Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) has won a £2.5m contract with German company Müller Weingarten to make components for the world’s largest counterblow hammer.
SFIL will produce two castings for the 400 tonne hammer, to be used by a major Italian manufacturer of forged parts. The first casting will be a 4.65m upper ram weighing 194 tonnes, while the second will be a 3.7m 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 hammer will be used for closed die forging of mass produced steel goods.
‘Despite the hammer’s extraordinary weight and size, the design will mean a significant reduction in vibrations and noise,’ said Richardson.
‘The final assembly of the giant hammer will take place in summer 2008, with various parts being shipped from across the world, and should make for a very impressive sight.’
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.
Once completed, the hammer will operate at a working energy of 1,400kJ, which is 150kJ more than the three current biggest counter-blow hammers in the world located in the US. This working energy is equivalent to a press force of 49,500 tonnes.