Induction forging is a process in which an induction heating system preheats metals and presses them into shape using a hammer or press. The applications for induction forging vary greatly, but before you get started, it's helpful to have a good understanding of the process. Here's part one of our beginner's guide to induction forging.
First, it's important to understand that induction heating is a non-contact process that uses the main principles of electromagnetic induction in order to effectively produce heat. Electric current can flow through a material when it is placed in a strong alternative magnetic field; this causes Joule heating. With magnetic materials, the excess heat is generated below the Curie Point -- the Curie point is the temperature at which certain magnetic materials undergo a sharp change in their magnetic properties. The Curie point of iron, for example, is 1,418 degrees Fahrenheit (770 degrees Celsius).
Consumption of Power
Before getting started with your own applications for induction forging, you need to understand the power that it requires. The power supplies needed for induction forging can vary greatly, from just a few kilowatts to multiple megawatts. The component geometry can also dictate power supply frequency, which can vary from about 50 Hz to 200 kHz. Keep in mind that most applications for induction forging use a range of between 1 kHz and 100 kHz.
Selecting the correct power for your induction forging application requires you to calculate the thermal energy needed to raise the chosen material to the necessary temperature within the allotted time frame. After this measurement is determined, you'll have to factor in other components such as radiated losses, coil losses, and other system losses.
Ultimately, understanding the induction forging process can help you determine whether there's a place for it in your business. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we'll have our second installment of our induction forging guide. For more information about induction forging or induction heating accessories such as eVIEW induction heating software, contact Ambrell Corporation.