Property-Controlled Multi-Stage Hot Sheet Metal Forming

Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project: 424334660 (SPP2183)
Contact: Juri Martschin M. Sc.

To enable a robust and versatile production, a method for the manufacturing of complex sheet metal components using a controlled, multi-stage, heatassisted forming process is being developed in this project.

In the closed-loop demonstrator process (see Figure a) a sheet metal blank is first rapidly heated and then formed and quenched in three stages in a progressive die. Finally, essential product properties are measured and fed back to the process control. The press hardening steel X46Cr13 is used to carry out a heat treatment during the forming process. The setting of the product properties – such as the hardness – takes place within the process control by adjusting the heating parameters as well as the number of strokes per minute and ram curve of the press. Quenching tests are carried out to determine the sensitivity of the selected material to the heating parameters (see Figure b). Hardness measurements show that the product hardness can be set by varying the austenitizing temperature Tγ.

a) Demonstration process in the progressive die, b) Quenching test and hardness results