Sunday, March 5, 2017

Forging Metals

For centuries forging was done by a blacksmith with his hammer and anvil. Then steam driven drop hammers were invented so that larger pieces of metal could be forged. Hammers got bigger and hydraulic presses were also introduced. Closed-die forging has its own page. After a piece has been pounded or pressed into rough shape, it is finished with machine tools.

In Lost Illinois Manufacturing, I saw the following comment for their posting of this video:
Large tonnage presses (50,000 tons) are critical for forming large parts of modern aircraft frames. The U.S. after WW II had the capability to make this press (Mesta Machinery but when this Mesta press had to be rebuilt in 2008 no one in the U.S. was left with the capability to rebuild it so it had to be contracted out to Germany ( Another sign of the dangerous erosion of the U.S. national security due to the "free trade" policy of the U.S. Now, potential enemies such as China have taken the world lead in heavy press construction.…/under-pressure-the-10-story-machine…/ The machine is the biggest of its kind in the world. The biggest forge in the U.S. can exert only 50,000 tons of pressure, and is operated by Alcoa in Ohio. France has a 65,000-ton machine, and Russia has a machine capable of exerting 75,000 tons of pressure.

Video of space-age forging (Wyman Gordon) Harvey IL location
John Abbott posted

Screenshot (-0:22) from video
John Abbot shared a video of forging a large neck flange in China. Since I find it easier to understand the forging process when I know what the finished product looks like. I included a screenshot from near the end. The video then includes some stills that show how a lathe machines this forging into the final product.

Danly die and press manufacture

John Abbott posted

Paul Fisher posted
Pete Von Tews
Pete Von Tews Steam-hydraulic forging press (15,000 tons) in the workshops of Friedrich Krupp AG, Essen, around 1928, unknown photographer © bpk / Bildagentur für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte
John Garrow
Richard Heikila Hopefully , we will again be a strong Nation and can make our own tools, machines, and parts again... The New San Francisco / Oakland Bay Bridge was made in CHiNA than shipped over here. Partly Because We did NOT have the Capability to make large Steel Parts for it's construction....

Mike Brady also posted
1928, Steam-hydralic forging press (15000 tons)
Bill Sparling commented on David Nagy's posting
Bob Gaston Forging in the Krupp Works 1938
Bill Sparling commented on David Nagy's posting
another beauty from Russia this time
Bill Sparling commented on David Nagy's posting
[Note the arrow pointing to a man. I did not realize so much of the machine was below ground.]
John Abbott posted
Large Steel Forging Press
Alex Raphael Anyone have an idea of approx. how many forges of this size or larger are still operational in the US today?
Joe Blowe There are multiple (5-10) 2000 ton plus knuckle style forging presses at aichi forge in Georgetown, ky. I put one of the 3000 tons in about 5 years ago.
Mark Monson Based in Cudahy, Wisconsin, the 112 year old Ladish company has a vast forging operation including No. 85, the worlds largest counterblow hammer. This five story tall machine has a top and bottom ram, each one weighing 375,000 pounds.
Mike Raque commented on the above posting
Mare Island CA (closed)

Alex Raphael commented on the above posting

John Abbott posted
[It takes a big furnache to reheat the part.]
John Abbott posted
Jerry Fleischman Notice he's stooping on a dirt floor, probably so as not to get to heavy a shock trough his body and being low would get less radiated heat.
Thomas Bauza eleven inch hammer was the biggest I ever seen at Whyman Gordon Harvey Illinois
[See the neck flange video for how they punch a hole in the middle so that they can then insert the round anvil to hammer against.]

John Abbott posted
John Abbott posted
Keith’s Industrial & Mining Heritage Pictures added seven photos that represent the evolution for forging hammers with the comment: "Some of the Hammers on display at Wortley Top Forge."






Screenshot from Morrell's Forge Blacksmiths posting of a video. (I sure hope the link is permanent.)
Our Samuel Platt Hercules in action.
[Note his foot is on a pedal to engage the drive. There is a slot in the weight so that the hammer can handle thicker material. The bar is being hammered by just the weight. That is, the machine is not pressing the weight down. The crank and link is just letting the weight fall and then picking it up for another cycle.]
On the same day I came across air, steam and water driven hammers.

John Abbott posted
Pneumatic Hammer
John Abbott posted
This is my father operating the steam powered drop hammer in the forge shop out back behind the machine shop.
Augustine Teng In 1988 I was watching a 10'' Pipe Flange being forged in Shanghai,China. I am amazed at how the operator worked the forge at the command of the smithy thru the hammer tapping signals. Raise,lower,hammer blows,stop to manouver job and tooling change etc. No vocal commands at all. Sad. There were no ear protections for the team.Richard Smith Steel billets forged into rings and machined into seals for the oil industry.Richard Smith They made some specialty rings that were plated most not. Out of all types of material, stainless, mild steel even copper. Up to 120" diameter.
Patrick Gurdebeke posted three photos with the comment: "On a visit in France , I met the iconic famous dropforging hammer of Creusot Schneider (1878) standing as a statue on a roundabout..."




John Abbott posted
1918 Helmet Press
A video of various forging techniques

This collection of photos in a Russian locomotive shop shows a variety of drop hammers and presses used in the forging shop.

(new window)  The "new window" link skips the "road trip" part.

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