ACHESON has developed a new dry material consisting of Zinc/Iron encapsulated Iron particles (called BLASTDAG), which by means of a mechanical treatment (blasting) can create a Zinc/Iron layer on the unforged steel. In cooperation with DARMSTADT UNIVERSITY who carried out analytical investigations the performance of the lubrication of the BLASTDAG coating was optimised. Combinations of BLASTDAG with top coatings have been tested at Hirschvogel, Sidenor, Ascometal and Nedschroef on various types of cold forging operations including the production of gear shafts, spring valve retainers, constant velocity joints and fasteners (bolts).
Ecologically the new process has major benefits in that no waste is generated: the residual dust consists of pure Zinc and Iron metal which can be easily applied elsewhere in the industry. There are no sludges which needs to be disposed off.
Under long term production circumstances economically the new process shows currently equal to somewhat lower cost parameters in comparison to the conventional process. It is expected that further optimisation and scale enlargement will further reduce the lubrication process costs.
The application of cold forging in production of precise steel components in the automotive industry is now a criterion for high technical level. In this connection the EC is faced with a severe competition especially from Japan, where the yearly production of cold forged components is at present about 2 times higher as in the EEC countries. Especially important for the performance of the cold forging are the tribological conditions, which are extremely severe due to large surface enlargement and very high contact stresses in the tool/workpiece interface. Conventional lubricants are insufficient under such extreme tribological conditions. Prior to forging of carbon steels and low alloy steels a zinc phosphate coating is normally used, which generally consists of 10-12 successive operations like decreasing, pickling, phosphating, neutralising etc. This common chemical coating process is accompanied with high additional costs, considerable production space and moreover an essential environment load. The aim of the proposed RTD project is the development of an effective and environmentally beneficial mechanical coating process prior to cold forging. It has as objectives in comparison to the common chemical coating process the following industrial benefits: "Significant decreasing in the environmental impact of the process (70 % or more)"
Reduction of the necessary production space by at least 50 %.
Reduction of the production time for coating by at least 20 %.
Reduction of the processing costs between 15 and 25 %. The Consortium comprises five industrial companies from four European countries and a technical university, all with great experience in the field of cold forging of steel components. Regarding the considerable application of cold forging of steels in the manufacture of components for the automotive industry or in the metalworking industry in Europe, the achievement of the project objectives will enhance the European industry competitiveness and will contribute to better working conditions and environment.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
57301 Ay Sur Moselle
5700 AA Helmond