Earlier this month, we came across a story about a plan by NASA to send a nuclear-powered tunneling robot to explore the ocean beneath the icy surface of Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter.
There may be life in that ocean – or at least evidence that life once existed there – and NASA is hoping the tunnelbot can burrow into the ice – which may be as much as 18 miles thick – to look for clues, as Popular Mechanics reported December 17.
Whenever we see stories like this one, we think of the role that seamless rolled ring forging has played in the aerospace industry.
It’s an industry that leaves absolutely zero room for error, one where the need for precise tolerances and impeccable precision is a must.
Seamless rolled rings, forged rings and discs help power jet engines and helicopter rotor assemblies. Forged rings provide a greater strength than weldments, castings or flame-cut plate, making them the perfect fit for aerospace companies.
How does seamless rolled ring forging work?
Seamless rolled rings are produced with a machine known as a rolling mill, which creates rings of a wide variety of weights and diameters.
The process begins with a circular piece of metal which is perforated to make a doughnut-shaped part. This is our ring. Once the ring is formed, it’s heated until it reaches recrystallization temperature.
From there the ring is placed on an idler roll and moves towards a drive roll, rotating the ring and increasing its diameter and the wall thickness of the rolling rings.
Seamless rolled rings are made in a number of configurations, from small parts that resemble washers to tall cylindrical pieces.
In addition to its role in the aerospace industry, seamless rolled ring forging is also used in:
- Industrial applications
- The defense industry
- Power plants
- Oil refineries
- Wind turbines
What are the benefits of seamless rolled rings?
The advantages of working with rings that have been through the ring rolling process include:
- Greater strength – Seamless rolled rings can maintain their strength through high-temperature fluctuations.
- Reduced costs – The production cost for these rings is much lower than comparable products. There’s less machining involved, as the rings closely match the contour of the finished shape.
- Better performance under heat – Compared to other components, it’s easy to predict how rolled rings will react to heat. There’s a greater risk that other components will melt or deform when heat is applied.
- Broader range of materials – These rings can be made from any forgeable material – alloy, stainless steel, carbon, aerospace metals. This adaptability makes them a flexible and responsive choice for manufactures in industries like the ones we listed above.
If you want to know more about seamless rolled ring forging for your aerospace project, Specialty Ring Products can help.
For decades, some of the most well-known OEMs in the aerospace field have counted on Specialty Ring Products for precise, innovative manufacturing solutions. Contact us today to request a forging quote.