A combination of high strength with light weight - outstanding properties of aluminum alloy forgings - has led to a rapidly expanding range of applications. Aluminum forging technology is also equally notable for the ease with which unusual shapes and extremely large components with excellent mechanical properties can be obtained.
Forging, as an industry, is as old as the Industrial Revolution; it was also among the earliest fabricating techniques applied to aluminum. But the greatest advances of aluminum forging technology occurred with the development of modem aircraft. The demands of aeronautics for lightweight, high-strength components with complex configurations led to the rapid growth and great sophistication of the aluminum-forging art. This, in turn, resulted in greater use of aluminum forgings in a remarkably wide number of applications - in fields far removed from the aircraft industry.
The scope of the aluminum industry's research and development activities in metallurgy and forging technology is substantial - it reflects more than a half-century of forging experience and vastly expanded production facilities.
This book is intended as a general guide to the solution of design and production problems. The Aluminum Association is, of course, aware that no book can provide special or specific answers to all forging problems. As performance requirements vary widely, the design and details used for a specific product can only be determined through consultation with a forging specialist. And, while forging specialists can and should be consulted at any stage of component design or development, ideally this assistance can be of greatest benefit during the conceptual or early planning stages.
Tolerance data shown herein were developed primarily by historical empirical evolution. Today, statistical process control techniques are being utilized to help forging producers better understand the true capabilities of their processes. At the same time, customers are demanding higher and higher ratios of tolerance to capability (Cpk). The result of these two actions should be the development of realistic tolerance under-standing that better satisfies the producer's capability and the user's requirements. With this in mind, the authors would anticipate changes to some of the information contained in this document in the near future.