Drop In: Drop Forgings and Their Benefits
The usual process of forging metal has changed a bit over the years from when blacksmiths hammered hot metal against an anvil or something akin to that to shape the metal into a requested item. But forging in general has not actually changed much. Forging metal is still done with the same basic philosophy, that is, pound heated metal into a shape. And while people still forge metal by hand, and not all forging is done with heated metal, the forging process has become increasingly mechanized as new forms of technology have developed.
There are so many ways to forge metals, and each of these methods have their own peculiarities; I suppose if they didn’t they wouldn’t be different methods, would they? One very well named metal forging method is called drop forging. Drop forgings are performed when a person inserts a sheet of metal into the press. This sheet is placed over top of a die, the shape of which is based on whatever has been ordered or what the company has decided to produce that day. Once the metal is securely in the machine, a hammer comes down, or rather drops down, and forces the sheet of metal to take the shape of the die. The hammer itself is called a power or drop hammer – hence the name drop forging – and they usually only need to be dropped on the metal once to get it to the right specifications.
Drop forgings can be done with all sorts of different kinds of metals, but the most popularly used are: stainless steel, copper, aluminum, nickel and titanium. Drop forging is a popular forging option when the metal you need to shape needs to conform to a rather complicated die. Because the drop hammer usually only needs to strike the metal once to shape it, it is an ideal means to make complex metal shapes in a quick manner.