Innovative tool for wear and friction studies
Lightweight constructions offer significant benefits including reduction in the usage of raw materials, energy consumption and emissions during the entire production cycle. Ultra-light metal parts are widely used, not only by the automotive industry, but by other sectors as well such as steel, electronics, electrical, control and equipment suppliers. Aided by intelligent pulsating blankholder technology, the INT_PLUS_FORM project focused on cost-effective and ecological sustainable light weight sheet metal forming. The novel technology is fully process controlled and enables the formation process for thin high-tensile steel or aluminium alloy blanks. One of the key project results involved the development of a novel testing apparatus for friction studies. The pulsating contact tribometer enables the conduct of pulsating friction tests through simulation of the sliding contact between sheet and tool. The model provides a description of the relationships between the friction forces on the sheet surface. The main innovation relies on the incorporation of close-loop controlled hydraulic pulsating normal force in an existing tribometer, - the slider-on-sheet tribometer. Additionally, the innovative apparatus allows pulsating contact friction measurements for sheet metal forming. The tribometer can find useful applications in wear and friction research for the selection and development of tribo-systems for pulsating blankholder processes. The apparatus can also be used for modelling the friction in pulsating blankholder simulations. Potential users are developers of a deep drawing process that requires sophisticated blankholder control for the manufacture of automotive parts, household and consumer goods. Furthermore, the pulsating contact tribometer can be also employed by lubricant and coatings manufacturers.