Compare Forging to Reinforced Plastics and Composites

Compare and contrast reinforced plastics and composites (RP/C) to forging – in terms of cost of materials, production rates, established documentation, service temperature range, and reliability of service performance.


Reinforced Plastics and Composites (RP/C)


Cost of materials: High costs are incurred with advanced composite materials like graphite, aramid, S-glass and less common matrix resins. A typical forging application uses materials that are readily available and comparatively inexpensive.
Production rates: New advanced-composite part designs may often require long lead times and substantial development costs. The forging process had high production rates that have yet  to be matched or achieved in reinforced plastics and composites.
 Established documentation: RP/C physical property data is scarce, and data from material suppliers lack consistency. Parts as advanced as aerospace components are well-established as forging applications, with well-documented physical, mechanical and performance data.
Service temperature range: RP/C service temperatures are limited, and effects of temperature are often complex. Forgings maintain their quality of performance over a wider temperature range.
Reliability of service performance: Deterioration and unpredictable service performance can result, requiring continuous reinforcing of RP/C fibers. Forging materials out-perform composites in almost all physical and mechanical property areas, especially in impact resistance and compression strength.

For more information on forgings compared to reinforced plastics and composites, visit the Forging Industry Association (FIA) website.