. This open die process is typically used for smaller quantity production runs and custom brass forging on larger parts.

While most forging is done at extremely high temperatures, cold forging brass only requires the brass to be heated to a few hundred degrees. Cold forging is typically used to create items such as coins, automotive steering parts, anti-lock braking systems, and other smaller parts that weigh less than 10 pounds (4.5 kg). This process produces parts that require high strength and tight tolerances.

Rolled ring forging uses open ring shaped round parts that have been shaped using the open die forging process. This type of forging is achieved by the forced pressure of two axial rollers, a driving roller and an idle roller. The brass ring is rotated by the idler roller by applying pressure inside the ring. The guide roller exerts pressure on the outer edge of the ring. As the process progresses, the ring becomes flatter until the desired ring diameter is reached.

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