To Cast or to Forge


When it comes to building and creating parts, there is a divide between some on what is the best way to do it. Some people believe casting parts is the best and preferred method while some people believe forging is the way to go about it. The regular consumer is not going to think about situations and scenarios such as these because it takes a great bit of understanding to even begin understanding the pros and cons of both methods of construction. To fully understand the differences of casting and forging, you must begin to know benefits and hindrances.

Some of the pros of casting are their large variety of size limits. This allows for larger items to be crafted than what could ever be done with forging. Casting also allows for no waste as can be seen when forging, such as needing to dispose expensive and complicated machinery pieces that forging would come with. However, casting does create a piece that is homogenous and without a crystallized grain structure, which therefor results in less uniformity of the part and durability of the finished product. Not only that, but casting can give rise to issues such as becoming porous during the formation, which is the cooling, stage.

Casting and forging both involves the same first step of heating the elements to a molten level to become building what you need; after this however, comes the differences as forging metal, unlike casting, relies not on the conforming of the shape over time but having the shape beaten out of the metal while it is still in the semi-solid state. After that, it must then be heat-treated to allow it to cool in a controlled environment.

Forging also forces the grain structure of the combined metals to reform, such as crystallization, without losing its shape, which also means the finished product will be much more reliable than a cast one. A downfall of this forging though is that it is essentially too expensive of an operation to do, which is why most people only choose forging when it is a limited and short production run. A lot of people choose casting if it is long term as it is much cheaper, albeit somewhat less reliable.

There are more pros and cons than this, and to better understand is to do more research. You ultimately make the final decision on how you want your parts to be built and how you want to go about construction. Just make sure you know the facts and pick the right method for the job.