Die Casting vs. Metal Forging


Die casting and metal forging are both ways of shaping metal, but both are very different processes that are appropriate for different situations. Which type of metal shaping you use will depend on your particular metal part needs. If you’re trying to decide between metal forging and die casting, it helps to know the processes and advantages of each.

What Is Metal Forging?

Metal forging is the classic method for shaping metal. Medieval images of a blacksmith banging away at a sword on an anvil with a hammer is one of the earliest examples of metal forging. Today, of course, the blacksmith is replaced by a high-tech hammering machine and a part die takes the place of the anvil, but the principle is the same. In metal forging, a machine physically forces the heated metal material into an open die until it conforms to the desired part shape. Some advantages to metal forging include a denser, mechanically strong part that is highly resistant to force and wear. Metal forging also typically results in few cavity defects.

What Is Die Casting?

Die casting is much more modern, technologically based form of metal shaping. In die casting, the metal is melted and forced into a closed die, where it cools into the desired shape. There are a number of advantages to using die casting over metal forging. For one, die casting tooling tends to be less expensive than forge die tooling since they do not have to absorb as much impact during the casting process. In addition, die casting is much more efficient, allowing for the production of many copies of the same part in a short amount of time.

Also, you can produce much better-defined and more refined parts through die casting than you can with metal forging. You can feasibly die cast significantly larger parts than you can forge as well. If you are working with alloys, die casting is more appropriate, since it is easy to add alloys when you are melting metal as opposed to just heating it.

Are There Any Times Where You Would Use Metal Forging Over Die Casting?

While large manufacturing projects will usually be better served through die casting, there are some situations where metal forging will be a better option. If porosity, cavities and shrinkage have been issues for you, metal forging can help you avoid these problems. If you have had a problem with your parts’ durability, you might want to try metal forged parts.

Similarly, if part wear has been an issue, metal forging may be an option to consider. For example, metal shackles may be more suitable for forging than casting. This is an item that you probably will not need in mass quantities, and for which strength and durability are crucial. This is also an item where a specific, solid metal, rather than an alloy, is what you are likely to use. This should give you some sense as to the type of occasion where you would opt for metal forging rather than die casting.

Premier Engineered Products for Metal Casting

Premier Engineered Products uses state-of-the-art machines to produce great parts with methods in place to quickly detect and correct any process issues. Parts cast by Premier Engineered Products are durable, high quality, precise and consistent. Premier offers high-pressure die casting for industries ranging from medical products to firearms to industrial equipment to telecommunications and more. To find out more about how Premier Engineered Products serves the machine part needs of multiple industries, contact us today.

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