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Sheet metal forming testing hub

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FormPlanet (Sheet metal forming testing hub)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2020-05-01 do 2021-12-31

Sheet metal forming sector generated over 440 million euros in Europe in 2016, and it is one of the most important manufacturing processes for obtaining high-performance metal parts for industrial production sectors such as transport, machinery, household appliances, cosmetics, energy and chemical products, among others. The global sheet metal fabrication market is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 1.4% between 2017 and 2025. Automotive and aerospace industry are driving such grow in EU pushed by the constant demand on materials and parts for light weighting in the new technology trends such as the electrical vehicles.
FormPlanet addresses processability and quality problems in this sheet metal manufacturing sector. There is a continuous demand from end-users for high strength and high-performance parts manufactured with high strength sheet materials. However, the use of new high strength sheet materials is limited by their processing sensitiveness bringing to productivity losses due to crack defects, limited formability and inaccurate part quality assessment, which cannot be predicted in the product design stage using traditional experimental or computational approaches. Crack-related and reduced formability are still unsolved issues in the sector, which hampers the use of high strength sheet materials and the development of high-performance parts at reduced costs.
There is a need in this sector for accurate materials characterization and new modelling approached to assess sheet formability and part performance of new high strength sheet materials that permit to predict and solve unexpected defects (sheet cracking, stretching, thinning, etc.).
In this context, the aim of FormPlanet is to tackle the upcoming challenges in formability and part quality assessment by developing and demonstrating a user-driven integrated ecosystem (Open Innovation Test Bed) offering unique and advanced testing methodologies to characterize sheet materials properties, predict part performance and prevent production loses when processing high performance and high strength sheet parts and materials.
This approach will boost a wide usage of high strength sheet materials for high- added value sheet products while reducing production costs and time-to-market in different industrials end-use sectors. FormPlanet’s responses to the challenges of the sector will have a positive impact on local labour, whose technical capacities will expand; it will increase customer satisfaction as a result of benefiting from improved levels of quality; it will stimulate economic growth and innovation; and it will contribute to position the European Union as a manufacturing leader in the sheet metal forming industry.
To have an impact on productivity of the EU sheet metal forming industry, FormPlanet has developed new techniques for the characterization of sheet material properties and new modelling approaches to predict the formation of defects in an early stage of design and to predict the performance of parts and prevent production loses. Moreover, non-destructive techniques have been developed to in-line assess part integrity in high quality products made with processing sensitive materials. Tests can be also used to control raw material properties, in-line or off-line, and adjust the process window to the actual sheet properties.
Several industrial demonstrators from different sectors (automotive, packaging and home appliances) and metallic alloys have been performed to prove the potential, effectiveness and reliability of advanced testing methodologies developed under the framework of FormPlanet project, aiming at solving relevant industrial problems in sheet metal forming such as edge-cracking, hydrogen diffusion, delayed fracture, ductility or part performance.
Eight companies in the sheet forming industry have participated in the project as validators. Different tests and simulations have been performed by Test Bed sites with the goal to help industrial companies to optimise the production of AHHS, Al-alloys, multi-layer sheets metals and cold rolled steels, as well as predict part and component formability and in-service behaviour.
FormPlanet tests have contributed to improve the manufacturing process of complex parts with high-strength sheet metals for lightweighting solutions and high-performance requirements.
During the project, a solid and sustainable user-driven European Open Innovation Test Bed ecosystem build as set of research entities, has been developed and tested to offer unique and advanced testing methodologies using a common access to physical facilities, capabilities and services for the development, testing and upscaling of new materials and parts.
The basis for the creation of this new Open innovation Tes Bed entity was setting up, together with the definition of the vision and mission of the new entity, the service portfolio, the legal form, the business model, the governance and operational procedures. These procedures have been validated through the FormPlanet Open Call that was launched during the third year of the project, offering up to 140,000 euros in services to SME’s and companies.
Seven European SME’s and companies in the sheet metal forming industry have been selected to receive free services to better characterize sheet metal properties and predict the formation of defects in an early stage of design, forecast part performance and prevent production losses.
The case-study demonstrators with the industrial partners of the project and the awarded companies of the Open Call have permited to prove the benefits of the services developed in the project. To measure the positive impact of the services developed on industry operations, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) were defined and measured with the industrial partners. The KPIs have shown relevant gains in terms of cost and time reduction and positive environmental impact regarding a reduction of the rejected parts.
To maximize the impact of the FormPlanet action, an exploitation and dissemination strategy has been developed. Six scientific publications were published and 4 publications are under review. 7 technical articles have been published in specialised media outlets. Project’s partners have participated in 9 industrial and scientific specialised congresses and other relevant events to present publicly the project. All these actions were used to make FormPlanet visible to the industry, scientific community and broader public. FormPlanet partners have also organised 12 workshops to present the Open Call and show FormPlanet results. Cooperation and synergies have been established with European-wide communities and other Test Beds (participation in 7 events with other Test Beds projects) to increase the reach of the project to industrial and academic stakeholders (EMMC, EMCC, EPPN, A.SPIRE & EEN).
FormPlanet project has published two CEN workshops agreements (CWAs) with the objective to standardise two novel testing methodologies related to the determination of the essential work fracture of thin ductile metallic sheets (CWA 17793:2021) and the measurement of diffusible hydrogen in metallic materials (CWA 17794:2021).
To fulfil the need for high-quality data the 'off-the-shelf' GRANTA MI Data Management Software has been used for robust storage and traceability of all the information generated in the project.