Typical die casting products are parts for cars, computers, television sets, cameras, electrical fittings, security locks, model trains, mobile phones, which are key industries with a steady growing rate. Proportional tool costs account for a high percentage of the production costs of a die casting part. The efforts on cost reduction focus on the dual aim of increasing tool life and of minimising down times (e.g. while tool changing time). The previously applied surface treatment operations (e.g. nitriding, CVD and PVD coating processes) cannot bring about a sustainable reduction in damage such as erosion, heat cracking or adhesive tendency. One disadvantage shared by these operations is, that the produced coatings are not only very thin, but are also very brittle and therefore are liable either to wear down too rapidly, or to chip off prematurely. Laser surface treatment, in the forms of alloying and dispersing open up avenues for the production of wear resistant outer layers. The different types of damage which occur on parts of die casting tools, can be specifically targeted and treated locally by making thermochemical modifications to the outer layer. The good metallurgical bond to the base material guarantees excellent coating adhesion. Additionally, the layer characteristics can be adapted by careful selection of the additional materials and of the process control to suit whatever the principle strain may be. The aim of this project is to investigate new surface treatment methods like laser techniques and the combination of laser techniques and nitriding to achieve higher wear resistance for die casting tools in relation to relevant conventional surface technologies and thus increase the quality and efficiency of die casting machine tools. The quantitative aims are therefore: 50 % tool life time increase 35 % cost reduction reduction of the failure rate of die casting machines to less than 3 % improvement of the machine service life of about 15 20 % The project will be realised in different steps, in which at the beginning a research plant will be put into operation. In this plant laser alloying and dispersing experiments will be run and the results will be examined by the participating partners on their usefulness. This guarantees a very tight feedback between practice and research. With this method the resulting improvements can be taken into consideration as fast as possible. The consortium consists of four SME's, one other proposer and one research centre from four different countries in the frame of the requirements. Due to the complexity of the issue and the large variety of possible applications of this technology, the forming of an European consortium is absolutely necessary. Only this constellation guarantees, that all partners can contribute their strengths to the project and work on a common solution. The project helps the participating European enterprises to cope with the pressure of the growing competition from cheap salary countries. Not only to hold their market share but also to widen their market share. It is also guaranteed that the new developed products are not only distributed within the EC, but also will strengthen the European balance of trade. Beside this, the establishment of job shops for laser surface treatment will guarantee the creation of new jobs. The project corresponds with the programme lndustrial and Materials Technologies of the EC, especially with programme area 2.1 .3.S, 1.1.1 .S and 2.3.2.M.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
7468 AH Enter
B49 6EW Alcester