Forgings offer production economies, material savings. Welded fabrications are more costly in high volume production runs. In fact, fabricated parts are a traditional source of forging conversions as production volume increases. Initial tooling costs for forging can be absorbed by production volume and material savings and forging’s intrinsic production economics lower labor costs, scrap and rework reductions and reduced inspection costs.
Forgings are stronger. Welded structures are not usually free of porosity. Any strength benefit gained from welding or fastening standard rolled products can be lost by poor welding or joining practice. The grain orientation achieved in forging makes stronger parts.
Forgings offer cost-effective designs/inspection. A multiple-component welded assembly cannot match the cost-savings gained form a properly designed, one-piece forging. Such part consolidations can result in considerable cost savings. In addition, weldments require costly inspection procedures, especially for highly stressed components. Forgings do not.
Forgings offer more consistent, better metallurgical properties. Selective heating and non-uniform cooling that occur in welding can yield such undesirable metallurgical properties as inconsistent grain structure. In use, a welded seam may act as a metallurgical notch that can lead to part failure. Forgings have no internal voids that cause unexpected failure under stress or impact.
Forgings offer simplified production.Welding and mechanical fastening require careful selection of joining materials, fastening types and sizes, and close monitoring of tightening practice both of which increase production costs. Forging simplifies production and ensures better quality and consistency part after part.