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High energy rate forging, is a metal forging process in which the
actual forging of the work occurs in a few thousandths of a second.
This type of manufacturing technique is very useful for hard to forge metals. As
discussed in isothermal forging,
there may be reasons that the cooling of a part during the process may create
problems. Such as, mechanical properties of some
metals can vary considerably over a short temperature range, some metals
are difficult to form at lower temperatures, or parts may have thin, complex
sections. Isothermal forging was developed specifically to deal with
the problems associated with cooling of the metal at the work-die
interface. High energy rate forging also solves that same problem, but
by a different method. Since the part is forged so fast, there is no time
for cooling to occur during the forging of the work. With high energy rate
forging, hard to forge materials, and thin, complicated parts can be forged
with a single stroke.
A petro forge is a machine designed to perform high energy
rate forging operations. The petro forge bears some similarities to the
engine in a car, in that it does employ an internal combustion chamber
for its working energy. The upper die of the mold is attached to the
ram, that is a part of a piston that is located under a combustion chamber.
Basically, the combustion chamber is filled with a fuel-air mixture. The
mixture is then ignited by a spark plug, creating an explosion in the chamber.
This explosion forces the piston, ram, and upper die downward with
tremendous power. The upper apparatus accelerates towards the work,
striking it with a great velocity, forging the part in a few milliseconds.
Back pressure is then used to raise the apparatus, returning it to its position,
this also occurs rapidly. During industrial manufacture,
forging die can strike the work at velocities of 750 feet per second. The
power and velocity employed during this process raises many concerns
with regard to safety.