The benefits of the novel Near Solidus Forming (NSF) process has shown previously in its ability to produce steel components with comparable as-forged mechanical properties but with a cost reduction of 10-15%. This study further pushes the NSF technology to produce parts that are conventionally difficult to produce via conventional methods. A 2.7 kg 42CrMo4 steel grade component was manufactured into a complex geometry using only a 400t press. Different manufacturing parameters were evaluated to show their influence on the process and final component. A combination of X-ray fluorescence (XRF), optical microscopy and SEM analysis of the microstructure was also conducted revealing the deformation pattern of the material and shedding some light on how the material evolves during the process. The successful forging of these components shows the capability to produce previously deemed difficult geometries, with much a lower specification forging press, in a single deformation.
Keywords: Near Solidus Forming; complex geometries; metal forming; steel.