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Forgemasters to cast world's biggest counterblow hammer

30 November 2007

Complex components for the largest counterblow hammer in the world, weighing a staggering 400 tonnes, will be produced in Sheffield.

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) has confirmed a £2.5m casting contract for steel rams on the unique hammer with German company Müller Weingarten, which specialises in high power presses for the automotive industry.

SFIL will produce two castings for the hammer, to be used by a big Italian manufacturer of forged parts. The first casting will be a 4.65 metre upper ram weighing 194 tonnes, while the second will be a 3.7 metre lower ram weighing 205.8 tonnes. 

Roger Richardson, foundry operations director at SFIL, said: "Müller Weingarten has been a customer for many years and we have developed smaller counter blow hammers and other large castings for them in the past, but this project is truly unique."

The capabilities of the hammer are set to be unmatched in the forging industry, and will be used for closed die forging of mass produced steel goods. 

Added Roger: "Despite the hammer's extraordinary weight and size, the design will mean a significant reduction in vibrations and noise.

"These complex castings will call on all the expertise of our highly skilled workforce and require a team of very dedicated staff." 

A counterblow hammer is a steel forging hammer which uses opposing upper and lower hydraulic rams that are driven towards each other with an equal force to press metal into a closed die.  

Andreas Gfrörer, General Manager Purchasing at Müller Weingarten: "In order to carry out an ambitious project like this it is essential to work together with highly experienced and reliable suppliers. We enjoy an excellent and long-term partnership with SFIL." 

Once completed, the hammer will operate at a working energy of 1400 kJ, which is 150 kJ more than the three current biggest counter-blow hammers in the world located in America. This working energy is equivalent to a press force of 49,500 tonnes.