Objectives and content
Thixoforging is carried out in the melting-interval of
the material, where a defined fraction of globular solid
particles are surrounded by the liquid phase. Therefore
it can be classified between casting and massive metal
forming. Since a thixotropic material behaves like a
viscous liquid, the process enables the manufacture of
complex shaped parts with very small forming forces.
Current works mainly focus on the processing of light
metals, like aluminium alloys, and have lead to the
manufacture of application parts.
Due to the superior technical properties of steels,
thixoforging of these materials is of high economical
interest and will create new markets: thixoforged steels
can resubstitute light metals in light weight
constructions, since the steel-parts will have equal
complex shapes, however superior strength properties and
therefore can be designed smaller in dimension.
Furthermore, thixoforged parts can be manufactured in one
forming operation at very low forming forces. Classical
fundamental process-limitations of forging, like "forming in multiple steps," high number and costs for the forging tools, "high material and energy consumption during the process can be avoided.
Until today, no data either for the processing for thixoforging of steels nor for requirements for the
involved machines of the process-chain exist and
therefore prevent the realisation of industrial
applications. In this project, data will be developed
How globular microstructure is achieved for an
industrial relevant steel-alloy for mass production
How the requirements for handling, heating and forging
can be determined
How conventional equipment (inductive heating and
hydraulic press) can be retrofitted for the purpose of
What tool material has to be used and
What process parameters are needed for the forgingoperation and how they can be monitored.
The results of this project will help to introduce this
innovative technology to the European steel
manufacturing- and forming industry and their suppliers
and to strengthen the competitiveness of Europe. In long
term the results make the production of steel-parts of
different alloys and geometries possible for European
steel-manufacturing and forming companies.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
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