Metalworking is all about building products and components through raw material. The metalworking industry started from the process of manual thrusting of a metal tool onto hot steel, and the process has changed considerably with the developing industrial technology.
The industry has divided Metalworking into two different processes catering to different demands and outcomes, namely fabricating and forging. Both the processes are used widely in Indian industry since the advent of fabricating and forging companies in India in the last century. Here we look at what are the key differences between the two industrial processes and what are their individual uses.
Definition and Meaning
Forging- Forging is a metalworking process of shaping metal using compressive tools. It is the same process of pounding the metal sheet using a massive tool but on a larger scale. The metal is beaten by a power hammer which compresses the material and gives it the desired shape.
Fabricating- Fabricating is the complete process of cutting and assembling of a product for final use. It is a process of strengthening the material using welding techniques. Fabricating creates finished products to be used as components. A fabricated product can also be used directly by the customers.
Forged components have a tremendous amount of strength because of the compressive process of forging. They are used in different parts of automotive that need to absorb shock and stress. They are used as torsion bars, axle shafts, beams and wheel spindles. Transmission shafts, gear shafts, drive shafts etc. are also made up of forged metals.
Forged materials come in great use to the valve and fitting industry. The heat-resistant forged components are used for making valve bodies, oil and gas flanges, saddles, fittings etc. Renowned Indian companies like CHW Forge are manufacturing premium quality forged components for automobile, oil and many such industries. Forging comes in a relatively expensive process due to the heavy machinery used.
Many other industries like construction, aerospace and mining also use forged components because of their strong mechanical properties. Forging companies in India are creating forged components used in aeroplanes, military aircraft and even spacecraft. These industries use an array of forged products including hinges, shafts, beams and discs.
Metal fabrication is prominently used to create finished components using cutting, bending and welding techniques. These components are crafted using CNC(computer-operated) cutting, oxyfuel cutting, plate rolls and press brakes, among other methods. Fabrication is widely used in different industries, including construction, aerospace and automotive.
Metal fabrication is also used in making turbines, metal sections and assembly of components in an aircraft. The mining industry uses fabricated steel to create equipment such as shovels, loaders etc.
Fabrication and forging create many mutual components, but the difference lies in the process as well as expenditure. Forged parts have better tensile strength while fabrication provides better finishing. It all depends on the requirement of the industry and most companies use both the tools to finish the final product.