Spotting defects in forged parts

On site gamma radiography

Forging has a reputation for being the process of choice for people who want the best in terms of part quality and performance. They often select it over other options, including weldments and casting. However, that does not mean that there won’t be issues. Flaws and defects can happen with any method of part making. As a result, you may need to arrange on site gamma radiography to find them and ensure the part is fit for use.

Why do defects happen?

Most issues in forgings are due to one of three things; defects in the starting material, issues during forging, or problems during post forging. Below we will take a closer look at some of them.

The starting material

Sadly some flaws and defects can be present in materials before you even forge them. There are a number of things to look for, including surface seams, cross sections that are out of tolerance, and centre conditions. The forging process can make these problems worse, potentially creating serious defects. For example, a seam could lead to peripheral cracks.

Unfortunately there are few ways to tackle the problem here. Really the only option is to test all starting materials to ensure there are no serious flaws or defects. On site gamma radiography and other forms of NDT can help. The forging supplier should reject any materials that have issues.

Forging and post forging

Several issues can occur due to bad workmanship during and after forging. For example there can be flaws like internal cracking. This is a serious problem because a crack could mean a part lacks strength. It could lead to a premature failure.

A number of major problems can occur because the forging supplier does not heat the metal correctly. When the heating temperature is too high or remains so for too long, it can cause overheating and overburning. The heat will affect the crystalline structure of the metal. This can reduce important characteristics such as the mechanical performance and plasticity. Incorrect heating can also cause cracks and decarburisation.

Many of the issues with forging and post forging generally occur because of a lack of training or quality management. It could also be because of a problem with forging equipment. Resolving the problems requires forging suppliers to be more proactive with checks and maintaining standards. They should also ensure that the operatives have the right skills and experience. Plus, using NDT for quality checks is very useful.

Talk to us about on site gamma radiography

Format NDT Ltd is a company that understands how important it is to ensure there are no flaws or defects in forgings. We can help here, offering services to test starting materials and forged parts. Our team have a wealth of experience and can use non-destructive techniques to find issues. We will then report if they are within safe limits or if they make a part defective.

So, if you want to arrange on site gamma radiography and other forms of NDT, speak to us. We work across the UK, helping clients to improve their reputation by enhancing their quality controls.