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Advanced metal forming technique for production of three dimensional tubular steel products

Objective



In line with the programme areas identified, 2.1.1S manufacturing cost reduction for equal or increased functionality of existing materials and 2 l.lM, new more accurate and energy efficient near net shape forming reducing costs, energy and waste in mass production, the overall aim of this project is to develop a one shot near-net, forming, cutting and de-burring process for three dimensional tubular steel products. With ongoing trends particularly in the automotive sectors of value and simultaneous engineering, an opportunity exists to develop a unique manufacturing method, which is beneficial not only in cost and productivity terms, but also as a means of allowing quality to be designed into both products and services giving increased reliability, shorter lead times and faster time to market. This process involves clamping a section of tubular steel between a high precision split die incorporating the form of the component to be generated, the die being held together by high pressure. This pressure is required to contain the forming process when an expandable, eg. a rubber type of material, insert is forced under pressure at the centre of the component to be formed, and expands out forcing the material into the form of the die, forming, cutting off and deburring the component. This process is subject to UK Patent Application Number 9608388.6. This project is centred around the following key areas: - The development of a technique for forming, cutting and deburring tubular steel components in a one shot near net fabrication process. - To demonstrate the ability of consistently producing high quality precision components which are identical in size and provide a ten fold increase in dimensional accuracy, eg + 0.1mm to + 0.01mm. - To demonstrate the manufacture of near net shaped products that would normally be made by a series of fabrication processes because of their complexity. - To produce parts with 5% material savings that are precision burr free products. - To increase the production rate by 100% and scale up the process for high volume production.

Funding Scheme

EAW - Exploratory awards

Coordinator

CLF International Ltd.
Address
Birchwood Way
DE55 4QQ Summercotes
United Kingdom