In what state are metals best forged? What metal is better to use in forging
In what state are metals best forged? What metal is better to use in forging

Forging metal involves the process of technological processing of metal blanks to give them the desired appearance in the course of changing their size and shape. Those products that are obtained during processing are called forgings. At the same time, in order to get a high-quality semi-finished product, you need to know in what state the metals are best forged, what material is most suitable in a particular case, etc.

What is the best condition for metals to be forged?

Among the base metals best suited for forging are noble metals, cast iron, lead, steel, copper and bronze. But often only three main ones are used. A forge is a workshop in which material is processed by forging. It should be noted that in the modern world, due to the relatively low level of productivity of manual labor, production is increasingly switching to factory (conveyor) production. Now, instead of workshops, there are more and more blacksmith shops equipped with hydraulic hammers. As for manual work, now it is resorted to only for the manufacture of piece products orartistic forging.


Blacksmithing can definitely be called the second of the list of ancient crafts. After mankind discovered the undeniable advantage of iron products over stone ones, the active development of blacksmithing immediately began. From time immemorial, forges were often on the outskirts of any settlement due to the fact that this is a place of increased fire hazard. In ancient times, an obligatory attribute of such a workshop was bellows and a forge (brazier), which was designed to bring the metal to the required temperature. Wood or coal was used for fuel. The main tools used were: chisels, anvil, hammer, pincers, file, nailer and emery stone.

what metal is better to use in forging

Blacksmiths in Russia

As for Russia, practically until the 19th century, metal forging technology was unchanged, and this despite the fact that blacksmiths of that time were at such a high level that they could even make watches without problems, not to mention knives and so on. A special place was occupied by the production of all kinds of locks with various secret mechanisms, while the craftsmen knew which metal was better to use in forging.

Blacksmith Requirements

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, not everyone can become a true master of blacksmithing. It is not enough to know in what state metals are best for forging, what tool should be used for this. A blacksmith must have remarkable strength, have a strong physical and mentalhe alth, be neat, have a good imagination.

metal forging blacksmithing

Types of forging

Depending on whether forging is performed with or without high temperature, this process can be divided into two types - cold and hot.

As for the latter, in this case it is understood that the metal used for forging will be brought to the required state directly in the furnace. Needless to say, each material has its own temperature, depending on its individual chemical and physical properties.

Cold forging, according to its name, does not involve heating, and processing takes place using special equipment. By the way, if the material requires stamping, then in this case it is placed in special stamping equipment, which limits its size to the required one, after which, under pressure, the metal takes the form of a cavity in which it was placed. This procedure is often used only in mass, batch production.

artistic forging used metals

Classification by processing method

Classification of forging is carried out depending on the method of metal processing: crimping, welding and ordinary. The latter, in turn, involves compacting the material and giving it the necessary shape. During welding, packages are spliced, which consist of separate parts that have been heated to the required temperature. As for crimping crits, with this method,compaction followed by welding of particles with the release of slag directly from the crack (an iron mass that looks like dough).

Forging can be manual and automatic. The first is determined by a series of successive operations using a hammer, sledgehammer and other tools. Initially, the workpiece is upset, drawn, pierced, cut, bent, welded and finished.

In the case of automatic forging, all the same operations are performed, only special equipment is used instead of manual labor.

forging metals

Forging Metals

In blacksmithing, masters sometimes have to deal with different metals and their alloys. Blanks of the same size may require different temperatures, and hence different amounts of fuel.

What is the thermal conductivity of metal? This is the heating rate of the workpiece relative to its cross section. The following conclusion can be drawn: the lower its thermal conductivity, the higher the risk of cracks. Thus, thermal conductivity is directly related to fuel consumption.

The so-called "ductile" metals are used directly for blacksmithing, in other words, ductile alloys, for example, iron with carbon, based on the amount of its content, are distinguished: high-carbon (0.6-2%), medium (0. 25-0.6%), low carbon (up to 0.25%).


As for its structure, steel is like a granular-crystalline body, which is a kind of grain. Due to its properties, it is an ideal material forblacksmith. In the event that the carbon content does not exceed 0.1%, the steel turns out to be quite soft and easy to weld without additional hardening, in practice it is simply called iron.

If the carbon content is kept in the region of 0.1-0.3%, then such material meets all the requirements, and is suitable where artistic forging is needed. The metals used in this case may be different, only impurities in them should be no more than 1%. They are also called ornamental.

metal used for forging

Carbon steel

That steel, which contains no more than 1.7% carbon, is called carbon steel and, despite the fact that this material is quite difficult for manual forging, it is perfect for automatic forging.

As for GOST 380-71, steel for artistic forging is marked from 0 to 8. The material is designated as follows: St0 or St1, etc. This number, which comes after the letters, indicates the percentage of carbon in hundredths. When answering the question “in what state are metals best forged”, it must be understood that the closer the indicator is to zero, the softer the material. For example, St10 contains 0.10% carbon. Next, a table will be presented where it is clearly seen in which state the metals are best for forging, more precisely, the temperature of the beginning and end of this procedure.

Steel grade

T°C forging

Steel grade

T°C forging








U7, U8










U10, U12



Thus, any specialist can quickly calculate the required temperature in relation to a particular material, and, accordingly, the required amount of fuel for kindling and a suitable metal for forging. Blacksmithing is a fairly accurate process, despite the outward rudeness of blacksmiths. In the modern world, this is akin to art, and it is becoming more and more difficult to find a truly good master every year.

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