Isothermal Forging Technology

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 25, 2022, 8:53

You've most likely heard of this high-strength, corrosion-proof metal used in the aerospace and oil industries. What you may not have known is that these unique properties of the metal are forged through isothermal techniques: a closed environment where physical and chemical processes are controlled to optimize the final product. Learn more about Isothermal Forging Technology and its application below.

Isothermal Forging Technology - Overview

Isothermal Forging Technology is where the workpiece (metal) is heated and then brought to a slightly above room temperature. This allows the part to achieve an extremely high degree of strength and toughness. This technology is a process that can be done with many types of metal.

There are two processes used in Isothermal Forging Technology: conduction heating and induction heating. Conduction heating uses either electric resistance or gas flame to heat a workpiece. Induction heating uses electromagnetic induction, where electrical energy generates heat in the workpiece.

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Isothermal Forging Technology - DRDO's Process

The DRDO's Isothermal Forging Technology enables the production of high-precision parts with controlled microstructure, which can be used for making precision components for aeronautical and space applications.

  • Isothermal forging is a metal forming process in which the metal is heated to a temperature about 20% below its recrystallization temperature for deformation.
  • The process involves the use of an electric heating or a cooling unit to control the temperature of the material being forged.
  • At room temperature, a hot upsetting compression process is used to forge metal parts. This results in increased product strength and reduces the weight by nearly one-third of its original weight.
  • The temperature control helps avoid defects such as cracks, delamination, and uneven grain size that are usually present in other metal processing methods.

The Isothermal Forging Technology was developed by the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), Hyderabad, established in 1964 under the Ministry of Defence. The DMRL is one of the premier labs in India dedicated to research and development in metallurgy and material science.

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Significance of the Isothermal Forging Technique

The significance of the Isothermal Forging Technology can be easily determined by understanding its advantages in the aerospace industry-

  • Using this technology, the fabrication of high-performance titanium alloy parts for structural aircraft applications will help meet the country's future aerospace requirements.
  • It enables the manufacturing of near-net-shape parts with high strength, superior microstructure, and excellent mechanical properties at a lower cost.
  • This method can be used for making large-sized components with high productivity and better quality.
  • The number of machining steps is drastically reduced, which means it can be used for making components that would have otherwise been difficult or impossible to make through traditional methods.

Isothermal Forging Technology is used in manufacturing to alter a metallic material's physical and chemical properties. This can significantly improve production efficiency, safety in design, and the strength of the final piece.

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FAQs on Isothermal Forging Technology

Q 1. What is the Isothermal Forging Technology?

Isothermal Forging Technology is a technique of forging metals at a low temperature. In this method, the metal is heated until it becomes malleable enough to take the required shape and then cooled to get it back to its original state.

Q 2. Who established the Isothermal Forging Technology?

The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) developed a novel technique for manufacturing critical components of fighter aircraft, known as Isothermal Forging Technology.

Q 3. What are the benefits of Isothermal Forging Technology?

Isothermal Forging Technology often improves the mechanical properties of metals by changing the grain structure and increasing their strength and toughness. Isothermal forging also increases the ductility (ability to deform without breaking) of metals, making them less brittle and thus easier to machine into finished parts.

Q 4. Which type of alloy is used in the Isothermal Forging Technology?

Titanium alloys are used in Isothermal Forging Technology as they are lightweight, strong, and perfect for use in aircraft manufacturing due to their high corrosion resistance.

Q 5. What is the goal of Isothermal Forging Technology developed by DRDO?

The primary goal of Isothermal Forging Technology developed by DRDO is to achieve low-temperature forging for titanium alloys used in aircraft manufacturing.