Benefits of the forge

23 | 03 | 2021

Why choose a forged Wichard product?

Founded in 1919 by Henri Wichard in Thiers, the Wichard Company immediately became specialised in the manufacture of forged parts for industrial markets. As a subcontractor, Wichard manufactured numerous pieces of cutlery and scissors, as well as parts for industry (parts for weapons, for weaving looms, etc.).

The different stages of the forging process

Wichard uses hot forging. This manufacturing process heats and then deforms billets (pre-cut stainless steel bars). After being heated in a gas or induction furnace, the billet is positioned on the tooling, where it is pressed in order to obtain its unfinished form. Depending on the complexity of the parts, the steel may be struck several times (flattening, roughing and finishing).

Once it has its rough form, the stainless steel part will undergo a full manufacturing process, which involves many steps:

  • Cutting: this stage uses pressure to remove the unused material around the part.
  • Tribofinishing: this process modifies the surface finish and edges of forged products by immersing them in an abrasive mixture. Tribofinishing involves various steps, such as abrasion and polishing.
  • Machining: this includes the various drilling, threading and tapping operations
  • Assembly: this consists of the product assembly (e.g. springs on carabiners)

What are the advantages of forged products in industrial applications?

Forged parts are used in many demanding applications such as aeronautics, automobile and transport (railways), as well as in the extreme sports sector such as parachuting.

Forged parts must therefore be able to offer superior mechanical strength and thus withstand severe and repeated stress. Depending on the application, corrosion resistance may also need to be taken into consideration. Finally, forged parts are also a good weight for their size, which makes them easier to integrate. 

Forging can offer a whole host of advantages! Indeed, by heating the stainless steel without melting it, forging preserves the homogeneous structure of the material while preventing impurities (parasitic waste) and air bubbles from contaminating the product.

In short, a product forged by Wichard will provide:

  • Improved mechanical strength
  • Resistance to fatigue (repeated efforts) to avoid premature breakage
  • Enhanced corrosion resistance
  • Optimised part size