Simulating Hot Forging

Management Summary

Nowadays the simulation of hot die forging is an integral part of a modern CAE environment.

Simufact Forming combines easy and intuitive usability with a reliable prediction of forging processes. The simulation results are useful for advanced product and process development, for the continuous optimization of series processes, and feasibility studies during program bidding.

Simufact customers report sustainable savings and competitive advantages such as:

  • Reduced development costs through fewer development loops
  • Reduced trial costs (Production Part Approval Process ‘PPAP’ or Prototyping, pilot series)
  • Increase of new business due to shorter time-to-market performance (get faster ‘Start of Production’ (SOP))
  • Declining fixed costs through higher machine utilization
  • Lower quality control costs via higher process stability and quality
  • Lower manufacturing costs through improved material yield (reduction of forging flash and excess material)
  • Reduced manufacturing costs due to fewer process stages
  • Less scrap and lower rework costs
  • Lower tool cost through increased tool life
  • Reduced energy costs through better efficiencies of individual process steps
  • Prediction of component properties


Automotive Conrod: The simulation picture calculated by Simufact Forming and the real pictures is form the production halls of MAHLE GmbH.

Modeling of entire process chains

Simufact Forming enables modelling of entire process chains in hot forging beginning with the supplying of raw material (billets, slugs, blanks), an initial heat treatment/heating, upsetting, pre- and finish forming, trimming, shearing, punching, calibrating, cooling and final heat treatment.

What customers say

"Essentially, we could improve our entire process with regard to process stability, quality, increasing productivity and material savings with the help of simulation. Forming simulation for us stands for advancement, continuous development and cost savings."

Gerald Oppelt, Manager Production Technology, Uponor

Application of the module Hot Forging

Simulation of a wrench with Simufact Forming
Simulation of a wrench with Simufact Forming

The Simufact Forming Hot Forging application module principally serves the simulation of bulk forming operations with starting temperatures above the recrystallization temperature.

Hot die forging, as well as important side processes such as heating and cooling, separation processes and preforming operations (upsetting, bending) are available.

Other typical processes such as (hot) extrusion processes can be modeled with the hot forging module. In combination with the Rolling application module, reducer-rolling and cross wedge-rolling operations can also be simulated. In addition to an early knowledge of the metal flow and integral quantities such as press loads, energy- and work requirements, our customers also have access to our proven and powerful tool Die Load Analysis.

Intuitive templates for all common process types enable realistic virtual testing and optimization under conditions similar to those on the shop floor. The kinematics database includes user-friendly interfaces for commonly available metal forming machines. Once defined, all machine specifications can be saved to the database for later use.

The exclusive dual-solver technology of Simufact Forming (Finite Element and Finite-Volume Solver) gives the user a problem-oriented simulation solution, perfectly tailored to each task. The right selection of the optimal solver technology is supported through appropriate templates.

The level of detail in the simulation model is easily adjustable and ranges from a simple metal flow analysis to the analysis of microstructural evolution with respect to final part properties (Microstructure module); and with the help of the Die Load Analysis, module the study of complex tool systems. The elastic response of the whole machine accounting for stiffness, elasticity, and frame elongations is a standard simulation feature.

Simulation videos Hot Forging

Multi-directional forging:
Temperature development during the multi-directional forging of a brass component. Simulated with Simufact.forming Hot Forging.

Precision forging of a helical gear with cyclic symmetry:
Use of cyclic symmetry during the forging simulation of helical gears. Example from our Simufact.forming Demos & Examples

Connecting rod:
Temperature development during the forging of a connecting rod. Simulated with the Simufact.forming Hot Forging module

Process chain Manufacturing

Simufact Forming Hot Forging enables both two as well as three-dimensional simulations. Individual manufacturing stages along a process chain can automatically be coupled and ensure high throughput and utilization rates of the software.

Application spectrum for Simufact Forming Hot Forging

For the virtual development and optimization of complete manufacturing processes we recommend a combination with the Rolling, Die Analysis and Heat Treatment modules.



  • All hot die forging-operations (blocker, finisher)
  • Shearing operations (Cutting)
  • Heating and cooling
  • Upsetting / buster operations
  • Bending
  • Trimming
  • Punching
  • Extrusion


The material data base contains approximately 750 material data sets including relevant ferrous and non-ferrous materials and material families.

  • All typical hot-forgeable steel materials and alloys
  • Nickel- and titanium-based super alloys. 
  • Wrought aluminum alloys
  • Non-ferrous metals such as copper and the related alloy systems such as brass and bronze.

Furthermore, the user can import or define external material data via appropriate standard interfaces such as from JMatPro® (Sentesoft).

Metal forming machines

Predefined machine-templates are available for common and typical hot forging machines:

  • Stroke-controlled machines: wedge presses, eccentric presses, Scotch-Yoke-Presses
  • Energy-related machines: drop forging hammers (drop hammers, power-drop hammers), counter blow hammers, screw presses
  • Force controlled aggregates: hydraulic presses
  • Orbital forming presses

Furthermore, arbitrary motion sequences for several moving tools can be defined in table form. These can be time-, speed-, and stroke- or force-controlled. Real-time machine data can be imported as well if needed.

Boundary conditions

For the realistic portrayal of your hot forging processes, Simufact.forming can consider numerous boundary conditions for the specific degree of detail of an investigated manufacturing stage:

  • Homogenous and inhomogeneous heating conditions including thermal expansion of the workpiece through the simulation of the preheating and cooling phases 
  • Consideration of lubrication conditions and surface quality of forming tools via scalable friction models
  • Temperature dependency of the most relevant physical boundary conditions for more precise calculations
  • Consideration of elastic spring back and tilting effects of metal forming machines
  • Fully coupled simulation with elastic-plastically deformable tools

Optimization targets

Reach your optimization targets with Simufact.forming Hot Forging

  • Correct prediction of force-, work-, and energy demands
  • Determine the optimal stage sequence for your conditions
  • Perform automatic sensitivity studies of all process stages 
  • Determine the optimal process window with minimized material input, while ensuring a robust manufacturing process
  • Identify potential manufacturing errors
  • Maximize of tool life
  • Verify specifications which cannot be measured online in the real processes
  • Predict the process dependent microstructure (additional option - see Microstructure MatILDa module)


Additional option: see Die Analysis module

Correct prediction of a tool crack – in alignment with the real tool (right)
Correct prediction of a tool crack – in alignment with the real tool (right)

What customers say

"With approximately 50-60 new projects a year, we save one to two design and try-out loops per project. Without going into specific numbers, it can be estimated that up to five-digit sums arise for each variant."

Volker Berghold, Head of the design department, Schmiedag

Functional Highlights

Utilize the functional advantages of Simufact Forming Hot Forging


  • Fast and accurate simulations through the Dual-Solver-Strategy
  • Reliable and precise fold detection with the Finite Volume Solver while maintaining high calculation speed
  • Robust, fast and unique definitions of machine elasticity (such as press stiffness)
  • Continuous application of elastic-plastic and thermal-mechanical coupling in the material model 
  • Modeling of microstructural effects (grain size, recrystallization) and phase conversions (additional option - see Microstructure MatILDa Module)
  • Easy usability with templates and databases made for engineers in production areas
  • Precise modeling of tribology using innovative friction models
  • "Automatic mode" for physical phenomena such as friction, heat transfer and radiation.
  • Process modeling can be adjusted with regard to number of tools, number of degrees of freedom and arbitrary complex boundary conditions
  • Fast simulation of axisymmetric 2D-preforming
  • Easy transfer to subsequent 3D calculations (manually or fully automatic)
  • Automatic linking of all process steps including the transformation from 2D- to 3D-geometries
  • Fast 3D simulations thanks to parallel computing with multi-processor workstations and cluster systems in combination with intelligent and adaptive meshing strategies 
  • Simulation of entire process chain accounts for manufacturing history
  • „Academic mode“: GUI-supported interface for the integration of individual subroutines including the definition of new node and element variables 
  • Highly flexible table control for the free definition of kinematics with six translational and rotational degrees of freedom, as well as stroke-, speed- or force-controlled motion sequences
  • Easy definition and integration of machine elasticity

Maxi press: 1.600 t, Forging of a balance shaft, nominal flash thickness: 2.2 mm (measured: 2.05 … 2.25 mm), measured press force appr. 1.550 to 1.700 t

Green: with consideration of press elasticity, flash thickness (and effective stroke) are a result of the simulation: 2.16 mm

Red: "rigid" press, press force = 2.370 t, flash thickness = 2.2 mm (accordingly to the nominal stroke)

References Hot Forging

A large number of users, including leading machine manufacturers, trust in simulation technology from Simufact. Among the users of Simufact Forming Hot Forging are:


SMS Meer

Read the Case Study Schmiedag:




Read the Case Study Uponor:


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