CNC Machined vs. Forged Vessel Components
API wellhead component forging and custom CNC machining connections for pressure vessels are both popular in ASME pressure vessel connections manufacturing. Forging involves squeezing metal between two molds: a moving mold called a tool and a stationary mold called a die. CNC machines use rotating cutting tools to shape a piece of metal, called a billet, into the desired part. Given these different processes, which method is right for your project?
Forging produces significantly stronger parts than CNC machining. During the cooling process, metals create grains, tiny weak spots where cracks can form later on. The tons of pressure involved in forging metal collapse these grains and make the part denser, which improves strength and prevents breakage. CNC machining leaves grains exposed, making the finished product slightly less dense and subsequently weaker.
While forged parts are strong, they cannot reach the level of complexity as CNC machined components. Machining is an incredibly precise process, allowing for small dimensions, acute angles, and complex details. Forged parts, meanwhile, are limited in complexity and cannot have corners less than 90 degrees.
Because CNC machining shaves away metal from a large billet to create a shape, the process leaves a large amount of wasted metal behind. Forging, meanwhile, wastes almost no metal, except for a small amount that seeps between the tool and the die.
While overall price depends on materials, quantity, and complexity of the project, forging and CNC machining also influence the price of the part. Generally, CNC machining is less expensive than forging, though it is most cost-efficient when making small batches of complex parts. But due to forging’s ability to make stronger components, forging may be more cost-efficient in the long run if your project requires durable and long-lasting parts.
Do You Need a Carbon Steel Flange Manufacturer?
If you need forged flanges or custom CNC machining connections for pressure vessels, call Forged Components, Inc. today. We provide forged steel rings and industrial flanges for pressure vessel custom fittings. Contact us online or call us at (281) 441-4088.