Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Novel forging technique to significantly reduce materials and energy

Reducing energy and material consumption during forging can drive production costs. An EU initiative introduced a forging procedure that saves on energy and resources.
Novel forging technique to significantly reduce materials and energy
In conventional forging procedures, metal forming produces excess material called flash. Material costs can considerably burden production costs. For example, the excess material of a complex part such as a crankshaft represents about 55 % of the total raw material. Improving production technologies and process design can save some of this material while reducing energy. Flashless precision forging technology holds much promise in this regard.

With EU funding, the REFORCH (Resource efficient forging process chain for complicated high duty parts) project set out to develop a flash-reduced forging method for a two-cylinder crankshaft that leads to material and energy efficiency.

Work began with the elaboration of a new forging process chain. Products and production equipment were assessed and categorised according to several factors. These include crankshaft material and weight, geometrical crankshaft and work piece dimensions, mass distribution, tolerance requirements of the final geometry, surface properties, current conventional production sequence/necessary equipment, and production volume.

Project partners developed two flash-reduced forging sequences for the model products, one of which was tested in an industrial setting. To provide a basis for applying the technology to other crankshaft geometries, they identified similar crankshafts.

The REFORCH team then developed and installed the equipment, focusing on the multi-directional forging operation and the intermediate heating/reheating process. It also developed the heating system, which enables an inhomogeneous heating of the forging parts. The equipment was tested and installed. Researchers simulated the process sequence, and designed and produced the tools.

Lastly, the process and the capability of the equipment were successfully verified.

REFORCH achieved substantial material savings on the forging of crankshafts, resulting in a reduction of the flash ratio from about 54 % to 6 %. What is more, energy consumption is about 25 % lower because the steel will require less heating. The forging company of the REFORCH team can now implement the flash reduced forging technology to other forging parts of their portfolio. The flash reduced forging tool technology is offered by the tool manufacturer to European forging companies. The producer of induction heating systems uses to knowledge to provide heating solutions for reheating of forging parts as well as an inhomogeneous heating of forging billets. With these three approaches the REFORCH team can boost the competitiveness of forging companies in Europe.

Related information


Forging, REFORCH, flash-reduced forging, crankshaft
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