Currently available routes for the precision forming of geometrically complex industrial components, requires the material to be subjected to forming operations with a sequence of die-cavities, and often on different machines. This approach does not present substantial opportunities for the improvement of productivity.
The proposed injection forging approach enables the complete forging of tubular components in a single station. To-date the practicable range for the injection forging of tubes has been somewhat limited due to folding failures appearing in the tube wall, but comprehensive research in the mechanics of the injection forging process, carried out by the applicant, has revealed that pre-forming of a geometrically simple inner flange on the tube, prior to injection forging, allows a considerable extension of these forming limits, in terms of the major process parameters.
The primary objective of the project is; to optimize the effect of using a pre-forming stage and in continuation of this to determine actual pre-form design rules for the injection forging of tubes.
The principle tasks are as follows:
1. To define the optimal pre-forming geometry using finite element models as a design tool; validation will be accomplished through experimental tests in metal. 2. To determine actual pre-form design rules for injection forging of tubes. 3. To give an example of the application of a pre-forming stage for a given component, e.g.: a pulley or a gear.
The technical objective of the proposed research is to prove the concept of injection forging and thereby illustrate the production potential of forming tubular components by injection forging.