Forging Materials: Which Do You Need?

Few manufacturing methods can compete with the strength, ductility, toughness and reliability of forged products. With operating temperatures, loads and stresses continually increasing, the world needs products and components that can handle ever-higher demands. As a result, many industries, such as automotive, aerospace, agriculture, ordnance, hardware, construction, and others, turn to forging materials.

Forged products vary in size, shape and sophistication, but one of the most important decisions is determining which forging materials to use for your particular application. Forging materials can include carbon, titanium, brass, copper, stainless steel and high-temperature alloys containing cobalt, nickel or molybdenum. Each forging material has unique qualities that make it ideal for a particular forging process or application. Let’s compare the characteristics of the forging materials commonly used today:




Stainless Steel

  • Corrosion resistant
  • Harder to machine
  • Nickel based
  • Highly heat resistant
  • Highly strong and stable
  • Withstands up to 1,250°F in high-stress services
  • Withstands up to 1,800°F and higher in low-stress service

Drop forged steel is used in high-stress and corrosive environments: gas turbines, heat exchangers, furnaces, ovens, pumps, valves, chemical equipment, marine equipment, landing gear, motor components, and much more.


  • Highly strong
  • 40% lighter in weight than identical steel parts
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Withstands up to 1,000°F
  • More difficult to forge than most steels

Titanium forgings are used in service applications requiring high strength, corrosion resistance and low weight: aircraft-engine components, ship components, aerospace, chemical processing, prosthetic devices, and more.

Carbon Alloys

  • Affordable
  • Easily machined
  • Good mechanical properties
  • Highly heat resistant
  • Highly pressure resistant
  • Impact resistant
  • Withstands up to 900°F

Carbon alloy forgings are used in applications involving high temperatures and pressure: oil and gas piping, pipe flanges, fittings, valves, parts for high-pressure transmission service, automotive, and more.


  • Highly heat resistant
  • Mechanically strong
  • Harder to machine than other forging materials
  • Thermal creep deformation resistant
  • Good surface stability
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Oxidation resistant
  • Withstands 1,200 to 1,800°F

Superalloy forgings are used in applications involving high temperatures and excellent mechanical strength: turbine engines, aerospace, marine, structural shapes, solar thermal power plants, steam turbines, heat exchangers for nuclear reactor systems, and much more.

If you’re not entirely sure which forging materials are right for your industry or application, you don’t need to worry. We will work closely with you to find a unique solution.ur engineering and design capabilities enable us to meet a wide variety of needs.

Regardless of the forging materials used,  forged components are far superior to cast products. Forged steel, titanium, carbon alloys and superalloys will always outperform cast materials. A 2007 research paper from the University of Toledo comparing casting and forging concluded:

  • The tensile strength of forged parts is 26% higher than that of cast parts.
  • The fatigue strength of forged parts is 37% higher than that of cast parts.
  • Cast iron exhibits only 66% of the yield strength of forged steel.
  • Forged parts exhibit a 58% reduction in area when pulled to failure, while cast parts exhibit a 6% reduction in area.

The results speak for themselves. Even in failure, forged parts and components will always be stronger and more reliable than their cast counterparts.

Whatever your industry and application, we will find the perfect forging materials to create custom closed-die forging solutions that meet your unique specifications. If you have any questions or concerns about forging materials, call or contact Canton Drop Forge.


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