The Return of Forged Crankshafts

Once upon a time the only reliable way to construct a crankshaft was through forging. Well… actually if you go back far enough the first crankshafts manufactured were constructed of wood. But once we got into the world of steel crankshafts as a method of delivering power to machinery, forged crankshafts were the only options.

Then as the automotive industry took off the need to mass produce crankshafts drove the market away from forged crankshafts. It was more cost effective — and much faster — to produce crankshafts through other methods besides forging. Cast crankshafts became the norm. Rather than forging the steel, the steel was melted down to liquid form and poured into a mold and allowed to cool.

This process of creating cast crankshafts was cost effective and speedy and suited an assembly line mass produced product better. Cast crankshafts were the norm for decades.

The Return of Forged Crankshafts

In recent years however, manufacturers having been moving more and more often away from the cast crankshafts and back to the forged crankshafts. The simple reason is quality, strength, and durability.

The open die foring process is unquestionably produces a product that is superior in all ways. Forged steel is far stronger than cast or machined steel, has greater impact resistance and is far, far more durable with a much longer lifespan. This has to do with the forging process itself, and the way that forging shapes the metal to create a finished crankshaft that maintains the grain structure of the metal, and word hardens it in the process.

The oil and gas industry and military industries have long recognized the need for forged crankshafts, and everything from oil pumps to submarines use forged crankshafts. But increasingly other industries are making use of forged crankshafts rather than cast, including the press industry (and here we’re talking about any machinery that makes use of presses, such as metal stamping, and not just printing presses) and even the automotive industry is beginning to return to the forged crankshafts of yore.

The Industrial Market Place Web has listings of forged crankshaft manufacturers within the US. If you’re considering a project that is going to require a crankshaft to deliver the power to your device, seriously consider the benefits of the more expensive forging process. If strength, lifespan, or failure resistance are important features, a forged crankshaft is more likely to deliver what you need.

Tags: forged crankshafts, industrial market place web

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