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Forged 8620 = Form Forged (Cast & Pressed)?


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#1 Nessism

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:36 AM

Adam's, Ping, Wilson, & others, sell what they say are "forged" irons made from 8620 steel.  Are these club heads conventionally forged with a series of progressive dies, or are they cast then pressed, sometimes denoted as "form forged"?  I have nothing against form forged clubs per say, but it seems to me calling them "forged" is a little disingenuous.  I know that any time you see a club made from a steel grade such as 1018, 1020, 1025, 1030, etc, then we are talking about a conventionally forged club.  What I don't know is if 8620 can be forged in the same way.


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#2 TomWishon

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:24 PM

View PostNessism, on 08 January 2013 - 11:36 AM, said:

Adam's, Ping, Wilson, & others, sell what they say are "forged" irons made from 8620 steel.  Are these club heads conventionally forged with a series of progressive dies, or are they cast then pressed, sometimes denoted as "form forged"?  I have nothing against form forged clubs per say, but it seems to me calling them "forged" is a little disingenuous.  I know that any time you see a club made from a steel grade such as 1018, 1020, 1025, 1030, etc, then we are talking about a conventionally forged club.  What I don't know is if 8620 can be forged in the same way.

As the saying in the forging industry goes, "if you have a big enough hammer, you can forge any metal."

The main reason that forged irons have chiefly been made from the 10 series carbon steels is because these alloys are softer and lower in strength, thus requiring less robust forging dies and less pressure from the forging press.  They're easier to make in other words.

On the other hand, you can forge any alloy of titanium from soft CP grade all the way up to 6/4 and the beta grades, if you want to do so.  For the much harder/stronger alloys, you just need much tougher forging dies to better resist die wear over thousands of hits and you just need to dial up the force in the forging press to pound the higher strength/harder alloy into the shape dictated by the die.

Last year I did a true forged 6/4 titanium driver model because some of the design elements of this particular driver head's construction required the additional toughness that true forging offers over plate formed or cast heads.  Yes it cost more in every facet from die making to production cost, but in this one driver head's case, it could not have been done successfully in any other way than by a true forging process.

My point in telling you this is only to say that if you are going to do a more costly forging of a harder/stronger material, the design need has to justify why you are forging it instead of casting or plate forming it.

8620 has always been the carbon steel of choice in the golf industry for CASTING carbon steel iron and wedge heads.  Carbon steels in general are notoriously bad for casting because when you melt it to pour, upon cooling and solidification all sorts of little nasty pinholes come out on the surface.  Reject heads in other words.  8620 just happens to have a composition that upon melting and cooling, it does not end up with nearly as many pinholes.  Hence to golf companies, 8620 has offered a way to produce clubheads about which you can say they are a soft carbon steel, but keep your production costs far lower than a forging because it can be cast.

I do by the way agree with you that this matter of form forging is sort of pulling the wool over golfers' eyes - it is chiefly done to make golfers think that they are getting the same thing as a carbon steel forging but for less money.  In no way does the post-cast pressing operation of form forging orient the grain structure of the carbon steel into the isotropic condition that true forging produces.

So the question is, why would these companies be shifting from the 10 series to forge the heads from 8620?  8620 is only a tad higher in hardness and strength than are the typical 1025, 1035 carbon steels everyone else uses in their forgings.  Cost is very similar too.  So there's really no difference that could be translated into saying there's a "performance" or "feel" difference.

Which leaves pretty much only one other reason to use 8620 to forge an iron head over the 10 series carbon steels. . . . because it is different and sounds different to golfers who place importance on what alloy their forged heads are made from out of the thought that a different alloy might be "better" in some way.  More marketing related in other words from my experience in clubhead design and production.

TOM

#3 ladahl

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:43 PM

Really good info, Thanks Tom.
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#4 Nessism

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

View PostTomWishon, on 08 January 2013 - 12:24 PM, said:

Which leaves pretty much only one other reason to use 8620 to forge an iron head over the 10 series carbon steels. . . . because it is different and sounds different to golfers who place importance on what alloy their forged heads are made from out of the thought that a different alloy might be "better" in some way.  More marketing related in other words from my experience in clubhead design and production.

TOM


Thanks for the detailed response Tom.

So in your experience there ARE companies producing true forged club heads using 8620?

Also, is this forged 6/4 driver something we can expect to see in your 2013 catalog?;)

#5 TomWishon

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

View PostNessism, on 08 January 2013 - 01:11 PM, said:



So in your experience there ARE companies producing true forged club heads using 8620?

Also, is this forged 6/4 driver something we can expect to see in your 2013 catalog? ;)

I have no idea if these companies are producing forged heads from 8620.  I simply wanted to share a little of what I know about forging to help with a little more info.   I don't dig into what any other company does in their head production and they've never made it a policy to tell me what they're doing either !   :busted_cop:  Ha!!

The true forged Ti driver is the 739CCG.  We intro'd it in 2012.  It's was designed as a specialty driver for different, specific fitting needs and not intended whatsoever to displace the 919THI.  Won't say anything more than that because I do not wish to do a "shameless commercial plug" on the forums for anything I design !!

TOM


#6 SheriffBooth

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:32 PM

Ping is truly forging their Anser irons from blocks of 8620.  I'm not sure about other manufacturers.
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#7 seasterl

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:53 PM

Cleveland told me they used to cast their older TA3 (and TA1) series and then hit once with the press.  I bought them only because it's easier for my club builder to make necessary lie angle adjustments (which he did). BTW, all of my cast 8620 wedges were also easily bent for lie angle, and that's something that can't be taken for granted, IMO.  My race truck had forged parts for strength, but my forged golf gear is such not for feel, but adjustability.

Thanks, Tom, for your insightful comments!

#8 7-1

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:11 PM

View PostTomWishon, on 08 January 2013 - 12:24 PM, said:

View PostNessism, on 08 January 2013 - 11:36 AM, said:

Adam's, Ping, Wilson, & others, sell what they say are "forged" irons made from 8620 steel.  Are these club heads conventionally forged with a series of progressive dies, or are they cast then pressed, sometimes denoted as "form forged"?  I have nothing against form forged clubs per say, but it seems to me calling them "forged" is a little disingenuous.  I know that any time you see a club made from a steel grade such as 1018, 1020, 1025, 1030, etc, then we are talking about a conventionally forged club.  What I don't know is if 8620 can be forged in the same way.

As the saying in the forging industry goes, "if you have a big enough hammer, you can forge any metal."

The main reason that forged irons have chiefly been made from the 10 series carbon steels is because these alloys are softer and lower in strength, thus requiring less robust forging dies and less pressure from the forging press.  They're easier to make in other words.

On the other hand, you can forge any alloy of titanium from soft CP grade all the way up to 6/4 and the beta grades, if you want to do so.  For the much harder/stronger alloys, you just need much tougher forging dies to better resist die wear over thousands of hits and you just need to dial up the force in the forging press to pound the higher strength/harder alloy into the shape dictated by the die.

Last year I did a true forged 6/4 titanium driver model because some of the design elements of this particular driver head's construction required the additional toughness that true forging offers over plate formed or cast heads.  Yes it cost more in every facet from die making to production cost, but in this one driver head's case, it could not have been done successfully in any other way than by a true forging process.

My point in telling you this is only to say that if you are going to do a more costly forging of a harder/stronger material, the design need has to justify why you are forging it instead of casting or plate forming it.

8620 has always been the carbon steel of choice in the golf industry for CASTING carbon steel iron and wedge heads.  Carbon steels in general are notoriously bad for casting because when you melt it to pour, upon cooling and solidification all sorts of little nasty pinholes come out on the surface.  Reject heads in other words.  8620 just happens to have a composition that upon melting and cooling, it does not end up with nearly as many pinholes.  Hence to golf companies, 8620 has offered a way to produce clubheads about which you can say they are a soft carbon steel, but keep your production costs far lower than a forging because it can be cast.

I do by the way agree with you that this matter of form forging is sort of pulling the wool over golfers' eyes - it is chiefly done to make golfers think that they are getting the same thing as a carbon steel forging but for less money.  In no way does the post-cast pressing operation of form forging orient the grain structure of the carbon steel into the isotropic condition that true forging produces.

So the question is, why would these companies be shifting from the 10 series to forge the heads from 8620?  8620 is only a tad higher in hardness and strength than are the typical 1025, 1035 carbon steels everyone else uses in their forgings.  Cost is very similar too.  So there's really no difference that could be translated into saying there's a "performance" or "feel" difference.

Which leaves pretty much only one other reason to use 8620 to forge an iron head over the 10 series carbon steels. . . . because it is different and sounds different to golfers who place importance on what alloy their forged heads are made from out of the thought that a different alloy might be "better" in some way.  More marketing related in other words from my experience in clubhead design and production.

TOM
Hi Tom...question for you...I play my irons from a 42 inch 2 iron all the way to ow...looking to get into a stiffer shaft for irons...any ideas that would help ...play lbs 90 right now in stiff...but looking to lower ball flight a bit...I have 660 right now and looking to get into a set of mp 69...not sure if the taper tip shafts would be long enough...thanks ...7-1

#9 TomWishon

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

View Post7-1, on 08 January 2013 - 09:11 PM, said:

Hi Tom...question for you...I play my irons from a 42 inch 2 iron all the way to ow...looking to get into a stiffer shaft for irons...any ideas that would help ...play lbs 90 right now in stiff...but looking to lower ball flight a bit...I have 660 right now and looking to get into a set of mp 69...not sure if the taper tip shafts would be long enough...thanks ...7-1

I'm not sure I understood all of what you said.  I'm not sure if you are saying all your irons are 42" in length or they start at 42" for the 2iron and then drop in the usual half inch increments per club.  I'll assume you are talking the latter and not the former.

Of all the iron shafts in our stiffness measurement data base, the stiffest of all is the True Temper Dynamic Gold X300.   It may very well be that the Project X 7.0 is stiffer, but we do not yet have that one flex of the PX shafts in our measurement data base.

Unfortunately, the raw uncut length of the DG-X3 is 41" and the raw length of the PX 7.0 is 41.5".  If you put these shafts into your irons with no tip trimming, the measured length will be around 42 1/2" at the most, because of the distance from the bottom of the shafting bore in the head to the ground.  For playing length measurement you add the length of the shaft itself to the distance from the bottom of the bore to the ground.

So what that means is you can't tip trim much more off the shaft to make the shafts stiffer than normal and achieve your 42" playing length - unless you were to use an extender in the butt.

If you are in fact using the KBS 90 (your post said lbs 90 but I assumed you meant KBS), then I can tell you that the KBS 90 is quite flexible compared to the DG X3 and PX 7.0.   So if your problem is that you sense the KBS 90s are too flexible, yes for sure they will be very flexible when built to a 42" playing length.  

TOM

#10 7-1

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

Hi Tom....thanks for response....yes my 2 iron starts at 42 inches and does drop by @1/2 thru the set....I am very tall and back issues...hence the longer shafts...kbs 90 are what I have in club's right now....I am very interested in trying the x300'....where could I get them and would you suggest a taper tip or straight hosel iron...really considering mizuno irons...I am a 2 handicap...so playing them won't be issue.....just tough to really get a good fitting being so tall...no one has shafts to try....thanks very much....jim


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#11 Arafel

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:55 PM

View Post7-1, on 09 January 2013 - 07:17 PM, said:

Hi Tom....thanks for response....yes my 2 iron starts at 42 inches and does drop by @1/2 thru the set....I am very tall and back issues...hence the longer shafts...kbs 90 are what I have in club's right now....I am very interested in trying the x300'....where could I get them and would you suggest a taper tip or straight hosel iron...really considering mizuno irons...I am a 2 handicap...so playing them won't be issue.....just tough to really get a good fitting being so tall...no one has shafts to try....thanks very much....jim

What does all of this have to do with form forging 8620?  It sounds like you need to start a new topic in the club makers forum.

#12 7-1

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:18 AM

Hi thanks ..I was taking advantage of the opportunity to speak to Tom....next time I will be more careful as to where I ask my questions

#13 Myherobobhope

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:31 AM

http://wishongolf.co...rivers/739-ccg/

To save others the time of googling... I'm willing to shamelessly market for Tom.

#14 Nessism

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:40 AM

View PostSheriffBooth, on 08 January 2013 - 01:32 PM, said:

Ping is truly forging their Anser irons from blocks of 8620.  I'm not sure about other manufacturers.

Okay, that's good to know.  Ping doesn't seem like the kind of company to try to fool people.

What about Adams "forged" 8620 clubs?  The cavity on some of their clubs, like the CB3, looks really deep and smooth.  Maybe too smooth to have been formed through forging.  Sorry, but guess I'm suspicious or those marketing department people some times.

Edited by Nessism, 10 January 2013 - 08:41 AM.


#15 Myherobobhope

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:53 AM

View PostTomWishon, on 08 January 2013 - 12:24 PM, said:

In no way does the post-cast pressing operation of form forging orient the grain structure of the carbon steel into the isotropic condition that true forging produces.
TOM

Tom, what value does orienting the grain structure offer for golf clubs?

It seems like you used forging to create a thinner face without compromising strength... but does it "add value" to golf clubs in terms of performance or is it simply a feel issue?


#16 TomWishon

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:21 AM

View PostMyherobobhope, on 10 January 2013 - 08:53 AM, said:


It seems like you used forging to create a thinner face without compromising strength... but does it "add value" to golf clubs in terms of performance or is it simply a feel issue?

The value of an isotropic grain structure is limited at best in the construction of a clubhead.  With this Ti driver, one goal of the design was to make a 460cc head that only weighed 188 grams to allow for a wider range of options for clubmakers in fitting abd uilding the club to different lengths and different total weights and different swingweights.

To do that meant we had to reduce the wall thickness of the body of the head to lower the weight.  Normal body wall thickness for the crown + sides + sole of a modern Ti driver is 1.0mm.  To get the weight down lower, we had to go down to 0.7mm in lots of the areas of the body.  That makes the body weaker.  So to get the body walls thin, but still durable enough, this is where the isotropic grain structure of a true forging allows these thinner walls to be tougher and thus retain enough durability than if you tried to either cast the walls that thin or used pre formed plate material to do it.

So in terms of performance, no, the forging process for this driver design doesn't really affect that.  It just was the only way I could feel comfortable about making a large head size at a very light weight while not worrying about durability issues.

From the standpoint of irons, there is some debate about the value of a uniform grain structure from forging.  Obviously an iron head has no durability issues.  All the body sections of a typical iron are so thick there is no way even a gorilla could exceed the durability that naturally comes along with a thick section clubhead such as an iron.

One side of the issue says that with an isotropic grain structure, a forging then can offer a softer feel to the golfer upon impact.  Others pooh pooh this and say that this is such an "esoteric" or "subjective" situation that the impact feel of a clubhead is as much or more affected by the ball construction or the shaft's stiffness design or even the texture of the grip that the grain structure of the head cannot be isolated away from these to be proven as the reason for the perception of a softer feel at impact.

From all my experience in forging irons over many years, I do believe that there is an impact feel between a poorly forged iron and one that is forged to a better grain condition.  If you do not heat the bar to the right temp and if you do not pound it with the right pressure, you do leave all sorts of microscopic "holes" inside the metal and the gain is not really isotropic.  It is possible that this can affect the way the vibrations of impact are transmitted from the head, up the shaft to the golfer.  But none of the more widely used forging factories make poor quality forgings, so the differences in how the grain structure ends up in the heads made by these companies is detectible in close in lab analysis, but questionable as to whether there is any real difference when the heads hit a ball.

Weight distribution of the clubhead has more to do with how impact feels than does the grain structure, at least in my opinion formed from designing and testing many forged irons.

Now what really precise, super grain oriented forging will do in a clubhead is to allow the consistency of the shape and weight of the raw forging to be within a tighter tolerance.  And that IS very important when it comes to the production quality of the head for achieving consistent headweight and allowing the post forging machining procedures to be more consistent.

TOM




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