Copper Forgings Seamless Rolled Rings

By: chad kimball

Custom forgings generated revenue of over $8 billion dollars in the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2006. The areas covered by the custom forging category include impression die forging (or closed die forging), open die forging and seamless rolled ring forgings. Seamless rolled rings accounted for over $1.2 billion of the total in 2006 and represented an astounding 42% increase over the previous year.

Like open die forging, there is a lot of flexibility in the size and shape of the products that you can make. Ring diameters can range from a few inches up to 30 feet in diameter and the weight of the material can be less than an 1 pound to up over hundreds of thousands of pounds. There are literally thousands of different shapes that can be produced with contours on the outside, inside or both diameters of the part.

In the process, the raw material, which is typically round in shape, is pierced or punched in the center. It is then placed on a mandrel and the piece is then rolled, squeezed or even pounded circumferentially to create a ring (or donut shape). The continuously applied pressure reduces the wall thickness and increases the inner and outer diameters and creates the ring shape.

There are many advantages to rolled ring processes and they include the following:

1. There is the economic advantage of significant material savings when compared to plate products for example. You can use up to 66% less material when using this process
2. Another economic advantage when compared to the closed die process is that no tooling charges are required here
3. The time required to machine the final product is minimized because of the near net shape. This not only yield economic advantage but could also decrease the lead time in getting the product to you.
4. Finally, in this process, the grain flow of the material can be easily controlled and thereby producing product that has superior impact and structural strength.

In fact, from a performance standpoint, the forging process provides unmatched capabilities particularly in the power generation industry, whether for specialty bearing or end rings in motor rebuilds. Other industries with safety or critical applications include mining, aerospace and heavy equipment. OEM's and machine shops that process parts in these industries rely on forged products for their needs.

Not only are carbon and alloy steels popular materials for this process, but many nonferrous alloys, including aluminum, copper and titanium as well as nickel-base alloys. Some of the common nonferrous materials include C10100 (OFE or Oxygen Free Electronic), C46400 (Naval Brass), C18200 (Chromium Copper), C70600 (Copper Nickel) and C18150 (Chromium Zirconium Copper).

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