When it comes to forging metal, what exactly is grain flow, and why does it matter for your project? “Grain flow” the directional orientation of the metal grains and any non-metallic inclusions that have been deformed due to forging. In Anderson Shumaker’s forging practices, metal is worked through controlled compressive stresses while heated. Mechanical properties vary with respect to orientation relative to grain flow; properties like impact toughness, ductility and fatigue strength can be improved significantly by proper alignment, and optimum alignment occurs when the maximum principal stress (perpendicular to a potential crack or fracture) is aligned with the grain lines. Grain flow optimization can enhance mechanical properties, impact strength, and fatigue endurance limits, often boosting a product’s life several times over castings and other processes. From aerospace to pumps and valves to industrial machinery and equipment, grain flow control – one of the biggest advantages of forging – delivers impressive performance and durability.
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