With metal components in our rigging supplies category, you’ll often see the word “forged” or “cast,” but do you know the differences between these two methods of metal working?
Casting is a technique where the metal is heated until it’s molten- or liquefied- by the head. Once in this liquid or molten state, it’s poured into a mold which will create the desired shape. After the metal cools it’s removed from the mold. The process can be compared to pouring water in a liquid state and becoming an ice cube after cooling in a freezer.
Like casting, hot forging metal involves heating the metal to extreme temperatures. But rather than becoming molten or liquefied, the metal remains solid yet pliable enough to be formed into the desired shape. Cold forging is a similar process, but occurs at or near room temperature and generally utilizes only standard or carbon alloy steels. Forging dates back to the blacksmithing, and is one of the oldest forms of metalworking.
Casting vs. Forging
Advantages of casting:
- Ideal for pieces that are large, more intricate, or have a design that requires internal cavities.
- Can be used with a wide range of alloy choices.
- Allows for customization since additional alloys such as nickel or chrome, which can be added during the molten stage.
- Can create a smooth or textured finished surface.
Advantages of forging:
- Offers exceptional strength.
- More uniform in structure and shape than cast or machined pieces.
- Eliminates shrinking, tiny air pockets, and porosity because the grain flows of steel remain continuous throughout the piece.
- Excellent at handling impact.
If you have any questions about the metalworking process of any of our rigging supplies and rigging hardware products, give us a call at 800-660-3585. Our knowledgeable sales team is always happy to help.